Category Archives: Energy News & Tips

Avoid Drafts To Conserve Energy

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafts can waste 5 to 30 percent of your energy use!

Insulation in Kansas City

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Start simple and adopt that old Great Depression fixture — the draft snake, which you can easily make yourself. Just place a rolled bath towel under a drafty door (or all you craftier people can make a more attractive DIY draft snake). You can use any scraps of fabric, even neckties, and fill with sand or kitty litter.

More tips and images can be found here.

At Henges Insulation & Fireplaces, we welcome all insulation jobs, big or small, residential or commercial. We will evaluate your project, consult with you on your goals, help you choose  appropriate insulation, air seal your structure and install insulation with the precision and thoroughness that guarantees a job done right. We choose our products from proven manufacturers. With our extensive knowledge and experienced professionals, you will get optimum performance out of insulation installed by Henges Insulation & Fireplaces.

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Top 3 Reasons To Call Henges Insulation & Fireplaces

Henges Insulation & Fireplaces in Olathe, Kansas, is a leading contractor in the insulation and fireplace industries in the Kansas City area. Our mission is to make sure that you are satisfied. We will do everything that we can to give you the best service possible. We not only want you to use our company again, but we also want you to refer your family members and friends to our company. 

Henges Insulation & Fireplaces

Professional Staff

  • Our goal is to provide the best field technicians and educated consultants who work together to serve all of our customers’ insulation and fireplace needs in the Kansas City area.  All of our installers are trained professionals who take great pride in their work, ensuring a high quality product installed to every customer’s complete satisfaction. Each and every one of our technicians has gone through extensive training, which means they know what needs to be done to handle your commercial or residential projects like home insulation, attic insulation, wall insulation or fireplace repair or installation. We even have award winning technicians! Norris Allen from Henges Insulation & Fireplaces won the title of “America’s Best Insulation Installer” for 2016 on Saturday, Nov. 12 in Denver. Allen took home the $10,000 grand prize!

Superior Customer Service

  • Many of our customers in the Kansas City area have hired us more than once. This is our greatest compliment. Repeat business is very important to us because it tells us that we are delivering a satisfying customer experience. We believe that our commitment to excellent service is one of the main reasons that our company has been able to stay in business for over eight decades.  You can count on Henges to get the job done right!

Experience Matters

  • We have provided high-quality products and services to builders, remodelers, designers, architects and homeowners since 1932. Henges Insulation & Fireplaces is part of the strong, privately-owned team of Jay Henges Enterprises Inc. in St Louis, Missouri. A successful and diversified building specialty contractor, Jay Henges Enterprises began to expand its services to the Kansas City area in the early 1940s. We have remained privately-owned and continue to operate independently to serve customers in Kansas City and the surrounding areas. Henges has continued to grow and build our relationships in the area for the past eight decades.

If there is anything we can help you with, please contact us at 913-764-4600 or complete a contact form. We look forward to working with you!

 

 

 

 

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What to Expect During Your KC Home Energy Audit

Are you tired of high energy bills? If the answer is yes, you should schedule an energy audit for your Kansas City area home. A KC home energy audit will not only help you determine how much energy your home is consuming, but it can help you address the problem areas, and save you a lot of money on your monthly bills.

KC home energy audit

Here’s what to expect when you hire Henges Insulation for an energy audit:

Thorough Examination & Testing

When you call Henges for a KC home energy audit consultation, our trained technicians will come to your home to perform a detailed examination of the efficiency of your home’s insulation. Our process covers four different areas that encompass an ideally insulated home. We look at the energy efficiency of your home, how safe it is, the durability of your home, and how comfortable your home is. We start with Blower Door Testing, which tests for air leaks, balancing of air distribution, duct leakage and air exchange. We also perform a CAZ test, or a Combustion Appliance Zone test. This is a health and safety diagnosis to ensure that fuels and combustion gases aren’t leaking into your home. It checks for things like carbon monoxide and leaking fuel lines, among other things.

Honest Report & Trustworthy Recommendations

After we finish our examinations and testing, we give you a thumb print floor plan of your home that shows where we found problems and what those problems are. We also give you a comprehensive efficiency report that gives you the hard numbers and statistics. Along with that, we write up our professional recommendations for improvement that will give you the best return on your investment. Our final report and recommendations are always fair and honest, keeping your best interests in mind.

