How to Insulate an Attic Hatch

How to Insulate an Attic Hatch

Installing proper insulation in your attic prevents cold air from entering your home and keeps all the warm air inside it. This helps you save big on your energy bills. But there’s an element to attic insulation that many homeowners forget – the attic hatch.

Although you use it to enter your attic, the hatch is often an afterthought when compared to the rest of the attic. However, properly sealing and insulating this entryway is essential if you want to maximize your home energy efficiency.

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In this article, we’ll be outlining why attic hatch insulation is so important, how you can properly insulate your attic, and what you’ll need to get it done. Let’s dive in.

Why should I insulate my attic hatch?

In previous articles, we highlighted how warm air often ends up in the attic and escapes outside during the winter. We also talked about how summer heat can radiate through your roof and collect in your attic, causing the entire house to become hotter.

Attic hatches are simply another component of this issue. While you can keep them clean and properly painted, they usually aren’t designed with energy efficiency in mind. It’ll still radiate heat in the summer and let warm air escape in the winter.

Properly insulating your attic hatch helps prevent this issue, and if you pair that with a properly sealed and insulated attic, you’ll be maximizing your home’s energy efficiency. Simply put, the more you insulate your attic, the more control you’ll have over your home temperatures, and the greater your energy savings will be.

Different ways to insulate your attic hatch

There are two ways homeowners can properly insulate their attic hatch. One is very similar to how you would insulate the rest of your attic – that is, applying insulation directly onto the hatch itself. The other method involves installing a cover over your hatch in the attic to prevent unwanted heat flow.

Fiberglass Insulation

How to Insulate an Attic Hatch - Fiberglass Insulation

If you’ve already insulated your attic, you’ll probably have some experience with this method. This process basically involves attaching fiberglass foam strips onto the wood stops that hold your hatch together. By stacking these foam strips on top of one another, you’ll effectively create a barrier within your hatch to prevent heat from passing through.

Attic Hatch Covers

How to Insulate an Attic Hatch - Attic Hatch Cover

Another decidedly simpler way to insulate your hatch is by installing an attic hatch cover. These covers are placed in the attic right over your hatch. It’s essentially an additional pathway into your attic. You simply unzip the cover to step into your attic. Installing covers is a lot simpler and requires far less equipment, but serves practically the same function as foam insulation.

What you’ll need for attic hatch insulation

If you’re installing an insulation cover, all you’ll pretty much need is the cover itself and some staplers to lock it in place.

Those opting for fiberglass insulation will need a few more materials, including the insulation itself, tape or glue, a ruler, weatherstripping, and something to cut your fiberglass with.

Depending on the state of your hatch, you might need new wood stops to create a barrier. Air sealing equipment, like caulk, is helpful here as well.

How to insulate an attic hatch

Fiberglass Insulation

The first step before applying any insulation is checking whether there’s any air leaks or molding in and around the hatch.

You can check for air leaks by lighting incense or holding thin paper by the hatch to see if there’s any air movement. You can caulk around the perimeter of the hatch if you find that it’s leaking air.

It’s at this point where you should properly measure your attic hatch. Every home has a different sized hatch, and if you don’t get the proper measurements this entire process will be moot.

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Making sure there’s no mold is important for both preventing your insulation from damage and keeping your home safer overall. We recommend getting an inspector to check the mold. If there is any molding, you should add a few inches of wood stops so your new foam insulation can stick easier.

Add self-adhesive foam weatherstripping to the top edges of your new wood stops. Then cut a piece of fiberglass or foam board to your hatch door’s size and attach it to the hatch with tape or nails.

Finally, check whether your hatch is leaking air one more time to make sure it’s properly sealed and insulated.

Attic Hatch Covers

How to Insulate an Attic Hatch - Attic Hatch Cover

Installing insulation covers is a little bit simpler. Make sure you buy the proper sized cover for your hatch, and all you have to do is place it over the hatch entrance in the attic, add adhesive, and some staples to keep it secure.

Now you can simply unzip the cover and enter your attic with ease.

Finding the best solution for attic hatch insulation

Choosing which attic hatch insulation to install depends on both your experience with DIY projects and a few other factors.

Get a free attic inspection and quote to insulate your attic.

Installing fiberglass insulation on top of your hatch is effective, but as we’ve described, it takes a little bit of elbow grease. If you’ve already installed fiberglass insulation all around your attic and have some of it leftover, and happen to have some caulk and weatherstripping available, you might opt for this method instead of buying a cover.

However, if you don’t want to purchase all the different equipment needed to add fiberglass insulation to your hatch, or you don’t feel comfortable being able to do it yourself, you can opt for other alternatives.

An insulation professional should be able to help you install fiberglass to your attic hatch, though you will have to consider the cost of labor, equipment, and other factors here. Alternatively, getting an insulation cover will likely save you money, and they’re much simpler to install. We recommend those without much DIY experience to invest in a cover rather than applying fiberglass insulation themselves.

Whichever option you choose, insulating your attic hatch is an effective way to keep your house warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer without bearing the brunt of high energy bills.

For more informative articles on attic insulation, check out our blog.