The Best Type of Garage Heater for Southern Vermont

December 12th, 2014

Many people use their garage as an extra space to work in, rather than as a place to park their cars. You may use your garage, shed, or alternative detached structure as a workshop for woodworking or automotive repair, crafting, or even as a play area for the children. When winter hits in Southern Vermont, these activities should not have to cease. You can find a few different options for garage heating, and we’d like to help you decide on the best choice for you.

At HB Energy Solutions, we believe one of the best units available for heating a garage or any similar space in this climate is the Hot Dawg gas-fired garage heater. This heater has many special features including a 10-year warranty, quick installation, and quiet operation. It can run on natural gas or propane and features a flexible, low-profile design. The standard version is power vented to the outdoors, but you can get additional features if you choose a separated combustion unit.

The separated combustion unit offers several added benefits so that you don’t have to breathe in stale indoor air that may contain dangerous chemicals or other contaminants. The fan in a separated combustion heater draws in air from the outdoors instead of from the space around the unit. This can help to make the air feel more comfortable and control humidity levels. Besides eliminating some toxins from the air, these units also offer an increased AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating and greater durability.

You can still add ventilation to your garage with a separate heat recovery ventilator, even if you choose the standard power-exhausted Hot Dawg models. When you install a heat recovery ventilator, a fan draws in air from the outside and preheats it so that the stale indoor air can vent outside.

When you need garage heaters in Southern Vermont, the people at HB Energy Solutions are here to help. We are proud to offer Hot Dawg garage heaters for installation, and we’re happy to help you come up with a good system for ventilation as well.

Give our office a call today!

Tips for Maintaining the Electrical Wiring in Your Home

December 4th, 2014

Your number one concern in your home is safety, which is why the electrical system in your home should never be neglected. You use electricity for so many of the tasks you complete throughout the day, and, while it’s generally reliable, there is a safety risk attached when you are dealing with wiring. To protect the electrical components of your home and to protect your safety, follow some of the following tips that can improve the safety of any whole house electrical systems in New Hampshire.

  • Perform a Visual Check: Never ignore a perceived problem with your electrical system—no matter how small. Look for damage in the cables, overloaded sockets, malfunctioning equipment, flickering lights, or other problems that signal something is not quite right. Call a skilled electrician to ask what should be done about your particular issue.
  • Consider a Service Panel Upgrade: You may consider upgrading your service panel if you have an older home or if you’ve had a lot of problems with the service panel in the past. Older homes were not built to handle the amount of electrical appliances we use today. Because your home wasn’t meant to handle the voltage you require, you may blow a fuse (in older service panels) or trip the circuit breakers frequently. In this case, a new panel is often your best bet.
  • Only Allow Experts to Work on Your Home: One of the best ways to make sure the electrical components of your home are in top shape is to make sure you never trust a job to amateurs. Electrical wiring jobs can be dangerous, and faulty wiring can lead to fire hazards or even smaller problems like high energy bills and frequent outages.
  • Schedule Routine Maintenance: Finally, you should schedule routine maintenance to ensure that all of the parts of your electrical system are working as they should. Electrical maintenance is key to keeping your home safe, comfortable, and efficient.

Call HB Energy Solutions for any type of repairs, installation, or maintenance on whole house electrical systems in New Hampshire or to get valuable safety information about your electrical equipment.

10 Facts You Should Know about Thanksgiving

November 27th, 2014

Thanksgiving has been celebrated as an official holiday in the United States for over 150 years, so you may think you understand all there is to know about this family feast. Most of us have heard the story of the pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving in 1621 after arriving in North America on the Mayflower. But did you know that only about half of the people on this ship were actually pilgrims? This fact is one of ten things that may actually surprise you about the Thanksgiving tradition!

