In coming up with the categories for the first-ever Dealer Design Awards,The Newsstaff realized there might be a few HVACR products that were just not going to fit into one of the nine established categories. Hence, the need for a 10th category: Miscellaneous.

According to the panel of contractor-judges, the category was tailor-made for the Attic Tent from InsulSure (Mooresville, N.C.), which earned a gold award.

The Attic Tent is a folding insulation cover for attic stairs. Its primary function is to stop air infiltration during both hot and cold seasons. It is also designed to help keep unhealthy attic insulation and dust particles from entering the living space. According to Steve Williams, president of the company, and David Williams, the company's vice president, their product installs in minutes using a staple gun and/or a caulking gun.

"This really took the contractor into consideration as far as ease of installation," wrote one contractor-judge. "I love the fact that it has fire-retardant material."

The attic tent is designed to stop air infiltration and prevent dust particles from entering the living area.
Said another: "Nice idea. I like the zipper!"

"The Attic Tent is the only flexible attic stair cover that permanently mounts and seals the area above the attic stair opening with no mounting surface changes required during installation," the company noted on the entry form. "Other hardened box-type attic stair covers marketed today do not adequately seal this opening, take up space in order to gain access to the attic, and require a smooth mounting surface. Either they swing open on hinges or they must be repositioned away from the opening."

Not so with the Attic Tent, said the manufacturer. The product is designed to allow 360-degree storage and access around the attic stair opening. At the same time, sidewalls were incorporated into the design, with the goal of preventing insulation particles from falling into the home when accessing the attic.

According to the company, the outer shell is made with an airtight synthetic, moisture-resistant nylon material that is laminated to both sides of a 1/2-inch thick polyurethane insulating foam. When combined, these materials form a lightweight, airtight barrier "and produce an R-Value of 3.2," the company said.

"The Attic Tent saves energy and improves the efficiency of HVAC equipment to heat and cool the home," claimed Steve Williams.

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Publication date: 07/19/2004