An attic (sometimes referred to as a loft) is a space found directly below the pitched roof of a house or other building; an attic may also be called a sky parlor or a garret. Because attics fill the space between the ceiling of the top floor of a building and the slanted roof, they are known for being awkwardly shaped spaces with exposed rafters and difficult-to-reach corners. While some attics are converted into bedrooms, home offices, or attic apartments complete with windows and staircases, most remain difficult to access (and are usually entered using a loft hatch and ladder). Attics are generally used for storage, though they can also help control temperatures in a house by providing a large mass of slowly moving air. The hot air rising from the lower floors of a building is often retained in attics, further compounding their reputation as inhospitable environments. However, in recent years attics have been insulated to help decrease heating costs, since, on average, uninsulated attics account for 15 percent of the total energy loss in average houses. A loft is also the uppermost space in a building but is distinguished from an attic in that an attic typically constitutes an entire floor of the building, while a loft covers only a few rooms, leaving one or more sides open to the lower floor.
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