What You Should Know About Your Septic System

April 13th, 2015

In Vermont and New Hampshire, septic systems are very common. A septic system is essentially a small, on-site waste treatment system, generally used in areas which are not able to access a municipal sewage system. For reasons that we won’t dive too far into, it is best to ensure that your septic system is in fine working condition at all times. Problems with a septic system are undesirable, to say the least. Here is some information for you to consider if you are having a new septic system installed, or if you just want to know that yours is operating properly. When you need septic services of any sort, from installations to maintenance and repairs, you need only one number: ours. Contact HB Energy Solutions today to schedule your septic services with trained and experienced professionals.  Continue Reading

Let Our Electricians Upgrade Your Fuse Box

April 6th, 2015

You, like all other homeowners, are quite reliant upon your electrical system. Electricity is used in many different ways throughout most homes, powering our appliances and charging our gadgets. You need to know that your electrical system will work effectively and reliably. Most importantly, though, you must know that you are using electricity safely. This is why you should consider upgrading your old fuse box in Vermont. There are a lot of old homes in this area and, while there is nothing inherently “unsafe” about using an old fuse box, it is often in your best interest to update any such components in an older electrical system. Work with HB Energy Solutions to have your fuse box upgraded by a qualified, professional electrician. 

If you are unsure of when your electrical panel was last inspected, or if you are buying a home which has an old fuse box installed, then scheduling a fuse box inspection today is a good idea. While an older fuse box may still be completely functional, it also may have been installed at a time when safety regulations were more lax than they are today. Plus, a very old fuse box may well mean that the wiring and other components in the electrical system are equally as old. By having everything checked out by a qualified electrician, you can know that you are using electricity safely in your home.

Upgrading your old fuse box to a more modern system, such as a circuit breaker, can help to interrupt overloaded circuits within your electrical system more effectively. Not only that, but it can also help you to reset those circuits more conveniently. We may find during our inspection that your existing fuse box is just not up to current codes and regulations. Whatever the situation may be, our electricians will be able to determine if a fuse box upgrade is indeed in your best interest.

Any work done on any electrical system must be completed by an experienced and licensed electrician. Using electricity in our homes makes our lives infinitely more comfortable and convenient than would otherwise be possible. Just remember, though, that electricity can also be dangerous if not used properly. Allow HB Energy Solutions to upgrade your fuse box so that you can use your electrical system with the well-earned confidence that you deserve.

Why Consider a Solar Hot Water Heater?

March 27th, 2015

It wasn’t too long ago that the only choice you had to make in regard to your home’s hot water heater was whether you were going to use electricity or gas, oil or propane to heat the water. These days there are a number of options for homeowners, and one such option is the solar hot water heater. There can be concerns about using solar energy for any kind of heating, particularly in a cold climate like ours, but using environmentally-friendly refrigerant helps harness the sun’s latent heat energy year-round, including the chilly New Hampshire winter months. If you are ready for a new water heater in your New Hampshire home, and want to see if a solar water heater is a good fit, call the experts at HB Energy Solutions today!

How It Works

Because we live in a climate where water can easily freeze during the winter months, we use a solar hot water heater system that utilizes a solar collector and environmentally-friendly refrigerant. The solar collector is a protected panel that has a dark glass surface; contained inside the collector are numerous tubes that hold the refrigerant. The solar collector serves as the device by which the heat from the sun is ‘collected’ and heats the refrigerant in the tubes. Once the refrigerant is warm enough, it is circulated to a heat exchanger that resides in the tank of your hot water heater. The heat from the refrigerant is transferred to the water, and you’ve got hot water for your home.

Benefits

There are a number of benefits to using a solar hot water heater:

  • You can still have gas or electric back-up – using a tank water heater allows you to have back-up power for your hot water heater in the form of electricity or gas. As such, you’ll never have to worry that the sun alone won’t provide enough heat for your hot water.
  • Significant decrease of energy usage – it’s estimated that solar hot water heaters reduce your energy usage by 50-80%. This can significantly reduce your home’s energy usage.
  • Very environmentally friendly – if you are concerned about your carbon footprint, a solar water can help to greatly reduce yours.

Solar hot water heaters require specialists for installation, repair, maintenance and replacement, so if you are ready to install one in your New Hampshire home, call the people you can trust: HB Energy Solutions.

