Archive for November, 2013

The History of Thanksgiving

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Thanksgiving is upon us: a time to get together with relatives, eat some great food, watch a little football or the parade, and stop to appreciate the good things we have in life. Beyond all that, however, there’s a fascinating history to the holiday and its traditions.

The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 in the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts. Records are spotty at the time, but indicate that the harvest was particularly good that year due to help from the local Native Americans. The meal was probably much different than the one we’re used to, with venison and fish more likely than turkey, but the general principle was unchanged.

It wasn’t a few centuries later, however, that Thanksgiving became an annual tradition. George Washington called for a “national day of Thanksgiving” in 1789, and again in 1795, but they were both “one shot” declarations, rather than a call for an annual tradition. Individual cities and states picked up the ball, but it wasn’t until 1863 that Thanksgiving became a national once-a-year event. President Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November to be a Thanksgiving “to heal the wounds of the nation and restore it.”

From there, it remained a tradition until Franklin Roosevelt signed a law in December of 1941 making it a federal holiday. The law also changed the date from the last Thursday in November to the fourth Thursday in November, making it a little earlier in some cases (which Roosevelt hoped would give the country an economic boost).

Wherever you celebrate the holiday and whoever you choose to celebrate it with, we wish you nothing but happiness and joy this Thanksgiving.  

Introducing: The HB Energy Solutions Rewards Program!

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

To thank our customers for their continued loyalty, we created a customer rewards program. Earn HB Reward Bucks simply by doing business with us. Upon final completion and payment of a project, big or small, 5% of the total cost will be added to your customer reward fund in the form of HB Bucks. HB Bucks can be used for the future purchase of any HB product or service. Every delivered gallon of fuel oil or propane will earn 2 cents for your reward fund, and every ton of wood pellets purchased will earn 2 dollars for your reward fund.

A great feature of our reward program is that HB Bucks can be transferred to another customer. For instance, you could use your HB Bucks to help a family member pay for oil, or a friend pay for a pellet stove, or a septic tank pumping, etc. You can also show your support for a local charity or religious organization by donating some or all of your HB Bucks for their benefit! To learn more about our customer Rewards Program call our office at 802-885- 2300.

New Hampshire Plumbing Guide: What Is a Well Pump?

Monday, November 18th, 2013

If your home is removed from a municipal water supply, then you likely have a well serving your needs for running water. Or you may have moved into an older home that already uses a well as its source for water. Regardless of the reason for having a well, you require the action of a well pump to provide you with the water you use daily for bathing, drinking, cooking, and household chores.

If you need repairs for your well pump—or any other troubles with your plumbing in New Hampshire—look to a company with more than two decades of experience: HB Energy Solutions.

What exactly is a well pump and how does it operate? Most of the ones used today are submersible pumps, also known as electric submersible pumps (ESP): they sit completely submerged inside the water of the well. The advantage of a submersible pump is that it doesn’t need to pull fluids via suction like a jet pump; it achieves much higher efficiency by pushing the water instead.

The pump contains a motor inside hermetic sealing so it won’t receive water damage. Along the bottom of the unit are the electrical connections that hook it to the power source above ground. The pump itself is a stacked series of impellers above this lower section. Water enters the bottom of the pump through an intake screen, where the centrifugal force of the impellers forces the water through a pipe and into the plumbing system of your home.

Because well pumps operate out of sight underground, people frequently don’t think about them and imagine they will run forever. But well pumps can begin to wear down with age. If you notice a slow but steady decrease in water pressure throughout your home, then the well pump may have reached the point where it will need replacement.

However, trouble with a well pump doesn’t necessarily mean the whole unit must be replaced. Sometimes professional repairs will get it working again. Because the pump is submerged inside a deep well (often 100-300 feet below the surface), it needs a pro to retrieve it and perform the necessary repairs. HB Energy Solutions has experience with well pumps and all kinds of repairs for plumbing in New Hampshire. If you suspect your well pump has issues that need an expert to remedy, contact HB Energy Solutions any time of the day or night.

