Here is away to reduce heat transferred during the winter and summer by encapsulating your folding attic stairs. Folding attic stairs, unlike your ceiling, does not have any insulation. Because of this, heat is transferred between the attic and your living space.
Last spring I built 2 Attic Stair Covers and monitored the results. In short my living space was on the average 12 degrees F cooler then without the Attic Stair Covers (your results will differ). I had been monitoring the attic temperatures for 3 years. Looking for ways to reduce the heat being transferred.
Because of these ASCs I didn’t run the AC at all. I look forward to tracking the results this winter.
Are you ready to make your own Attic Stair Cover.
Step 1: Materials
1)*Ridged Insulation sheet (4 x 8),
2) Aluminum Tape (10 yrds),
3) Duck Tape and
4) Self adhesive Foam Insulation strip (I needed 13 feet).
* I used 1 * 4 * 8 with an R value of 3.85. If I had more space between the rafter and the attic opening I would have used a thicker sheet. Even at 1 inch thick, there was only 2 inches between the finished top and the rafter. Just enough to lift the Attic Stair Cover up and move it over to enter the attic.
Step 2: Tools
2) Tape Measure,
3) Straight Edge and
Time to Complete:
1 – 2.5 hours
Now that you have your materials and tools, let’s go and make an Attic Stair Cover.
Step 3: The Opening
Measure the Opening - Width & Length & Height*
* The Height is measured from the casing to the highest point of the folding stairs.
Step 4: Sides
Measure, Score and Cut the sides.
Step 5: Top
Measure, Score and Cut the top.
Step 6: Insulation Strip
Peal the strip off the Insulation and place the sticky side to the Attic Frame.
Step 7: Secure Sides
Frame the sides and Duck Tape the sides together.
You may not notice how close the roof rafter is to the top edge of the side. I only had 3 inches from the top edge of the side to the rafter.
Step 8: Secure Top
Add the Duck Tape to secure the top to the sides.
Step 9: Aluminum Tape
Peal the backing off the Aluminum Tape and seal the sides and top. Also, tape the bottom edge of the cover where it will rest on the frame.
Once I Duck Taped the top to the sides I had to work in the attic to complete this section. Because of the location of the roof and the opening I could not make the Attic Stair Cover and then put it into place. I had to assemble the whole thing in the attic.
Step 10: Observations & Summary
The benefits of this design are:
1) Inexpensive, $20 USD, and easy to make,
2) Reduce heat transferred during the summer. I took 3 measurements - in the Attic, inside the cover and 4 feet from the floor of the room.
5/26 - 95 attic; 71 cover; 70 room
June Average - 101 attic; 80 cover; 77 room. Norm without Attic Cover: 89 room.
July Average - 125 attic; 87 cover; 85 room. Norm without Attic Cover: 94 room
August Average - 120 attic; 83 cover; 82 room. Norm without Attic Cover: 93 room.
Your result will differ.
3) Reduce heat transferred during the winter. Result will be posted when they are measured.
4) Eliminated fecal droppings when opening the stairs.
I am satisfied with the results.
Then I saw, and considered it well. I looked upon it, and received instruction.