Why Consider a Ductless Heat Pump?

March 20th, 2015

The range of our temperatures in Southern Vermont can be huge: we can see summer temperatures over 80 degrees and winter temperatures of -20. It may seem impossible to find one system to handle this range of temperatures, but there is one: a heat pump. Heat pump systems can deliver air through either ducted or ductless systems, and today we’re going to talk about how a ductless heat pump system can work in your Southern Vermont home.

The Components

A heat pumps system has an outdoor unit that contains the compressor, condenser and heat pump technology, and indoor blowers that deliver the air. Each indoor blower contains a fan, a set of coils and an air filter. The blowers are about 3 feet long and can mount flush against walls or hang from ceilings. Each blower connects to the outdoor unit via a conduit drilled into an exterior wall. The conduit contains a refrigerant line, a power cord and a condensate drain pipe. A single outdoor unit can support up to 4 indoor blowers.

The Benefits of a Ductless System

One of the first benefits a ductless heat pump system offers is that it will both heat and cool your home, and it isn’t necessary to have any kind of ductwork. A second great benefit is that heat pumps do not use any kind of fossil fuel; they only use a small amount of electricity – imagine heating your Vermont home without a single oil or gas bill all winter long! This makes heat pumps very energy efficient. A third benefit is the longevity: heat pumps last an average of 20-25 years versus traditional heating systems, which last 15-20 years. Lastly, the heating and cooling heat pumps provide is very comfortable. Why? Heat pumps blow gently on a low-volume, continuous basis, so the heating and cooling feels more gentle.

Heat pumps should only be installed by experts, so if you think a heat pump may be a good choice for you Southern Vermont home, contact HB Energy Solutions today!

How Does an Electronic Air Purifier Work?

March 13th, 2015

Homeowners have a lot of choices when it comes to installing a new air purifier in their homes. The two main choices are between UV germicidal lighting and electronic air purifiers. Today we’re going to review electronic air purifiers – there are two types – and how they can clean the indoor air in your New Hampshire home.

Types of Electronic Air Purifiers

The two types of electronic air purifiers available for home usage are ion generators and electrostatic precipitators. Each of these types of air purifiers uses electricity to capture contaminants, but does so in a different way.

With an ion generator, negative ions are generated and dispersed into the air. These negatively-charged particles attach to particles and contaminants in your indoor air, creating a single, negatively-charged particle. The new particles are attracted to the surfaces in your home, and land on them. When you clean the surfaces, the contaminants are removed.

An electrostatic precipitator is a little more specific. With this type of electronic air cleaner, air is pulled into the device and directed to a chamber known as the ionization section. When particles arrive in the ionization section, they are negatively charged; the charged particles are then collected on oppositely-charged metal plates. The metal plates should be cleaned every three months to ensure effective operation of the ion generator.

Which Should I Choose?

Both types of electronic air purifiers can be seamlessly integrated with your current HVAC system, so a lot of your decision will be based on your needs and preferences, and this is where the help of a trained expert comes in. When you work with a trained indoor air quality expert, you will be given the assistance you need to make the best decision for you, your family members and your home. You may want to focus more on controlling allergens, or you may be looking for a more generalized solution.

Whatever your indoor air quality needs may be, the experts at HB Energy Solutions are here to help. Call us today and schedule an appointment today!

How Can a Smart Meter Help My Home?

March 6th, 2015

A big part of reducing your energy usage is knowing how much energy you use on a weekly or monthly basis. But ascertaining exact numbers on your utility usage can be a challenge. One new tool that is making it easier for homeowners to get a handle on their energy usage is the Smart Meter. In fact, these meters are so helpful that in 2012, they became mandatory throughout the state of California. So what does a Smart Meter do that makes it so helpful? Let’s take a look.

What It Is

You are probably wondering what makes a Smart Meter so different, and here is the reason it is different: it reports on your electrical and natural gas usage daily. For residential properties, a Smart Meter reports on electrical usage every hour and gas usage at the end of every day; in commercial properties, electrical usage is reported every 15 minutes (gas reporting stays the same). The Smart Meter reports all this data to your utility company over a secure wireless network, and you can access your energy usage information right online. The Smart Meter can also work with solar energy, so you’ll be able to see in detail how much energy you are using from the power company and how much is generated by your solar panels. This specific information provides a baseline of your energy usage, which allows you to create a plan to reduce your overall energy usage.

