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Monthly Archives: January 2010

Upcoming Events: 2010 Garden Symposium in February

“A garden authentic to its surroundings offers a visual respite, a magical bit of inspiration and an organic connection to the earth that heals and nurtures,” writes Kimberly Stern in the January issue of Kansas City Homes & Gardens. And we couldn’t be more on board with that sentiment.

Powell Gardens, with nearly 1,000 acres of botanical gardens in Kansas City, offers its visitors such pride of place–one of dozens of subjects regarding our outdoor landscapes that will be touched on at February 20th’s 2010 Garden Symposium, an event co-produced by the Garden Center Association of Greater Kansas City and the Friends of Powell Gardens.

Highlights of the day-long symposium, whose theme this year is “Beauty Woven with Practicality,” include demonstrations and lectures by four renowned garden gurus: Claire Sawyers, Stephanie Cohen, Suzy Bales and Rosalind Creasy. In addition, there will be a pre-symposium demonstration and dinner lecture on Friday, February 19. For more information, and to buy tickets, visit shop.powellgardens.org or call 816.697.2600, ext. 307.

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Fun Feline Facts

The cat is the most recently domesticated animal. Did you know that there are more than 3,000 types of domestic cats? They are found all over the world…in abundance! Here are some fun tips about our feline friends:

– Whether your cat meows or roars, it is a descendant of the Felis silvestris species.

– The male Siberian Tiger is the largest cat, with a total body length in excess of 10 ft and a weight up to 660 lb.

The lion is the only feline that lives in organized social groups; all other cats are loners by nature.

– The cheetah is the fastest cat, reaching up to 60 mph over short distances.

– A domestic cat’s senses are much better than those of humans:

– Cats hear frequencies up to about 65 kHz, whereas humans only hear up to 20 kHz.

– A cat’s sense of smell is about 14 times stronger than that of humans.

– A reflecting layer in a cat’s eye absorbs light six times more effectively than human eyes do, allowing a cat to see better than humans at night.

– Domestic cats purr at about 26 cycles per second, the same frequency as an idling diesel engine.

– In the U.S., there are more cats than dogs. In fact, people spend more each year on cat food than on baby food!

Cats don’t actually have nine lives.

– Cats also don’t always land on their feet. It is said that if a cat falls out of a 20-story building, it has a better chance of surviving than if it fell out of a seven-story building because it takes a cat at least seven stories to coordinate itself to land on its feet.

– Cats step with both left legs then both right legs when they walk or run. The only other animals to do this are the giraffe, camel and the maned wolf.

– Dogs are mentioned 14 times in the Bible, lions 89 times, but domestic cats – nada.

For other interesting animal facts, visit http://www.didyouknow.org

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2010 to be Dominated by Energy Efficiency

It’s going to be a banner year for energy efficiency, according to green-tech experts, and at Henges Insulation, we couldn’t be more thrilled.

Home energy use accounts for 21 percent of the nation’s carbon footprint,” according to an article in the San Jose Mercury News, a number that’s “twice the carbon emissions of passenger cars.”

And ever since President Obama proclaimed insulation “sexy,” you can bet that it’s an issue this administration is not taking lightly.

According to a memo by the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, “There are 100 million homes in America, and energy-saving measures like insulation, caulking, and heating and cooling system ugrades can reduce household energy consumption by 10 percent to 40 percent.

So what are you waiting for?

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Get a Clear View with New Majestic See-Thru Fireplace

We are no longer servicing or installing fireplaces. Please call us for a recommendation.

With fireplaces becoming more and more of a design statement in the home, fireplace manufacturers, such as Majestic, are exploring the depths of style innovation with contemporary new looks.

Majestic see through fireplace Henges

Majestic See-Thru Fireplace:

The new Majestic STLDVD Pearl Designer See-Thru fireplace allows you to enjoy the warmth and ambiance of the fireplace in two rooms with its wide, unobstructed tempered glass face. With several accessory options, you can customize the fireplace with interior dimmable accent lights, decorative brick or porcelain panels, and stone and glass kits in diamond, onyx, emerald, sapphire, and bronze.

You don’t have to sacrifice performance for style, though. The new Majestic See-Thru fireplace burns natural gas or propane gas and includes touchscreen control of the three-step flame height, the ability to vent horizontally or vertically, and a premium log set and glowing ember bed.

Henges Insulation & Fireplaces has a comprehensive team of trained professionals with years of critical, hands-on experience. These experts will help you choose the fireplace or insulation best-suited for your home. Our certified installers have undergone extensive training and regular re-certifications and will work with you to get the job done right.

At Henges Insulation & Fireplaces, our experienced team offers nothing less than outstanding customer service. We pride ourselves on our professionalism and competitive pricing. If there is anything we can help you with, please contact us at 913-764-4600 or complete the contact form. We look forward to working with you!

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Tips for Sealing up Your Home’s Exterior Shell for the Greenest savings

A recent issue of Kansas City Homes & Gardens zoned in on which energy-efficient upgrades homeowners should concentrate on to determine the greatest payoff.

