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Sealing the Attic Access Panel

How can I seal my attic to prevent cold air leak and still have access to it?

The This Old House crew
Photo by Webb Chappell
Q:

During the winter months I can feel cold air coming out down from
my attic and into the hallway below. The access hole consists of a
three-foot-square hole with some molding around it and a 1/4-inch
plywood cover. (I can't move the access because the upper unit for my heat pump is also located right there.) How can I seal it to prevent cold air leak and still have access to the attic?

— Scott, Goldsboro, NC

A:

Tom Silva replies: A quick way to keep the cold out is to make a Styrofoam box
that fits inside or over the plywood cover. Gluing pieces of Velcro on
the inside of the Styrofoam and on the wood will hold the foam tightly
to the opening and stop the draft from seeping into the hallway.

 
 

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