Archive for March, 2014

The 2 Types of Sump Pumps

Friday, March 28th, 2014

A sump pump is often a necessary tool for homes that suffer from moisture entering the basement due to a high water table. They are also invaluable during heavy rains when additional water can flood into the lower parts of a home. An effective sump pump will protect your basement from the growth of mold, mildew, wood rot, and prevent other kinds of damage that water and humidity can cause to building material.

A sump pump must have professional installation to make sure that it works correctly, has an adequate sump (water collection pit) excavated, and connects to a waste line for water removal. You also need to have professionals help you decide on the type and size of sump pump you need. There are two basic sump pump types: the pedestal sump pump and the submersible sump pump. They both have advantages and disadvantages, so you will need the assistance of a plumbing professional to help you choose the right one for your home.

For sump pump installation, repairs, and maintenance, call on the company with 21 years of experience working on plumbing in New Hampshire, HB Energy Solutions.

Pedestal sump pumps

The first type of sump pump sits above the sump on a specially-constructed pedestal. A hose from the pump runs down into the sump, and an impeller motor in the pump draws the water up and removes it. These kinds of sump pumps are easier to repair because they’re exposed, and they also cost less than submersible pumps and endure longer. However, pedestal pumps need to work harder to overcome gravity when drawing water, and they are less effective at dealing with the large amounts of water that can come from rain flooding.

Submersible sump pumps

As the name implies, submersible sump pumps sit down inside the sump itself beneath the surface of the water. They draw water directly into intake valves. To prevent water damage, the motor is sealed inside a water-proof container. Submersible pumps are less obtrusive and take up less space in your basement, and they operate more quietly because they are submerged underwater. They pump faster than pedestal pumps and will do a better job for basements that encounter more serious flooding. However, they cost more than pedestal pumps and will require more repair work because of their exposure to water.

You will not only need professionals to help you choose and install the proper sump pump for your basement, you will also need them to regularly maintain the pump (especially a submersible pump). Call HB Energy Solutions for the skilled plumbing service in New Hampshire that will keep your basement dry with the right sump pump.

Why Install a Wood Stove

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Wood stoves are centuries old and continue to provide reliable heating for communities all over the world. Installation isn’t expensive and can provide an excellent auxiliary form of heating as well as a number of other advantages. Why install a wood stove? We have several answers that we think you’ll agree with.

  • Efficient. Wood stoves provide an excellent and inexpensive form of heat. They require nothing more than wood to run, which means you can use them when the power goes out, and because of their nature, they are much more efficient at distributing heat than traditional fireplaces. That makes them a quick, cheap and easy way to keep warm during the winter.
  • Environmentally friendly. Wood stoves produce up to 70% less particle pollution than fireplaces according to the EPA, as well as dropping CO2 and methane emissions to a minimum. All of that comes on top of the fact that they consume no fossil fuels and don’t require electricity. That makes them a very eco-friendly option to warm your home.
  • Safer. Wood stoves cut down on the build-up of creosote in the chimney, making them a safer option for heating than fireplaces.
  • Cozy and romantic. The aesthetic value of a wood stove cannot be underestimated, especially in a snug cabin or home on a cold winter’s night. Wood stoves provide an easy gathering place for the family, as well as a spot for a romantic dinner. All of that helps improve the resale value of your home, providing an easy selling point when the time comes to sell the house.

For more information on why you should install a wood stove, or to schedule installation in Southern Vermont or New Hampshire, contact the experts at HB Energy Solutions. We have years of experience and we’re dedicated to your complete satisfaction throughout every step of your wood stove installation. Pick up the phone and give us a call to set up a consultation today. You’ll be glad you did!

It’s Not Just Lightning! Causes of Power Surges

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Power surges are both inconvenient and potentially damaging to your house and possessions. They can cause a loss of power in your home, and will inflict injury on appliances—particularly complex devices like computers and home entertainment systems. You want to do as much as you can to protect your home and possession from surges along the power lines.

It’s a popular misconception that power surges are only catastrophic events that occur because of storms and downed power lines. These will indeed cause surges—but there are other, more common causes. And power surges don’t have to be major events; they can occur numerous times during a day without you noticing them. To help guard against these surges, contact our technicians in all things electrical in Southern Vermont at HB Energy Solutions.

What causes power surges?

  • Catastrophic events: We’ll start with the most obvious ones. Lightning storms can cause massive overloads when a bolt strikes near a power line. A lightning bolt can boost electrical pressure by millions of volts, and that’s enough to overpower almost any system—as well as local plug-in surge protectors.
  • Electrical demand from high-powered appliances: Lightning is one of the less common causes of power surges. The most common is from sudden demands on your power from a large system like an air conditioner or a refrigerator. When one of these appliances makes a large power demand, it upsets the steady voltage flow of the system. You may barely notice this (a slight dimming of lights), but it will cause cumulative damage to other appliances throughout your home.
  • Faulty wiring: When you experience a more severe power surge (one not due to a storm) leading to an outage, the cause could be trouble with the wiring somewhere in your home. This is a serious problem because of the potential for fire damage, so contact an electrician to see where the faults are and have the necessary re-wiring done.

Whole-house Surge Protection

You should definitely have power strips for your important devices, such as your computer. However, you need to have extra protection from surges, and only whole-house surge protectors in your breaker boxes and circuit panels can do the full job. You will need electricians to install this for you. For electrical services in Southern Vermont, trust to the over two decades of experience at HB Energy Solutions.

What Type of Boiler Is Best for New Hampshire?

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Boilers come in many different model types that can use a variety of fuel sources. Although the boilers most commonly found in homes today use natural gas power, boilers can also use electricity and oil. Even wood-powered boilers are still around, and they aren’t antiques: technological advances can make wood and wood pellet boilers efficient and attractive options for heating in New Hampshire.

If you want to know which choice of boiler will provide you with optimal heating, we can’t give you a basic answer—at least, not yet. Your home has specific needs when it comes to heating, and your plans for saving money and helping the environment and the local economy will also affect how you should heat your home. We can give you a better answer if you schedule an appointment with us to assess your home. Call HB Energy Solutions today and find out about the types of boilers available.

Here’s a short guide to some of the boilers we install:

Natural gas boilers

If you have a natural gas line into your home, a gas-powered boiler makes for a great heating option. Natural gas burns cleanly and efficiently, is domestically produced, and you’ll always have a ready supply of fuel available. Gas boilers can score extremely high AFUE (efficiency) ratings, which means you’ll receive large energy savings.

Oil-fired boilers

If you don’t have a natural gas line, you can have an oil-fired boiler installed. Older oil-burning boilers had lower efficiency ratings and created higher levels of pollution, but modern advances have made oil-fired boilers much more efficient than ever before, and many earn the U.S. Department of Energy’s ENERGY STAR label for their fuel-efficient performance and clean-burning.

Wood boilers

They sound terribly antiquated, but contemporary wood boilers have the advantage of using a renewable and locally available fuel supply, and they are one of the most environmentally friendly ways to heat a home. Wood gasification combustion technology means wood boilers have competitive efficiency ratings as well.

Pellet boilers

These boilers use compressed wood pellets to increase their efficiency and clean burning. Some models allow for bulk fuel storage so you won’t need to spend as much time maintaining the wood supply.

You have many choices when it comes to boilers, but don’t worry about having a daunting time picking a type. If you contact professionals in home heating, they can help you narrow the field to the boilers that will work best with your home and your available fuel. You will need to have professionals size and install the unit as well, so make sure you have them involved from the start.

To find your best choice for heating in New Hampshire, contact HB Energy Solutions and talk to one of our experienced specialists today.