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Keep Your Home Cool This Summer

Here are some ways to beat the heat this summer, with a few key improvements that will not only improve the efficiency of your home but also save money and energy from Tom Kraeutler.

Attic insulation

* Adding attic insulation isn’t something you might think to do in summer, but doing so can help keep hot attic air out of your house as well as save energy year-round.

* Seal all duct seams to keep that hard-earned cool air from escaping into dead ends. As much as 20% of circulating air is lost to leaks and faulty connections.

* Now’s the time to get your central air conditioning system serviced for optimum summertime efficiency. Even if it seems to cool well, low-refrigerant levels may mean it needs to run longer to do the same job cooling your house, which raises cooling costs significantly. After servicing, help your AC system keep up the cool by changing filters at least once a month.

* Use a programmable thermostat to sync home comfort with your household’s summer routines. Set it for a higher temperature when you’re away from the house, and program the cooling to begin about an hour before you’re due to arrive home.

Read more tips here

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. We can help you save on energy costs, conserve energy, and make a valuable investment in your home.

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It’s Electric!

Why should you consider an electric fireplace over a gas- or wood-burning fireplace? Here are some benefits of going electric.

Benefits of an Electric Fireplace:

* Being smoke, ash- and vent-free. Let the flames soothe the mind and the eyes–without the fumes or debris. Not having to plan around a chimney means you can put the electric fireplace any place you choose!

* Ease of Installation. Not only can electric fireplaces be uninstalled in a moment, they are also quite portable and requires little more than plugging it into an outlet!

* Low Maintanance. Not only do you not have to clean or replace any parts, but electric fireplaces use about as much energy as a light bulb.

* Electric Fireplaces as A Work of Art. Transform any room in your home with the simple addition of a fireplace. It’s inexpensive, adds physical and metaphorical warmth, and the flames are fully adjustable.

Contact us at Henges to see which model will work best in your home.

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Heating with Flex-fuels

By now, we’re all aware that using renewable energy sources is the most ideal way to heat our homes. However, choosing the right appliance can prove to be somewhat of a difficult task, especially when it comes to heating with flex-fuels. All products are not created equally and researching your options is the answer to making sure you choose the best product to meet your needs.

According to the MagnuM Heat Blog, most manufacturers of flex-fuel appliances have informative websites that explain each product’s features. For instance, some companies manufacture appliances that only burn one type of fuel, while others have multi-fuel capabilities, like the MagnuM Country Flame stove. Flex fuel stoves such as the MagnuM Country Flame allow you to choose the type of fuel that is best suited for your area, most available, and easiest on your pocketbook.

We would be happy to answer your questions about flex fuel heating appliances. Give us a call at 913-764-4600, visit our website, or stop by and see us. We are located at 15640 South Keeler in Olathe!

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Cash for Caulkers Vote Delayed

The Senate vote to pass legislation including the “Cash for Caulkers” rebate program for household energy efficiency upgrades we told you about last month has been delayed for the August recess, and Consumer Reports is forecasting that it may not have enough steam to ever get off the ground.

“Cash for Caulkers”, which was passed by the House of Representatives earlier this year, along with its parent global warming bill will be back up for consideration by the Senate in mid-September at the earliest. Find out more from this CNN Money article. We will keep you posted!

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DIY Fireplace Transformation

Take a look at this fireplace makeover we found on All Things Heart and Home:

The once-dated and dark fireplace got a facelift with paint and seasonal accessories and will be ready to go when cooler weather arrives. Sometimes improvements like these are needed after changing another aspect of the room such as installing new floors or buying new furniture. Check out the complete article for details on how this handy housewife got this fireplace in shape.

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“Cash For Caulkers” Promotes Green Upgrades

Homeowners may qualify for up to $8,000 in rebates for energy efficient upgrades under legislation that is expected to pass in the U.S. Senate within the next week, according to a USA Today report. Upgrades covered under the “Cash for Caulkers” bill, formally the “Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010,” include air sealing, insulation, window replacement, and water heater replacement. Here is a link to a helpful table that explains each retrofit and its associated building requirement and rebate.

Henges Insulation & Fireplaces can help prepare for and perform home energy upgrades. We will post more information about insulation and furnace upgrades covered under “Cash for Caulkers” in the coming weeks. Stay informed by signing up to get posts and updates in your e-mail.

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Introducing the Majestic Echelon

At 50”, the Majestic Echelon is the largest see through fireplace on the market. Says Dave Campbell, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing at MHSC, “The Echelon gives you the opportunity to add contemporary style and warmth to two rooms at the same time – including outdoor spaces.”

Monessen Hearth, a leading purveyor of direct vent, natural vent, vent-free, wood-burning and electric fireplaces, inserts and stoves, announced earlier this month the release of the first wide view, see-through fireplace that can be installed between an interior and exterior room. How neat is that? The unit can also be installed between interior walls.

“With its highly modern style and leading-edge technology, the Echelon fits perfectly into any modern décor. With a BTU range of 23,000 to 34,000 and standard Signature Command™ System remote control, the new Echelon from Majestic has turned up the heat on contemporary fireplace design,” he says.

Check in with Henges Insulation for more information on the Majestic!

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Downtown KC Urban Living Tour

Whether you’re looking to downsize, pare down on lawn and house maintenance or simply have the itch for urban living, the Downtown KC Urban Living Tour this weekend, where you can catch a ride on a chartered bus to 30 locations, is for you.

Now in its 10th year, let the tour jumpstart your decision. See details below!

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Before you Tackle that Remodeling Job, Do your Research

Last week, we posted about why homeowners need to hire a National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) certified contractors or remodelers when tackling remodeling projects, and based on an article we’ve found an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that details just why it’s so necessary.

“The home improvement industry is going to be one of the leaders in the economic recovery as people are fixing what needs to be fixed or getting their homes shined up to compete in the market,” said Fred Elsberry, president of the BBB’s region covering metro Atlanta. “Any time there is a potential growth industry, people come in who are less than stellar.”

As the article notes, “While all remodeling jobs are a pain, homeowners who do their research and follow sound advice stand a better chance of being satisfied once the pounding and paint fumes are gone.”

To learn more about few the basics, check out “Do the Research for Home Projects“.

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Why Use a NARI Contractor or Remodeler?

The best case for using NARI remodelers is seeing what can happen when you don’t. The Kansas City NARI chapter has a great overview video that demonstrates why finding a trustworthy, reliable contractor is so important.

Selecting a Kansas City NARI contractor gives you peace of mind because you know the remodeling professional working in your home has the desire to be above the competition by completing the many steps required to join this organization. To join NARI, a remodeler must be in business for more than one year, fill out a three-page application listing client and trade references, agree to follow the organization’s established code of ethics and show proof of insurance. The defined purpose of Kansas City NARI is to promote professionalism and education in the remodeling industry; employing a remodeler who supports that purpose shows you are working with the very best.

Find out why hiring a NARI professional is a must here.

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