Archive for October, 2012

Claremont, NH Plumbing Question: When Should You Call a Plumber Immediately?

Monday, October 29th, 2012

No matter how large or small your house is, you cannot underestimate the need for knowing a Claremont plumber to check regularly on the kitchen or toilet pipes or even your entire plumbing system. This can help keep many types of problems from developing.

But no matter what you do, there will still be times when you need to call for emergency repairs. Professional plumbers should be called immediately if you are experiencing plumbing emergencies such as the following:

Plumbing Emergency #1

If your tap starts to flow uncontrollably, the first thing you must do is to shut off the main valve. You can find these valves usually under toilets, sinks or behind water heaters and clothes washers. Once that’s done, call a professional to come and take a look.

Plumbing Emergency #2

For any appliance related fixture or pipe leaks, locate the main valve immediately and shut it off before you call the plumber. If possible, temporarily stop the leak before calling a professional plumber.

Plumbing Emergency #3

If you find there is a leakage in your dishwasher or washing machine, make sure the drainage trap is fully open. Overflow in the appliance could be a result of a partially clogged drain. If that’s not the source of the problem, though, professional help is needed.

Plumbing Emergency #4

Another plumbing emergency that could require you to call the plumber immediately is faucet malfunction. If the faucet does not shut off, find the shutoff valve under the sink and turn it off before calling the plumber to fix the faucet. Never try to repair cartridge faucets on your own. These expensive faucets are advanced and require professionals to do the job.

Plumbing Emergency #5

If there is a problem with the hot water faucet, leave it running, turn off the gas or electricity supplies to the heater and wait till the water cools before touching it. Call a professional plumber to repair the hot water heater thermostat or the faucet, whichever is malfunctioning.

Whatever your plumbing problem in Claremont, NH,  HB Energy Solutions is here to help. Call us today!


Weston, VT Heating Guide: Maintenance for Different Types of Heating Systems

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Whatever heating system you have in your Weston, VT home, whether it’s a furnace, boiler, heat pump or a different kind, regular maintenance has many benefits. Obviously, each system requires a unique checklist for preventative maintenance. We’ve put together a list of some common maintenance items for two of the most popular heating systems: the furnace and the boiler. Having your heating system maintained and professionally repaired on a regular basis can potentially save you money on large scale repairs and on your monthly utility bill.

Furnace Maintenance

A furnace is a simpler piece of equipment than a boiler. Here are some of the things your professional Weston VT heating technician will do during their maintenance visit.

  • Change air filter
  • Clean burners, igniter, flame sensor
  • Test thermostat
  • Lubricate all moving parts including bearings
  • Check ducting
  • Check flue
  • Check heat exchanger for cracks
  • Check flame for proper size

Boiler Maintenance

A boiler is a bit more complicated than a furnace. It requires a different set of maintenance steps as well.

  • Clean flame sensor and burners
  • Test any thermostats
  • Check expansion tank air/water levels
  • Bleed radiators to remove air bubbles
  • Clean and oil the pump

To schedule a heating maintenance visit for your home’s furnace, boiler, or wood burning equipment, give HB Energy Solutions a call today!

Chester VT Heating Guide: How Wood Boilers Work

Monday, October 15th, 2012

People have been using simple indoor wood stoves for a very long time. The idea is very simple. You burn wood inside of a cast iron stove and the heat radiates out into the air while the exhaust from the combustion escapes out of a flue into the air outside. A wood-fired boiler uses a similar concept to provide heat and, in some cases, hot water to your Chester VT home.

The Firebox

Like an indoor wood-burning stove, an outdoor wood boiler uses a firebox to burn wood. The firebox is normally constructed out of a refractory material like fire brick. The wood, or other biomass, is loaded into the firebox and lit.

The Syngas

When wood burns, it releases smoke and a combination of other gases. These gases are called synthesis gas, or syngas for short. In the case of an indoor wood burning stove the process ends here and all of that gas is released to the outdoors through the flue. But an outdoor wood burner actually uses these gases to produce even more heat.

Burning the Syngas

Burning the syngas requires a lot of heat. To achieve enough heat, some wood boilers use an insulated, secondary chamber that burns the gases at temperatures as high as 2000 degree Fahrenheit. This second burning of the syngas allows wood boilers to achieve very high efficiency. By burning the gases and much of the physical fuel there is very little waste product.