 

To start saving money on your energy bills, call Henges Insulation & Fireplaces today for a home energy audit, at 913-764-4600. We want to be your total home resource.

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3 Reasons to Schedule an Energy Audit Right Now

Now is a perfect time to have an energy audit performed on your home. Don’t wait until the middle of the summer when your energy bills are through the roof, and we mean literally.
Kansas City Energy Audits

You may be thinking insulation isn’t something to worry about in the warmer months, but insulation does more than keep your home warm in the winter. Insulation also keeps in the cool air, as well as keeps out the sweltering heat. Here are three reasons to call Henges Insulation to your Kansas City area home today.

Poor Insulation Means Higher Energy Bills

An energy audit can uncover any issues you might have with your insulation, including leaks. Poor insulation in the summer can cost you a lot. Weak spots in insulation can let in sweltering heat, making the temperature in your home rise, and causing your air conditioner to have to work even harder to keep your home at a steady temperature. So you’ll not only feel the problem, but see it in your higher energy bills. Attics are a typical culprit of weak insulation, and if yours has ductwork running through it, it can exasperate the problem by causing your air ducts to blow hot air back into your home.

Read more about our energy audit services in the Kansas City area, and how it can help you implement the right improvements to increase your home’s efficiency.

Make Sure Your Air Quality Is Up to Par

Energy Audits can also help determine if there are any issues with the ventilation in your home. And if there are, we can help correct the issues. Poor ventilation can be the source of poor air quality in many homes, which can lead to worsening complications for allergy and asthma sufferers, or even cause other health issues to appear.

Help the Environment

If the insulation in your home is poor, it is putting extra strain on all the systems and appliances in your home, making them work harder to do their job. This means your home is using more energy than it needs, increasing your carbon footprint. An energy audit can pinpoint the source of your energy issues so that you can reduce the amount of energy your home uses, which not only helps you, but the environment as well.

For a free home insulation evaluation, call Henges Insulation today at 913-764-4600.

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Why Insulation Is as Important in the Summer as it Is in the Winter

Did you know that about half of the energy we use to heat or cool our homes would leak out without insulation? When we think of insulation, we usually associate it with keeping our home warm in the winter season, but insulation helps just as much in the summer months.
insulation installation in Kansas City

Attics can reach sweltering temperatures of up to 150 degrees in the summertime. Having a hot attic and little insulation between it and the rest of your home means that, on a hot day this extreme heat can “leak” into your home through your ceilings.

Hot Attics Mean Hot Houses

Even a little bit of hot air of that temperature making its way into your house can drastically increase the cost of cooling your home. Unfortunately, building materials like wood and drywall soak up heat easily and radiate it back. With no insulation to keep your ceiling from soaking up the heat from the sun, that heat will, in turn, radiate down into your home causing the temperature to rise and more money to be wasted trying to cool it. For homes that have their ductwork run through their attic, this problem is exaggerated because the heat in the attic can suck all of the coolness from the air and result in your ducts blowing warm air. Proper attic insulation and ventilation will help to greatly reduce rising temperatures in your attic.

Older Homes May Have No or Less Effective Attic Insulation

If your home is older, it may not have any insulation in the attic. Or if you haven’t added to your insulation in years, it may be compressed and therefore less effective. Either way, you could be losing heating and cooling dollars every single day. Insulation works by trapping little pockets of air that then form an air barrier between the inside and outside temperatures. Because these pockets of air can’t move, they can’t travel through the insulation to transfer their heat. Over time, insulation settles, is introduced to moisture which weighs it down, and may even get walked on occasionally all of which presses these pockets of air out of the insulation making it less effective. If you own an older home, it’s important to make sure you have adequate insulation. In moderate climates, the minimum recommended R-value is R-30 for an attic, R-11 for walls, R-19 for raised floors, and R-4.2 for ductwork.

A Small Investment in Attic Insulation Can Make a Big Difference

Considering that about half of a household’s entire energy bill goes to heating and cooling, and attic insulation is relatively inexpensive, there’s little money to be lost and lots to be gained from insulating your attic. You’ll reduce heating and cooling bills, give your furnace and air conditioner a break, and improve the comfort in your home. For a free home insulation evaluation, call Henges Insulation today.

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Henges Insulation is now partnered with RESNET Residential Services Network

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Click here to find Out why it’s important….