What Are the Benefits?

Here are some of the benefits a Smart Meter can offer:

  • Instant outage reporting – because of the two-way communication between your Smart Meter and your utility company, any outage will be reported immediately by the Smart Meter. This helps provide better service from your utility company.
  • Reduce energy usage – having a direct reporting system allows you to see exactly when you may be overusing energy, which will help you to create an effective energy plan for your home or business.
  • Instant notification of over-usage – the Smart Meter can email you, text you or phone you when your energy usage goes too high, alerting you to potential problems with your energy utilities before they can become serious.

A Smart Meter upgrade for your southern Vermont property may be just the tool you’ve been looking for to help reduce your energy usage.

Professional Smart Meter installation is required, so call the experts at HB Energy Solutions today and see how a Smart Meter can help you!

The Importance of Maintenance for Your Boiler

February 27th, 2015

It’s been a long, cold winter here in New England, and it’s not over yet, which means you are continuing to count on your boiler to provide the heat you need. It’s not unusual for your boiler to start showing signs of wear and tear at this time of year, particularly when it’s been tremendously cold, as this year has been, but there’s a great solution that can perk your boiler right up: boiler maintenance for your system in New Hampshire. “Isn’t heater maintenance just for the fall or spring?” you may ask. The answer is no, and when we have harsh winters, it’s always a good idea to schedule a mid-winter maintenance appointment. The heating professionals at HB Energy Solutions are here to assist you with all your boiler needs, so if it’s been more than 12 months since your last boiler maintenance appointment, or your boiler seems sluggish, call our experts today!

Why Maintenance Is Important

There are several reasons why scheduling maintenance for your boiler is important. The first is energy efficiency. Have you noticed that your energy bills are slowly creeping up, or that you are going through fuel much faster than you should? When a heater is worn down from use, it needs more energy to work as expected. Maintenance helps restore energy efficiency because your boiler’s parts are cleaned, adjusted and lubricated, allowing the unit to work optimally. A second reason maintenance is important is that is helps prevent repair. During a maintenance appointment, your boiler goes through a thorough inspection that allows the technician to discover any existing or developing problems and head them off before they can become big issues. A third reason to schedule maintenance is to help extend the life of your system. When your boiler stays in good working order year after year, it has far less a chance of breaking down from premature aging and excessive wear and tear.

Call Us for Maintenance Today

A professional maintenance appointment is a full tune-up for your boiler in New Hampshire, so to gain the benefits maintenance has to offer, it’s always important to hire trained professionals for the job. The heating experts at HB Energy Solutions are ready to help you maintain your boiler, so call us today!

Can a Mid-Winter Maintenance Appointment Prevent The Need For Furnace Repair Down The Road?

February 21st, 2015

It’s been a cold and extra-snowy winter here in Vermont so far, and your furnace may be feeling it. There’s no reason to wait until you need furnace repair for your southern Vermont home to find out; instead, schedule a mid-winter maintenance appointment with your HB Energy Solutions technician and get ahead of potential repairs.

How Maintenance Helps Reduce Repair

There are a few reasons why maintenance can help reduce the level of repair that your furnace may need. The first is that your technician will conduct a thorough inspection of your entire unit. This helps the technician detect any developing or existing problems with the system. If small things are found, like a loose fan belt in the blower or frayed wiring, the technician will repair these items before they can become bigger issues. Another way a mid-winter maintenance appointment can help you get ahead of repairs is the cleaning, lubrication and adjustment aspects of the appointment. Your technician will clean and remove dust and dirt build-up on components, including the burner, and lubricate all moving parts so that no issues of grinding develop. Some components can shift or loosen during regular operation, and maintenance allows the technician to see this kind of issue and re-adjust the component so that it is positioned correctly.

Other Benefits of Mid-Winter Maintenance

Not only does a maintenance appointment help prevent future repair, it also helps with the following:

  • Better energy efficiency – the cleaning, adjusting, lubrication and small repair your system receives during a maintenance appointment allows the system to work optimally, which can help increase its energy efficiency.
  • Better performance – when your system is in good working order, as it will be after a maintenance appointment, you will get better performance from it.
  • Extends life of the equipment – systems that are well-maintained are far less likely to work under stressful conditions, which helps eliminate premature aging.

