A top plate is a wood member that forms the top of a framed wall.
Some top plates have plumbing or electrical penetrations that are commonly left unsealed in regular construction practices. This allows for the exchange of air between the attic and the wall cavities. .
All top plates should be sealed, followed by sealing all other penetrations to improve the indoor air quality, reduce heating and cooling costs by reducing drafts, and help reduce humidity issues.
In homes with forced-air heating and cooling systems, duct systems are used to distribute the conditioned air throughout the house
If your home’s duct work was not installed or sealed properly, you could be losing a significant amount of conditioned air to unnecessary areas like attics, walls, and crawlspaces.
The result of leaky ducts is higher energy bills due to low efficiency in moving conditioned air. If the duct system is too bad, you may not be able to control temperatures in certain parts of your home no matter how you set the thermostats.
Attic insulation is a very important part of a homes thermal barrier.
In the winter, as hot air rises in the home it can be lost by conducting through the ceiling into the attic space. In the hotter months, attic temperatures can reach 150 degrees Fahrenheit. This extreme heat can transfer through an uninsulated ceiling and make it difficult and costly to keep the home as cool as desired
In our region. the U.S. Department of Energy recommends a minimum of 12 inches of attic insulation. This would give the home a minimum R-value of 38.
In homes with little or no attic insulation, adding the required amount can be one of the most cost-effective energy saving measures.