  1. Although we often consider Thanksgiving a holiday unique to the United States, many other countries and cultures celebrate their own set of harvest-time and thanksgiving traditions. In Korea, Chu-Sok (or “fall evening”) is put on in remembrance of forefathers on August 15th of every year. Brazil celebrates a contemporary version of the U.S. holiday. Chinese, Roman, and Jewish cultures all have a history of harvest celebrations as well.
  2. President Harry S. Truman began the tradition of a ceremony held before Thanksgiving during which the president receives a turkey. George H.W. Bush was the first to pardon the turkey instead of eating it.
  3. In Minnesota alone, farmers raise over 40 million turkeys a year. In fact, U.S. farmers produce about one turkey for every one person in the country.
  4. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the average American will gain about one to two pounds every year during the holiday season.
  5. On the other hand, turkey is naturally high in protein and has been known to support and boost immune systems to protect against illness and speed up healing. So feast on!
  6. Abraham Lincoln issued a “Thanksgiving Proclamation” in 1863, but a woman named Sarah Josepha Hale can be credited with the idea. While Thanksgiving had been celebrated at different times of year in many areas of the U.S. for years, it was Hale, prominent magazine editor and author of the rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” who urged Lincoln to finally establish the national event.
  7. President Franklin D Roosevelt once tried to change the date of Thanksgiving to the second-to-last Thursday of the month in order to extend the holiday shopping season and boost the economy.
  8. Only about half of the people on the Mayflower were what we would consider today as “Pilgrims.” The other (approximately) 50 people were simply trying to find a way over to the New World.
  9. Gobble, gobble! Click, click? While male turkeys make a gobbling noise, females (hens) do not; it’s often described as a clicking.
  10. Even though we celebrate Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November, the month of June has been declared National Turkey Lovers’ Month by the National Turkey Federation so you can continue the celebration in the summer as well!

From our family here at HB Energy Solutions, we’d like to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

How to Choose the Right Technician for Commercial Refrigeration Services

November 17th, 2014

Your commercial property depends on high-performance commercial refrigeration systems and appliances to keep business running as smoothly as possible. If your commercial cooler, ice machine, or refrigerator is on the fritz and needs repair or replacement, or if you’re looking into purchasing commercial equipment for the first time, you want to make sure you choose a quality contractor so that the most integral equipment to your business is protected from damage. So how do you choose the right contractor for the job? We’ll go over some of the things to look out for and ask about in this guide.

Steps to Choosing a Quality Technician

  • Make sure the contractor carries and distributes a wide range of products for installation. First, search through the website or ask your contractor what types of equipment they service and install, to make sure the range of products you need serviced or may need to purchase in the future are covered.
  • Ask about the various types of services they perform. Right now, you may only need a company to install or repair a single piece of equipment. However, you should try to make sure your company offers additional services you may need in the future, so that you won’t have to search around for another company when the time comes. You should especially consider choosing a contractor that offers routine maintenance, so that you can call on them to clean, inspect, and adjust your system every year and prevent repairs.
  • Find a company that offers 24-hour emergency service. Some companies offer 24-hour emergency services as well. Repair needs can occur at any time of night, and a broken refrigeration system in the middle of the night can mean big trouble for your commercial property.
  • Request an estimate. Finally, a quality contractor stands by their pricing, so make sure you can get a free estimate before the work begins.

HB Energy Solutions is a company committed to quality customer service. We offer a 100% guarantee on our work, free estimates, and free second opinions so that you know the full price of our work before we begin.

To speak with a knowledgeable customer representative about commercial refrigeration in Southern Vermont at any time of day, give our team a call!

What to Expect During Gas Piping Installation

November 10th, 2014

Natural gas is one of the most popular fuel types for home use. It can be used for multiple home appliances, including your home heating system. Many homes are connected to a main natural gas line, but not all are. If your home is not currently connected to a gas line, and you want access to the natural gas in your area, it’s time to call HB Energy Solutions and schedule gas piping installation in New Hampshire.

Initial Steps Before Installation

There are a few steps that need to be taken before our HB Energy Solutions technicians can install your natural gas piping. The first step is pinpointing the exact location of the natural gas main line closest to your home. Next, our technicians will conduct a site survey. During a site survey, the heating load for your home is calculated, your current heating system is evaluated and the amount of gas piping needed for your home is determined. Once this information is determined, it has to be relayed to the gas company; additionally, permits have to be obtained for the installation before any work can proceed.

Installation

Before any digging can begin, all public utilities will be marked off so that all digging is safe. As the homeowner, it is important that you mark off any private utilities, such as underground sprinkler systems, etc. Once the utilities are marked off, a date will be set to install the piping and your gas meter.

It is important that correctly-sized piping is used for your gas installation. This is because every gas appliance has a minimum input demand in BTUs per hour. On the day of installation, any appliances that are being replaced with a gas appliance will be turned off, disconnected and removed from your home. Trenches are dug and the piping is assembled and laid into the ground. When the piping reaches the exterior of your home, it will connect to the meter, which is still not operational. Your city inspector needs to inspect the piping and the connection to the meter to ensure all is in order; when the outside piping is approved, the meter can be activated. Now the focus of the installation moves to the inside of your home: the technicians will install the interior gas piping and equipment, which also needs to be inspected. Once this inspection is complete, your new gas line and meter are activated for use. 

Gas piping installation in New Hampshire should only be handled by experts. If you are looking to connect your home to natural gas, call HB Energy Solutions today!