Bipartisan Bill Introduced in the U.S. Senate to Account for Energy Costs in Mortgage Underwriting

U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) introduced a bipartisan bill that would enable better mortgage underwriting, reflect the value of energy performance in the appraisal, encourage investments in energy efficient homebuilding and create more than 80,000 construction jobs.

Under the Sensible Accounting to Value Energy (SAVE) Act, federal mortgage loan agencies would consider a homeowner’s expected energy costs when determining the homeowner’s ability to make monthly mortgage payments.
There are two main elements of the proposed legislation. The first is the recognition of the energy as an housing cost. This would change the current PITI (Principal, Interest, Taxes and Insurance) into PIETI (Principal, Interest, Taxes, Insurance plus Energy). This means that with every dollar the home saves in energy it would increase the buyer’s ability to afford the efficient home by the same amount. This has been a structural reform advocated by RESNET since 2006 (see RESNET Policy on Energy Efficient Mortgages)
The second main element of the SAVE Act is the Loan to Value Adjustment, which incorporates the Net Present Value (NPV) of expected energy savings into the home’s appraisal.
Both elements will allow homeowners to invest in improved energy performance and finance it through the traditional mortgage.
The proposed legislation would recognize home energy ratings for calculating the energy savings for the mortgage loan.
According to the legislation’s sponsors, the average homeowner spends more than $2,000 each year on energy costs  more than on either real estate taxes or homeowners insurance, both of which are regularly accounted for in mortgage underwriting. On average, these energy costs amount to more than $60,000 over the life of a 30-year mortgage. The SAVE Act would address this blind spot, giving a more complete picture of the costs of homeownership and borrowers capacity to service debt.
Under the SAVE Act, lenders would account for expected energy costs along with other recurring payments in the debt-to-income qualifying ratios, which test the borrower’s ability to afford regular monthly mortgage payments. According to a new study from The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, the SAVE act is predicted to create 83,000 new jobs in construction, renovation and manufacturing by 2020.
“It is rare to have such diverse interests come together, and that’s because this is a common-sense bill,” said Bennet. “The Save Act would help provide access to useful information about energy usage that home owners, buyers, appraisers and underwriters want and need. It would lead to more complete and accurate mortgage underwriting, would encourage investments in home energy improvements, create more than 80,000 jobs and lighten the load for Colorado families budgets.”
“As someone who has 30 years of experience in the resident real estate industry and who has lived through multiple recessions, I understand that recovery in the housing market and job creation in the construction sector is pivotal to getting our economy back on track,” said Isakson. “I place my support behind this bill because it has the potential to create jobs without any cost to taxpayers, and it will also improve mortgage underwriting in this country by including energy as a factor in the process.”
The bill has support from a broad coalition of real estate, business, building trade and conservation groups, including RESNET, Leading Builders of America, Appraisal Institute, U.S. Green Building Council, National Association of Manufacturers, International Code Council, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, ASHRAE, Efficiency First, Alliance to Save Energy, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, American Gas Association, American Public Gas Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, and National Association of State Energy Officials.
“The SAVE Act creates private sector jobs while making our homes more energy efficient,” said Ross Eisenberg, Environment and Energy Counsel at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “And by accomplishing these goals without the need for major federal spending, the SAVE Act will spur job growth in the private sector without adding to the federal deficit. That is a win-win for the business community, and is the kind of realistic, commonsense policy everyone should want to get behind.”
“This bill is a win for homeowners, the economy, and a cleaner environment. The legislation would empower homeowners and lenders with better information about energy bills so they can make more informed decisions. This proposal would enable increased investment in the energy efficiency of homes, leading to lower energy bills. At the same time, it also would help create jobs and reduce toxic pollution from wasted energy,” said Philip Henderson, senior financial policy specialist, Natural Resources Defense Council.
“We strongly support this legislation because it will improve mortgage underwriting performed by federal mortgage agencies by ensuring that energy costs are included in the process,” said Appraisal Institute President Joseph C. Magdziarz, MAI, SRA. “It would require use of qualified, competent appraisers and would help ensure that appraisers have access to data needed to analyze the effects of energy-efficient home improvements in the marketplace. Consumers would benefit from the bill’s efforts to help ensure they receive a reliable, credible opinion of value.”
“With this act in place, we believe it is possible to substantially increase the energy efficiency of new homes over the next decade while retaining affordability for our customers. This truly is a win-win opportunity for our customers, the economy and our environment,” said Ken Gear, executive director of Leading Builders of America, Inc.