Pros and Cons of Different Heating Fuels

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

When it comes to picking out a heating system from among the various options—furnaces, boilers, heat pumps—one of the main considerations to keep in mind is the variety of heating fuels available. Most types of heaters run from different fuels depending on the model. For example, furnaces can use natural gas, electricity, propane, or oil.

If your home is already hooked up to a particular fuel source, then you will probably want to match your heating system to it. However, you will still have some flexibility, so to help you out with your choice, we’ll list the pros and cons of the most common kinds of heating fuels.

Contact HB Energy Solutions when you need further help making the important choices for heating in your New Hampshire home. We have more than 20 years of experience with installing heaters of all types.


  • Pros: Electricity offers the cleanest option of the fuels, since it creates no emissions. Electrical systems are usually the easiest and least costly to install. Since electricity is already a basic part of your home, electrical heating systems are always a choice.
  • Cons: Electricity usually costs more than other fuels, and therefore electrical heaters can cost much more to keep your home comfortable during the coldest months.

Natural gas

  • Pros: Gas offers some of the highest efficiency of any of the fuels, with many heaters returning more than 90% of their gas source as heating power. You can expect lowered heating bills with natural gas at work for you.
  • Cons: There is some (albeit minor) risk of carbon monoxide leaks and explosions.

Oil and Propane

  • Pros: Neither fuel poses the same explosive combustion risk of natural gas, or toxic leaking. Because you store and use oil and propane from independent suppliers, there are no monthly fees involved.
  • Cons: You have to plan ahead to purchase the fuel, and you store it on the premises (unlike natural gas, which is piped in). Oil and propane tend to be less efficient than natural gas, although they still tend to be less expensive to heat with than electric systems.

Of course, there are also other fuel types beyond these most common ones, including bio diesel and wood pellets.

Regardless of the different advantages and disadvantages of these fuels sources, the one that will work best for you depends on your home. This is why you should have experts involved in the installation process from the beginning; they can help you select a heating system and fuel source that will match your home’s needs as well as your long-term energy budget. When you need quality installation for your heating in New Hampshire, look to the experience of HB Energy Solutions.

Benefits of Heating with Wood Pellets in Southern Vermont

Monday, November 4th, 2013

In Southern Vermont, wood pellets make an excellent alternative form of heating, whether you use them in furnaces, boilers, inserts or old-fashioned stoves. Pellet heating goes hand-in-hand with a cozy home on a cold winter’s day, providing a romantic atmosphere in addition to reliable heat. But that’s only one of the advantages the fuel source provides. Here are some of the other benefits of heating with wood pellets in Southern Vermont.

  • Ease of use. Wood pellet stoves usually have a fuel hopper to store the pellets until you need to burn them, and they have a feeder device which drops the pellets into the combustion chamber. This allows a slow and steady burn all day without you needing to manually add pellets. Pellet stoves usually only need to be refueled once a day.
  • Clean burning. Wood pellets are dry and tightly compressed, which means they burn cleaner than normal wood. They also don’t create as much smoke and they give off less creosote (which can coat your chimney and eventually create a fire hazard), making them much friendlier to the environment than wood-burning fireplaces.
  • Less expensive. Wood pellet stoves use very little energy, which means they cost you a little more than the price of the pellets themselves to operate. That’s an immense savings here in Southern Vermont, where the winters get cold and the snows piles on thick.

The best part is that wood pellet burners can be readily installed by qualified service technicians, leaving them ready for use by the time autumn turns to winter. To help reap the benefit of heating with wood pellets in Southern Vermont, contact the experts at HB Energy Solutions. We can match a pellet stove, furnace or boiler to suit your house, and then install it with your complete satisfaction in mind. Maintenance and repair programs are available as well, so don’t hesitate to give us a call and set up an appointment.