The Water Jacket

After the syngas is burned, the heat is transferred to water through a series of heat exchangers that double as the flue. The water is pumped to the house and used to heat the home and provide hot water to the house.

If you have questions about wood boilers and if one might be a good choice for your home in Chester VT, then contact the experts at HB Energy Solutions. Our technicians can answer any questions you might have.

Springfield VT Heating Guide: Heating Water with Solar Energy

Monday, October 8th, 2012

We have put together a list of considerations that you may want to think about as you begin to consider installing a solar water heater in your Springfield VT home.

Solar Water Heaters: The Basics

A solar water heater involves several basic parts: a panel of solar cells to collect heat, a tank of water and a series of coils that transfer the energy from the solar panel to the water. The coils carry a heat transfer liquid, similar to Freon, through the solar panel (solar collector) where it absorbs heat energy from the sun. A pump moves the fluid out of the collector into a series of coils that are inside a water tank. The coils release the heat into the cooler water. The newly heated water rises to the top of the tank where it is pumped into the house.

The Benefits of Solar Water Heaters

One of the obvious benefits of installing a solar water heater is that it can save you money on your utility bills. By using the sun to heat your water instead of paying for the gas or electricity to heat it, you can lower your utility bills. Many people recoup the initial cost of purchase and installation within 10 years. Another benefit of solar water heating is that you can still get hot water if the power goes out (assuming you have an electric water heater). This kind of energy independence is a motivating factor for some families. Lastly, you are no longer vulnerable to energy price fluctuations. No matter the cost of gas or electricity, the price for heating your water will remain steady.

Disadvantages of Solar Water Heaters

Unless you decide to go the do-it-yourself route, the initial investment in a solar hot water heater can be fairly costly. But for a system as important as your hot water, it is worth it to have a professional install the system for you to make sure that everything operates as it should and that you are getting the most cost savings possible. Also, because solar systems need sunlight to work, homes in colder or overcast climates may not experience as much efficiency as they would like. In snowy environments, the solar panels can end up covered in snow. Finally, some solar heaters take longer to heat up the water because they begin to operate when the faucet is turned on.

If you’re interested in learning more about solar water heaters and if they are a good fit for your home in Springfield VT, then call the solar professionals at HB Energy Solutions.

Springfield VT Heating Fuel Guide: Types of Heating Fuels

Monday, October 1st, 2012

HB Energy customers can choose from several different types of heating fuels for delivery. There are also a few different delivery options and payment plans. This makes it easier than ever to get the right heating fuel for your home at a price that fits your budget and with a delivery that’s conveniently timed to accommodate your schedule.

Fuel Delivery Options

The fuels available from HB Energy include Biofuel and #2 home heating oil. These can be delivered either at your discretion or automatically, whichever works better for you. Opting for automatic delivery means that the company monitors your heating fuel usage and delivers once you reach a certain pre-set minimum level. This service is convenient because it means you don’t have to worry about how much fuel you have left, and you can be sure you’ll never run out.

If you’d rather have control over how much heating fuel is delivered to your home and when, you can choose the will call program. This requires you monitor your own heating fuel levels and then call when you need a delivery.

Locking in the Best Price

In addition to these delivery options, there are also a few different ways you can manage the cost of your heating fuel through one of the available price protection plans. If you choose the pre-buy plan, for instance, you pay for all of the fuel you expect to use in the coming year in one lump sum. That means you won’t have to worry about increases in the price of heating fuel throughout the year, as all your fuel has already been paid for.

Another option is a capped price plan in which you agree to pay as you go, but no more than a certain agreed-upon price per gallon. If market fluctuations drive the price of heating fuel down, you’ll pay the reduced rate, but you’ll never pay more than the rate you agreed to pay at the beginning.

If you’d rather pay the same amount every month rather than paying as you go or purchasing all of your fuel up front, you can opt for a budget plan. The per gallon prices under this type of plan are typically a bit higher than under the pre-buy plan, but the help you spread out the cost of your heating fuel throughout the year and make it easier to know exactly what the cost will be each month.

For more information about buying heating fuel in Springfield VT, give HB Energy Solutions a call today!