How Spray Foam Can Save You Money

A poorly insulated home hits homeowners where it hurts the most–their wallets. And, dollar for dollar, according to SprayFoam.com, “with its energy efficient R-value, green value, effectiveness and installation ease, spray foam insulation is a money-saving home improvement that will pay for itself season after season and year after year, simply by reducing energy bills. You may even qualify for an energy tax credit that could save you additional money.”

As we’ve reported on an earlier blog, Henges Insulation is now carrying Spray-Foam insulation. “When you couple new insulation with additional energy efficient measures, such as sealing gaps in windows and doors and switching to energy-efficient heating and cooling mechanisms, the savings can really add up.” Make sure you’re not throwing away good money by clicking here.

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Build Green, Kansas City!

The Kansas City Home Builders Association has established a Build Green Council and membership is open to anyone with an interest.  Below is information about building green taken from NAHBGreen at www.nahbgreen.org.

The home building industry coined the phrase green building in the late 1980s, turning a niche movement of resource-efficient homes into a quiet revolution – one that is increasingly becoming a preferred way to build and remodel. Whether you’re a home building professional looking to go green or a prospective green homebuyer, the reasons for going green are numerous.

Green building means incorporating environmental considerations and resource efficiency into every step of the home building and land development process to minimize environmental impact. It’s a practical response to a variety of issues that affect all of us – like increasing energy prices, waning water resources, and changing weather patterns. It means making intentional decisions about:

Energy efficiency improvements such as high levels of insulation, efficient HVAC systems, high-performance windows and energy-efficient appliances and lighting.

Water conservation measures such as water-efficient appliances and fixtures, filtration systems, and drought resistant or low-maintenance landscaping.

Resource conservation using materials and techniques such as engineered wood and wood alternatives, recycled building materials, sustainably harvested lumber, and more durable products.

Indoor environmental quality considerations such as effective HVAC equipment, formaldehyde-free finishes, low-allergen materials, and products with minimum off-gassing or low volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Site design planning such as minimizing disruption and preserving open space Homeowner education through manuals and operating guides.

Green business practices that adopt ideas from other industries for saving resources and money in the home office The first official green home building program began in 1991 in the city of Austin, Texas. The movement has grown slowly but surely since then and today, new homes are significantly more energy and resource efficient than they were even 20 years ago. A past survey of NAHB members showed that more than two-thirds are incorporating at least some of these green features into the homes they build — and that as the home building industry begins to revive, it will be significantly greener. With the 2009 ANSI approval of the ICC 700 National Green Building Standard, builders, remodelers, and homebuyers now have a clear definition of green residential construction and a credible certification to that standard by a qualified third party.

Upgrading Insulation Key To Going Green

Upgrading insulation is always one of the top recommendations for going green. That’s because there are tremendous environmental and cost benefits to having a well-insulated home.
Upgrading insulation

Upgrading Insulation:

Upgrading insulation is one of “Organic Architect” Eric Corey Freed‘s Top 5 go-green tips, recently featured on Inhabitat. “The more, the better,” says Freed. In fact, Freed calls wrapping your home in insulation “probably the most important factor you can control in creating an energy-efficient home.” The story goes on to explain that about half your home’s heating and cooling will escape through the walls, windows, floors, and roof.

Freed suggests performing an energy audit on your home or surveying it with an infrared scanner or thermal radiometer to find out where to add insulation. To add on the environmental benefits, select eco-friendly insulation such as blow-in cellulose insulation, which is made with recycled newspaper.

Ask us about Henges’ own trademarked HighTEC Homes Exclusive Energy Efficient Insulation Package

Insulation Contractors in Kansas City

We will be happy to talk to you further to help you decide which type of insulation is best for your Kansas City home. The important thing to remember is that the effectiveness of insulation depends more on the quality of installation than the material used. Tests show that a mere four percent gap from poorly installed insulation can cut your insulation’s performance in half! At Henges Insulation & Fireplaces, we understand this. Our technicians are thoroughly trained, obtain regular re-certifications throughout their careers, and understand the complexity and importance of insulation. Call us for professional insulation for your Kansas City home – 913-764-4600.

 

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