September 4, 2012 DonnyE

Cheap Way to Lower Your Energy Bill

Yesterday I worked on an easy construction project that will dramatically lower my energy bill. I am not a construction guy by any means and yet I built this quite easily because all that was required was thin sheets of styrofoam, wood glue, duct tape, a kitchen steak knife, and a bottle of spray foam insulation.

So what did I make you may be asking? I made a box to go over my leaky attic door in my bedroom closet. This door area creates an extremely hot area in the closet during the summer and extremely cold area in the closet in the winter. The closet becomes an energy hog.

There are no instructions needed as you simply need to measure the attic door space and make the box a little bigger than that space. Your best effort at drawing straight edge lines where you will cut is sufficient. You could even make this without wood glue but to be somewhat professional you could glue and tape it if you wanted to.

So you simply cut out the different pieces using styrofoam sheets you can purchase for about $10 at Lowe’s. You then apply glue or not if you wish and begin to duct tape the pieces together to form a box that will fit over your attic space.

You can also create a nifty duct tape handle to pull down the box extra tight around the attic opening but what you will also want to do is get out the spray foam insulation bottle.

Look around the perimeter of the box for any cracks or places where the box is not perfectly resting on the attic ground. Take the spray foam and spray in the crack all the way around the box until you have virtually sprayed a complete rectangular of spray foam.

Now grab that duct tape handle and pull down just a bit. You should now have an air tight seal connecting your styrofoam attic box to the floor of the attic.

You may wonder how you are going to gain entry back into your attic if it is glued shut. If you wait 8 hours and allow that spray foam to cure you can simply knock that styrofoam box loose from the spray foam.

Now when you place the attic box over the attic opening in the future it will perfectly rest on the hardened spray foam in a form fit location.

I completed this project in 1 1/2 hours. Once I installed the attic box I noticed a huge temperature difference in the closet and I imagine my AC will have it much easier with cooling my house with this big energy leak plugged.

I hope this advice helps someone who lives in an older model house with ancient energy leaks like this. Now on to make two more of these for my two other attic entrances in my house.

About the Author

DonnyE Donny owns and started the website back in 2007 to help energy consumers in Texas and the U.S. shop for electric rates from multiple vetted electric companies. In his spare time he enjoys wrestling with his 6 year old son, 3 year old son and our new 20 month old son. He also likes softball, kickboxing, and doing fun excursions and activities with his wife Melody.

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