How to Install an Airtight Hatch Cover


Welcome to episode 65 of the On the Job Series! In this segment, Tanner Janesky from Dr. Energy Saver makes his video debut by walking us through the 8 steps necessary to successfully install an airtight David Lewis attic hatch cover.

As discussed in previous On the Job videos, the average home in the U.S. wastes a lot of energy through the attic. As the heated air in the conditioned space rises, it seeks to escape through any gaps on the upper levels of the building -- especially the unconditioned attic. This is why it is very important to air seal any gaps between the living space and the attic, and the attic hatch is usually a major source of air leakage.

There are three main criteria that define a properly installed hatch cover. First, it needs to stop air flow from the living space into the attic. Second, it is important to keep in mind that the attic will eventually need to be accessed by the homeowner, especially if it houses ducts and other appliances or if the space is used for storage. The hatch cover needs to be easy to remove and replace as well. Finally, it needs to look nice and neat, since the homeowner will be using it periodically.

The following are the eight steps necessary to successfully install a David Lewis hatch cover, as shown in the video:
1. Assemble the hatch cover
2. Air seal the hatch cover
3. Install weather stripping at the bottom of the hatch cover
4. Position it over the opening downstairs.
5. Check for gaps on the bottom of the hatch cover
6. Make the necessary adjustments to level the super deck so that there are no gaps between it and the hatch cover.
7. Install furring strip guides over the super deck, so that the cover can be easily lifted and returned to its proper place.
8. Air seal any additional gaps around the hatch cover and on the super deck, to prevent air flow from the conditioned area into the attic.

As an additional step, bungee cords can be installed on the hatch cover and attached to the super deck to help secure it in place, pressing the weather stripping against the surface of the super deck to create a tighter seal.

For more videos on how to make your attic and home more energy efficient, watch other On the Job Videos and subscribe to our YouTube Channel for the latest updates!

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