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Monthly Archives: March 2010

Using Your New Fireplace

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

At Henges, we are always happy to answer any questions or provide more information about using your new fireplace.  However, this handy guide will prepare you for what to expect, especially if this is the first time you have owned a gas fireplace.

Using Your New Fireplace

Important tips when using your new fireplace:

  • Remove and plastic from trim parts before turning the new fireplace ON.
  • It is normal for fireplaces fabricated of steel to give off some expansion and/or contraction noises during the start up or cool down cycle. Similar noises are found with your furnace heat exchanger or car engine.
  • It is not unusual for your gas fireplace to give off some odor the first time it is burned.  This is due to the curing of the paint and any undetected oil from the manufacturing process.
  • Please ensure that your room is well-ventilated – open all windows.
  • Burn your fireplace for at least 10 hours the first time you use it.  If the optional fan kit has been installed, place the fan switch in the “OFF” position during this time.  This will help minimize odors in future use.

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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2010 Spring Homes Tour

Nothing says “Spring” in Kansas City like the annual Spring Homes Tour, now in its 48th year. This year’s tour, produced by the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City, runs from April 10th through April 25th, and serves the leading resource for consumers shopping for a new home.

Last year’s tour showcased more than 300 homes, and this is a great opportunity for those who are looking to buy a home, take advantage of tax benefits or make your new home a green home! It’s also a wonderful way to spend a day. Check back on Henges’ blog for updates about this year’s show.

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Classic Fireplace Designs

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

Take a look at these modern fireplace designs from Henges Insulation & Fireplaces!

This Kansas City fireplace uses white, grey and green marble.

This old home decor uses white and marble in a Prairie Village fireplace.

This fireplace uses white and marble for style and class.

Henges Insulation & Fireplaces is dedicated to providing professional service to homeowners, builders and commercial contractors in the KC Metro and surrounding areas. We assist with choosing the proper insulation or finding the fireplace that fits your lifestyle. Our certified professionals then install your product at a fair price. 


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Fireplaces: By the Numbers

Last week, we blogged about trends coming out of the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association show, which Henges Insulation was thrilled to attend in Orlando, Fla., but did we share the 2009 Industry Shipment Statistics (released during the show) with you? Have a by-the-numbers look below.

1.2 million. Number of hearth products shipped in 2009, According to the HPBA.

635,000. Number of traditional gas-burning units included in that number (eco-friendly options included).

235,647 and 245,800. Cordwood and electrical fireplaces accounted for, respectively, in those shipments.

48,000. Number of pellet (alternative-fuel) fireplaces included in the number of shipments, up significantly from previous years.

Do the numbers surprise you? The number of alternative-fuel fireplaces is a boon for the industry, for sure. Conflicted about choosing a wood-burning fireplace vs. a pellet fireplace? Let the HPBA help you determine which models are right for you.

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Protecting your Family from Lead

Earlier, this month, we blogged about a new law being enacted next month (April 22, or Earth Day, to be exact) regarding lead exposure in pre-1978 homes in “How to Safely Contain Lead in Pre-1978 Homes.”

Kansas City Homes & Gardens‘ March 2010 issue covers this issue in greater depth, courtesy of the expertise of Jan Burchett, executive director of the Kansas city chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI).

According to Burchett in the article, “Protecting Your Family from Lead Exposure”, “certified contractors/remodelers are obligated to prove their valid certification by displaying their official lead-based paint license, certificate or training certificate to a homeowner. Don’t be afraid to ask prospective remodelers to describe what they’ll do to practice lead safety, and if you’re having your home tested to determine the existence of lead, have them specify what the final lead inspection entails.”

Henges Insulation has already undergone its certification, so you can rest assured we are ahead of the curve, well before this pivotal law goes into effect.

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Trends from the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) Show

More than 11,000 people attended this year’s Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) in Orlando last week, North America’s largest indoor-outdoor living show featuring more than 450 exhibitors displaying hearth products, pools and spas, outdoor furniture, barbecues and accessory products.

Now in its 30th year, this year’s show was especially beneficial for fireplace and stove manufacturers, who revealed their innovative and stylish products that meet consumers’ needs for efficient, clean heat. ”

Says HPBA president Jack Goldman in a release, “Today’s consumers want the latest fireplaces and stoves to help them save money on their home heating, create a welcoming ambiance and also be mindful of their environmental impact. Our member manufacturers have answered the call for quality, convenience and efficiency and we’re proud to show them off at our 30th annual HPBExpo.”