The Features of ENERGY KING Wood Furnaces

November 3rd, 2014

If you need a new heating system, there are a lot of unique options available for your consideration. One type of reliable heating system that homeowners often overlook is the wood furnace. Wood furnaces are often utilized for outdoor heating, but an indoor wood furnace from ENERGY KING offers low cost heating and all-around comfort for your home. Let’s take a look at some of the many features of these heating system.

  • Energy Independence: With a wood furnace, you no longer have to depend on on the unreliable and often high cost of natural gas or electricity.
  • Efficiency: ENERGY KING wood furnaces are quite efficient due to a few key features that ensure most of the heat the furnace produces enters your home. A superheated secondary combustion, for example, allows gases and particulates to ignite when they would have otherwise escaped through the chimney.
  • Durability: ENERGY KING wood furnaces are built by experienced and certified welders which indicates the highest quality, durability, and safety.
  • Environmentally Friendly: Burning wood is environmentally friendly because, although it releases CO2, the effect is no different than as if the trees had died and rotted.
  • Thermostatically-Controlled Automatic Draft: All of ENERGY KING’s wood furnaces come standard with an automatic draft, which automatically opens and closes the draft damper in order to control the burn rate. You can also use a manual damper whenever you need it.
  • Insulated Cabinet: The insulated cabinet prevents heat from moving into the room instead of into your home where it belongs, increasing efficiency.
  • Removable Ash Pan: One final important part is the removable ash pan, which simplifies the process of cleaning ash accumulation from time to time.

A wood furnace is the perfect heating system for many homes, but it may not necessarily be the right choice for you. For whatever heating system you choose, you’ll need a professional to choose the proper sized unit for your home and provide skilled installation services.

Talk to one of the professionals at HB Energy Solutions to find out more about your options for wood furnaces in Southern Vermont.

How Ductless Heating Systems Work

October 27th, 2014

Ductless systems have been around for a while, having been used primarily in commercial spaces, but over the last decade they’ve become very popular with homeowners. While many people think of cooling when they think of ductless systems, they can heat just as well as they can cool. In addition to offering both heating and cooling, ductless systems offer other benefits, which may make ductless heating and cooling in New Hampshire a good option for your home. HB Energy Solutions offers many kind of heating systems, and our technicians have a great deal of experience with ductless systems. Contact us today.

How Ductless Systems Heat

Ductless systems use heat pump technology to offer both heating and cooling to your home. The main component that allows the system to provide heating and cooling is the reversing valve. This valve changes the direction of the refrigerant flow, which is how the system changes modes. A small electrical component called a solenoid allows the valve slide from one position to another, and the control for switching modes is on your home’s thermostat.

Benefits of Ductless Heating

As we’ve discussed, one of the main benefits of installing a ductless system is that it offers both heating and cooling. But there are some other benefits worth considering:

  • Energy efficiency – a heat pump does not use any fossil fuels to operate, and uses about 25% of the electricity that a whole-home air conditioner uses. As such, heat pumps are very energy efficient.
  • Easy installation – a ductless system has simple components: an outdoor unit, indoors blowers (up to 4 per outdoor unit) and a conduit that connects the blowers to the outdoor unit. Installation is pretty straightforward: the indoor blower is mounted and connected to the outdoor unit via a conduit drilled into an exterior wall.
  • Customized comfort – each blower operates individually, allowing you to customize your comfort per room.

If you are looking for a heating system that can also keep you cool and that is very energy efficient, it may be time to consider the installation of ductless heating in New Hampshire.

If you think a ductless system is a good fit for your home, call HB Energy Solutions today and schedule an appointment with one of our installation experts.

How Does a Heat Recovery Ventilator Work?

October 20th, 2014

Vermont gets very cold in the winter, as anyone here can tell you. Making your home more energy efficient with good windows and doors, insulation, and a well-maintained heating system can make a big difference in heating bills. Unfortunately, it can also cut down the ventilation in your home, making it challenging to have clean air circulating inside. Good ventilation is important to your health, and opening a window during a Vermont winter is really not an option. What is a great option is a heat recovery ventilator in Southern Vermont. Also known as an HRV, this device not only helps to greatly improve your indoor ventilation, it also improves your energy efficiency, all at the same time. The trained experts at HB Energy Solutions are ready to help you this winter with all your heating and ventilation needs, so call us today.

What Is an HRV?

