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Attic Tents: Benefits and Installation Tips


attic tentsAttic entrances provide quick and easy access to the attic but they come with one major disadvantage. They are not usually insulated and don’t seal tightly. This directly translates into higher utility bills. Attic tents can help. It is just what the name suggests, a tent that covers your attic entrance on the inside of the attic.  A form of insulation for your attic access,  it is made of a synthetic casing that is adhered to micro-fiber urethane and held together with heavy duty zippers. An attic tent can provide access, insulation, and protection from dust particles. 

Benefits of Attic Tents

Air infiltration between the attic and home is the most common cause of energy waste during both the hot and cold seasons. An uninsulated attic entrance is like having a hole in your home letting heat or air conditioned air out while radiant heat, dust particles,  insulation, and even bugs come in. A simple attic tent will help prevent this air infiltration.  Every time HVAC systems operate, they create a positive or negative pressure, forcing the conditioned air out or drawing the outside air in. By sealing all openings not related to the HVAC system, you cut energy costs.

An attic tent is also a type of radiant barrier, protecting your home from the radiant heat escaping through your attic access. When purchasing attic tents, you can expect to see your money back relatively quickly, thanks to an R-value of 3.2 and a reduction in air transfer of over 71%.

Installing an Attic Tent

The type of attic access you have will determine what size you need. Installation of an attic tent is relatively simple. Measure the inside width and length of the rough frame, then pick the attic tent closest in size. Attic tents can vary in size but you do not need exact measurements in order to install them properly. Due to their flexibility, you have about a 2-3” margin of error.

When measuring for attic stairs that pull down from the ceiling, make sure you take into account the stair rails. They need to fit inside the tent when folded up to ensure a good seal. The attic tent is fixed to the floor of the attic or the frame of the entrance using a staple gun, and the seams are sealed with silicone caulk in order to create an airtight seal. 

Knee wall doors are small doors in the wall with attic space behind them. With these and full-size doors, you will need to make sure the tent is large enough to cover the opening. Installation is a bit different, as the attic tent will be vertically attached to the walls instead of the floor. Make sure to install the attic tent so you can access the zipper easily.

Scuttle holes will take a bit more to consider. A scuttle hole is an attic entrance hole with just a panel as a cover. Opening the scuttle hole requires pushing up on the loose panel and moving it to the side. Because of this, you will need plywood attached to the floor joists to set the panel on while accessing the attic. Your attic tent will need to be significantly larger than the opening to accommodate the panel when opened. Position the attic tent with the zipper closest to the scuttle hole.

Still Need Help?

Do you have any questions or don’t feel comfortable installing an attic tent yourself? Contact us today and we’ll get you started!





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