If terms such as Low-e glass, ICFs, and SIPS confuse you, then check out the article, “Filling in the Gaps” to get up to speed on greening your home, and start saving!

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Zone heating can reduce your fuel cost by up to 40 percent

According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, people regularly use less than 40 percent of their homes. Paying to unnecessarily heat the laundry room and back bedroom all day seems silly. So does turning up the thermostat to warm up in your recliner in the evenings. In most cases, zone heating is a convenient and cost-effective solution.

Zone heating is using a fireplace, stove or insert to warm the rooms you use most. Doing this allows you to turn down the thermostat and save 20 to 40 percent on your fuel bill! Though the initial cost will be higher, the long-term savings can be incredible. Zone heating is especially beneficial in homes with old central furnaces because they tend to lose heat.

There are fireplaces, freestanding stoves, fireplace inserts and masonry heaters designed for zone heating. These hearth products may burn firewood, natural gas, propane, pellets, oil, coal, corn or manufactured firelogs. It is important to ask a specialty retailer what hearth product is best based on the zone you wish to heat, the level of desired heat, the fuels available and cost-efficient to you and, of course, the style and design you prefer.

 

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International Builders Show 2010: By The Numbers

The motto of Las Vegas may be, ‘What happens here, stays here’, but we’ve opted to break that hard-and-fast rule to share a few mind-boggling numbers coming out of  the International Builders Show (IBS), which took place in Sin City last week.

The state of the industry, in a nutshell: Small is the new big; houses are shrinking in size. Green is still king; energy-efficient appliances, including heating and cooling systems, will be this year’s big splurges for homeowners.

* 50,000. Estimated number of attendees, according to NAHB estimates.
* 100,000. Estimated number of attendees during previous “boom” years.
* 6,800. Square-footage of IBS’s planned showcase home, New American Home. In an ironic twist, and a sign of the times, the builders couldn’t get the financing to finish the project, so they lost it to foreclosure. Which brings us to the next number…
* 1,771. Square-footage of the New Economy Home, the New American Home’s replacement, 1/4 its size.
* 30. Years of growth in the sizes of homes, until 2009, when the average new home size declined.
*36. Percent of people surveyed who say they are planning for a smaller home, a 12 percent increase from last year.

Although the crowds may have been small, builders remained optimistic, something we’re on board with as well.

 

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KCP&L offers incentives for improving energy efficiency

KCP&L offers great programs to help business owners improve their facilities. If you have a building used for commercial or industrial purposes, KCP&L rebates can help you pay for an energy audit and efficiency improvement measures.

Commercial and Industrial Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs help decrease the cost of identifying and purchasing energy-efficient equipment. You can get a rebate on nearly anything that uses electricity – air conditioning, heating systems, motors, high-efficiency lighting and more.

If you plan to do any commercial/industrial remodeling, consider starting with an energy audit by a KCP&L-certified auditor and you will be eligible for a rebate of up to 50 percent of the audit cost if you install a recommended piece of energy-efficient equipment.

Not only will you save money on your energy costs if you upgrade to high-efficiency equipment, KCP&L will help pay for the equipment! The commercial and industrial rebate programs apply to retrofits and new construction. Be sure to get your pre-approval before you begin any improvement or construction project so KCP&L can help you save.

 

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Upcoming Home & Garden Show

Kansas City’s Premier Home and Garden Improvement Event will return to Bartle Hall on February 19-21. If you are ready to start your new remodeling project, looking for design and decoration advice or planning that spring garden or lawn improvement, definitely check out this fabulous three-day show.

  • Friday, Feb. 19, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • Saturday, Feb. 20, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
  • Sunday, Feb. 21, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

The show will be at the Kansas City Convention Center – Bartle Hall at 13th & Broadway in Kansas City, MO. General admission tickets are only $10. Visit www.kchba.org for more details or if you are interested in signing up as an exhibitor.

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When in doubt, shut down your computer

 

Shut Down Computer

 

To balance energy savings and convenience, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends that you turn off the monitor if you aren’t going to use your computer for 20 minutes or so, but shut down everything if it will be more than two hours. You should put your monitor, printer and all other computer-related accessories on a power strip/surge protector so you easily can switch it off if you aren’t going to use your PC for an extended period. This will to prevent your system from drawing power while off.

Most newer PCs have a power-down or sleep mode. Be sure you set up this feature through your operating system software or it won’t work. ENERGY STAR® computers consume about 70 percent less power in sleep mode and ENERGY STAR® monitors power down to less than 10 percent of their operating power consumption. Amazing difference!

If you don’t have a PC with the power-down feature, don’t worry about wearing your computer out by turning it off and on too frequently. Most likely, advances in technology will require you to upgrade long before any negative effects from this occur. Remember that in general, the less time a PC is on, the longer it will last. But consider your time also. If it takes forever to shut down and boot up, maybe you want to leave it running all day and just shut down when you go to bed.

For more tips on increasing energy efficiency in your home, visit www.energysavers.gov.

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