Here are additional trends coming out of this year’s HPBA show, per a release from the HPBA:

  • Green Heat: Manufacturers continue to explore new technologies and fuels to reduce the environmental impact of hearth products while increasing product efficiency. This year marks the HPBExpo’s inaugural “Green Pavilion” – an area set up to showcase energy-saving products and educate show attendees on what qualifies as a certified green product.
  • Alternative Fuels: From fireplaces fueled by ethanol gels to hearth products that are great for no-burn days, fireplaces, stoves, inserts and outdoor hydronic heaters are being designed to meet and exceed strict government emissions standards. Wood, wood pellets, corn and cherry pits are just a few of the other biomass fuel options that continue to gain in popularity.
  • Pieces of Art: Adding or upgrading a fireplace can significantly contribute to the coziness and beauty of a home’s design – indoors and out. This year, manufacturers are showcasing fireplaces with swirling flames, ironwood-sculpted faux wood logs for gas fireplaces, electric fireplaces where the flames dance to music and outdoor-fire pits that double as water features.
  • Glass Is Hot: Manufacturers are switching out faux logs and rocks for glass fire beds in their latest versions of gas fireplaces. Options for outdoor appliances also include patio flames with colored glass options.
  • Convenience Is Key: The newest products on display have consumer convenience in mind and include stoves that can be used as freestanding units or inserts, fireplaces that hang anywhere and extinguishable outdoor wood-burning fireplaces.
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Light My Fire

Winter may be on its way out, but that’s all the more reason to take a second look at how you’ll accessorize your home’s fireside during the warmer months. 

The design blog for South of Market, an upscale home design retailer out of Atlanta, has some neat suggestions in a recent post, “Fireside Philosophy.”

“A fireplace is such a sensory architectural element. Whether you’re sharing the company of others or relishing in temporary solitude, the warm, reassuring glow under the mantle has the ultimate calming effect,” writes owner Kay Douglass. 

Check out some of her favorite fireside retreats and firewood containers below:


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How do Electric Fireplaces Work? –

Electric fireplaces are growing in popularity. You don’t have to worry about cutting wood, cleaning a chimney, or dealing with the maintenance associated with a wood burning fireplace. An electric fireplace offers the beauty and warmth of a fire without the hassle of building one.

How do Electric Fireplaces Heat

An electric fireplace utilizes metal coils to create heat. As the coils heat, a blower motor, or fan, forces the heat in to the open. Since only the coils are heated, there is no danger of getting burned by the casing of the fireplace. Caution should still be taken if the fireplace is set near upholstered furniture or drapery.

How They Create Flames

Most modern electric fireplaces create a realistic looking flame. This is done by using regular light bulbs and refracting the light. Once the light is refracted, it creates the illusion of a dancing flame.

Whole Units vs Inserts

Electric fireplaces can be purchased as a stand alone unit. These fireplaces simply plug in to any standard electrical outlet. If you already have a fireplace, you can purchase electric inserts to use instead of building a real wood burning fire. The insert works the same as the whole unit. It simply needs to be placed in the firebox of the existing fireplace.

Read more here.

At Henges Insulation & Fireplaces we carry a large variety of fireplaces (direct vent, B-vent, wood burning, outdoor and electric) and wood burning stoves to suit any building or home. We professionally install Majestic fireplaces, Vermont Castings fireplaces and stoves, and Country Flame flex fuel stoves and wood burning fireplaces. We look forward to helping you choose a hearth product that meets your needs and preferences.

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Modern Fireplace Designs

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

Check out these modern fireplace designs from Henges Insulation & Fireplaces!

This Kansas City home has a modern interior design with a red wall background that makes a statement.

This Brookside Misouri home displays a jet black fireplace in a red room.

This modern Leawood home has a new white built-in fireplace. 

Henges Insulation & Fireplaces is dedicated to providing professional service to homeowners, builders and commercial contractors in the KC Metro and surrounding areas. We assist with choosing the proper insulation or finding the fireplace that fits your lifestyle. Our certified professionals then install your product at a fair price. 

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The Well-Designed Building Envelope

When it comes to designing your home, “the greenest thing you can do,” according to Residential Design & Build magazine, is to “design a high-integrity thermal envelope so your structure consumes as little fuel as possible for heating and cooling.” Sure, VOC’s, recycling and hybrids are also important to living a sustainable lifestyle, but greening the building shell should be your No. 1 priority.

So where to begin? Start by using non-toxic, sustainably harvested materials that don’t consume a great deal of fuel when ship. This includes roofing, air filtration, insulation, adhesives, caulks, sealants, wood and more.

And when it comes to insulation, Henges has you covered. Because, as RB&D reiterates, “Cooling U.S. homes costs $40 billion yearly and consumes 15 percent of all U.S. power, 90 percent of which is created with coal and fossil fuels. Proper insulation can easily save 20 percent of fuel costs. There are intriguing choices out there that go way beyond standard batts, such as insulation with “smart paper” facing that changes its molecular configuration to allow moisture in or out. But for all insulation, consider formaldehyde, a known carcinogen that is widely used in binders and adhesives. Also, look for low-emitting or formaldehyde-free products. For filling gaps, use spot-application spray foams that are isocyanate-free and formaldehyde-free.”

Read more on “Greening the Building Shell.”

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