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By Jim Neidner

Dear Jim: Is there any product on the market that can stop air leakage around my disappearing stairway to the attic inside my home? During the cold winter months I get cold temperature transfer and air leaks. I have applied the roll-out tape form around the edges where my stairway closes into the opening and have stuffed insulation behind the ladder but this really does not seal out the cold weather enough. If you know of any products please let me know where to find them, winter is around the corner. Thanks for helping us on-line, Mike Z.

It’s a fact, attic disappearing stairways (folding stairway) inside our homes leak. The leakage is so bad it's like leaving a window open all during winter and/or summer months. Not only does the cold air leak into your home during the winter, the stairway also allows the cold air-conditioning to leak out from inside your home during the hot summer months.

Another area in your home that has a huge air leakage which most people don’t even think about is your fireplace. Closing a damper during summer does not stop your air-conditioning from leaking out; taking with it your hard earned dollars for energy cost.

Two new affordable products recently invented by a professional engineer solve your attic leakage problem and pay for themselves in only a few months.

The Battic Door stops air leaks and really seals the attic stairway tight. This is the most effective product I have researched. R-7 reflective and R-50 insulation kit options maximize the performance of the cover by restoring the insulation removed when the stairs were installed. 

The other new product called DraftStopper stops air leakage at your fireplace damper. Both will save you money and are easy to install D-I-Y (do-it-yourself). We must all do what we can to save on our energy consumption.

Jim Neidner is a national award-winning remodeler/builder and former radio home host. Jim likes helping people on-line with home questions or concerns. He is also a Realtor so be sure to tune-in Jim’s radio home shows in radio archive at

As Featured on Good Morning America - Fireplace DraftStopper

Battic Door was profiled by Builder magazine at the 2013 NAHB International Builders Show

Battic Door was profiled on DIY Channel's Your Best Built Home


We could all agree that home heating costs are going straight up.  Which is why keeping that expensive warm air inside is very important.  When chimney's are not in use that expensive heat is escaping straight up them.
  One would think closing the damper would be enough to keep cold air out and warm air in, but not necessarily so.
A solution to this problem is the fireplace plug.  It is like a plastic inflatable plug for your chimney.
To install it, you partially inflate it with the breathing tube...
...then slip it up into the top of the firebox...
...and lock it in place.
Finally, finish inflating the plug and tuck the tube out of sight.

Some heating experts claim that an unlit fireplace with a damper open can increase heating costs by as much as 30 percent. Now that could add up to $500 over the course of a season.

Well, here's a solution that's relatively inexpensive, easy to install and pretty much invisible.