If you have concerns that your furnace in southern Vermont may be heading for a repair appointment, call HB Energy Solutions today and schedule a maintenance appointment with one of our experts.

Some of the Unusual Movies Released for Valentine’s Day

February 14th, 2015

Hollywood has always tried to match movies up to the seasons to draw droves of viewers to the theaters: October is packed with fright-offerings, while the winter holidays skew toward warm and pleasing family films (as well as Oscar hopefuls). Valentine’s Day falls in an odd spot when it comes to the movie release calendar, however, since February tends to be a slower time for the film industry. The studios are as likely to slot strange movies that don’t fit anywhere else in their annual schedules into the Valentine’s Day weekend as they are films with powerful romantic appeal.

So, while the second weekend of February has featured hugely successful romantic comedies like Hitch, The Wedding Singer, and (of course) Valentine’s Day, some truly weird choices have debuted in this weekend as well. And a few have even gone on to tremendous success despite the bizarre match with the holiday. Here are a couple of the odder Valentine’s Day movie releases:

  • Dracula (1931): Yes, this Halloween perennial and the start of Universal Studio’s Classic Monsters actually came out on Valentine’s Day! But perhaps this makes some sense, as the Dracula legend has often received a “doomed lover” approach in the many years since Bela Lugosi made the aristocratic vampire a screen icon.
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991): Does any film seem less appropriate for Valentine’s Day than this unnerving and sometimes very violent psychological thriller? What’s even more astonishing than the film’s release date is that The Silence of the Lambs eventually nabbed the Oscar for Best Picture, an almost unheard of occurrence for a movie released so early in the year.
  • Daredevil (2003): This Marvel comic adaptation featuring Ben Affleck as a blind superhero does contain a romantic subplot, but the stronger connection to Valentine’s Day may just be that Daredevil wears a bright red costume.
  • A Good Day to Die Hard (2013): The least successful of the Die Hard film franchise, this is an excellent example of a studio dropping a film into a weekend where it doesn’t fit in the hopes that it works as counter-programming. (It didn’t.)
  • Wayne’s World (1992): Now here is an example of counter-programming that clicked with audiences. This comedy based on a Saturday Night Live sketch turned into one of that year’s biggest hits and spawned a sequel.

Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day with a trip to the movie theater, or you have your own special plans, everyone here at HB Energy Solutions hopes you and your loved ones have a wonderful weekend.

What Are My Ductless Heating Options?

February 5th, 2015

Ductless systems have become a great option for many homeowners, whether seeking whole-home heating and cooling or heating and cooling for a new expansion or retrofit. We have some pretty big temperature swings in our part of New England, with summer temps reaching the low 90s and winter temps that run below zero. As such, we’ve chosen two ductless manufacturers whose products can handle our New England whether while also being durable and offering the comfort you need and want from your ductless heating in New Hampshire: Mitsubishi and Fujitsu. We’ll go into more detail about these products below, but know that the experts at HB Energy Solutions are here to help you with all your heating needs.

Mitsubishi Ductless Systems

Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating has been manufacturing heating and cooling products for over 30 years. As one of the leaders in ductless systems, the Mitsubishi brand offers a number of benefits that are specific to their brand:

  • INVERTER-driven compressor system – this compressor starts with a great deal of power to heat or cool quickly, then adjusts its speed as needed, so it operates at variable speeds. This can be a tremendous energy saver for many households
  • i-see Sensor 3D technology – this sensor detects where people are in a room and directs the heating or cooling toward them
  • Can effectively heat to temperatures of -13F and above

Fujitsu Ductless Systems

Fujitsu General has been in the heating and cooling industry for over 35 years. There are many designs to choose from with a Fujitsu system, including wall mounted, Universal floor/ceiling, floor mounted, slim duct, compact cassette, cassette and multi-systems. Some features of the Fujitsu systems are:

  • INVERTER technology
  • Effective operation up to -15F and above
  • Base freeze prevention – certain models are equipped with a base heater that prevents the condensate from freezing

Which Is Best for You?

Each system offers great benefits of heat pumps, including great energy efficiency and long lifespan.

To determine which ductless heating system will work best for your New Hampshire home, call HB Energy Solutions today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.