Is it time to upgrade your attic insulation?

How to ensure home attains maximum comfort, efficiency

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Upgrading the level of your attic's insulation makes a wonderful difference in both comfort and energy efficiency, and in most homes it's also fairly easy to do. Here are some step-by-step suggestions for retrofitting attic insulation: 1. Check the level of your existing insulation. Take a trip up into the attic with a flashlight and a tape measure. Check the level of the insulation by probing down with your tape measure until the end of the tape touches the ceiling (be sure you're not measuring to a ceiling joist, electrical box or other raised area hidden beneath the insulation). Try to probe the insulation in several different areas so you're sure that you have a good, accurate average of the insulation's depth across a reasonable area of the attic. For most homes, an R-value of R-38 is required by code, and colder areas can benefit from increasing that to R-49. To get an idea of how much insulation you currently have, multiply the thickness of what's existing by the R-value per inc...