An HRV is a ventilation device that can be added to your HVAC system or mounted to an exterior wall – it just needs a direct air supply. The HRV works by exhausting the stale, warm air from your indoors to the outside while bringing in the cool, fresh air from the outside. In the heat exchanger, which is the core of the HRV, the heat energy from the outgoing air is applied to the incoming fresh air, pre-heating it before it enters your HVAC system. This pre-treats the incoming air, warming it up so your HVAC system doesn’t have to. The two air streams never mix, so there is no chance of cross-contamination.

Why Install an HRV?

Here are some of the benefits an HRV can offer your home:

  • Improved energy efficiency – as we mentioned above, an HRV can help improve your energy efficiency because it pre-heats the incoming fresh air. This takes some of the burden off your HVAC system to heat your home, which can result in less energy usage.
  • Improved indoor air quality – an HRV provides a continuous, fresh stream of air for your home, and filters it before it becomes a part of your indoor air flow. This helps improve your indoor air quality.
  • Less wear on your system – during excessively cold weather, your system has to work harder to achieve your set temperature. An HRV does some of the work ahead of your HVAC system, allowing it to operate normally, which can reduce the level of wear and tear.

If you’ve been looking for a way to overcome the winter cold without blowing your heating budget, it may be time to consider the installation of heat recovery ventilator in South Vermont.

For more information on heat recovery ventilators, contact HB Energy Solutions today and let one of our indoor air quality experts help you!

Why Is My Boiler Leaking Water?

October 13th, 2014

In general, a boiler is an extremely reliable heating system that requires little repair over time. Boilers work by heating water and circulating it through a set of pipes and to a baseboard or radiant heat exchanger, such as a radiator or radiant floor heating system. Boilers can be very efficient, and radiant heating may be more comfortable than a forced air furnace.

Because boilers have few mechanical parts, they may not need as many repairs as other types of heating systems. However, with any type of system that involves the use of water, there is a risk of water leaking from time to time. If your boiler is leaking water, there may be many causes. A technician will check for the following problems when you call for heating system repair.

  • High Water Pressure: The expansion tank in your boiler helps protect it from problems caused by excessive water pressure. Your boiler is meant to keep water at a steady pressure level, but if there is a problem with this tank, water may leak from your unit. Luckily, the pressure relief valve safely releases water in the event of high pressure. A leaky pressure relief valve requires immediate repair.
  • Improper Installation: Unfortunately, some leaks occur simply because the system was not installed by expert heating installers. If this is the case, a technician may need to repair the fittings around the tank and solder any faulty connections. Unfortunately, major problems brought on by poor installation may require replacement.
  • Corrosion: If your boiler is leaking due to rust and corrosion, you may need a new unit entirely. While some leaks can be fixed, rust and corrosion generally means your boiler is too old, and there is simply no way to prevent further corrosion. Luckily, boilers are built to resist corrosion, so it should take a long time for rust to affect your system.

Leaks can damage the foundation of your home, lead to reduced heating, or cause mold or mildew to develop, so be sure to call a technician as soon as you suspect a problem.

For professional heating system repair throughout New Hampshire, call the expert heating team at HB Energy Solutions today!

How Does Solar Heating Work?

October 6th, 2014

In the continuing struggle to find viable forms of alternative energy, solar has taken the lead as having the most promise. More and more people are installing solar panels on their homes to supplement their traditional heating systems. What most people don’t know is how solar heating actually works. Let’s take a look at some of the most common options for solar heating.

Liquid Solar Heating

Similar to other heating systems, solar heating is split into liquid and forced air methods. Liquid solar heating is a radiant heating system, using pipes to distribute hot water throughout the house. These pipes then radiate the heat up through the floor boards or through the walls. Radiators and baseboard heaters are also common.

Rather than using a boiler to heat the water, solar heating collects thermal energy directly from a sun. Solar panels are usually mounted on the roof or a south-facing wall for maximum exposure during the day. The thermal energy collected by the solar panel is then directed to a solar storage unit, which heats the water and distributes it.

Like all solar systems, this kind of heating becomes less effective if access to sunlight is limited. Some storage units can serve as backup water heaters. You may still have difficulty heating enough water if demand is high during evenings or overcast days, though.

Forced Air Heating

Forced air solar heating works much the same way as other forced air systems. The solar panel on the outside of the house collects and uses thermal energy to warm the air in a collector unit. The collector then circulates the air throughout the house using an electric fan. Ducts are obviously required for this kind of heating if you want to heat more than one room.

Forced air solar systems tend to collect slightly more thermal energy than thermal systems. However, this advantage is usually balanced out by water being a much better medium for thermal energy than air is.

If you are interested in learning more about solar heating, contact HB Energy Solutions. We operate all over the Southern Vermont area.