Archive for September, 2014

What are the Benefits of Wood Pellet Conversion?

Monday, September 29th, 2014

If you have been looking for a way to make your home heating more green and energy efficient, you may want to consider a wood pellet conversion in New Hampshire. This simple process allows you to swap out the oil burner in your heating system for a wood-pellet burner so that you can heat your entire home using wood pellets. Seem easy? It is – for our Pellergy-trained and certified technicians. If you’ve been looking to convert to wood pellets for your central heating, call HB Energy Solutions today.

How Does a Conversion Work?

There are four main components to a wood pellet heating system: the burner, a hopper (where the pellets are stored) a conveyor, (which feeds the pellets into the burner), and a controller that works with your home’s thermostat to tell the heating system when to turn on and off.

The conversion happens with the burner: the burner is taken out of your boiler or furnace and replaced with a wood pellet burner. The hopper can be as large or small as you like, and may hold enough pellets for a week or a month. The converted system can also work with other existing pellet appliances, like pellet stoves.

What Are the Benefits of Converting?

Here are some benefits of converting your central heating fuel source to wood pellets:

  • Save in fuel costs – it’s estimated that homeowners can save anywhere between 25-40% in annual fuel costs by converting to wood pellets.
  • No permanent modification – should you need or want to go back to your previous fuel type, you can.
  • Very environmentally-friendly – wood pellets are carbon neutral and release very little greenhouse gases.
  • Available fuel supply – wood pellets are readily available at various retail outlets.
  • Can be used with different distribution outlets – wood pellet heating systems can be used for radiators, baseboard radiators and radiant floor heating.
  • Can be used with different heating systems – wood pellets can be retro-fitted for both furnaces and boilers.

Wood pellet heating systems do need to have the ash vacuumed once a week to ensure proper operation and the hopper needs to be filled regularly.

If you’ve been thinking of moving forward with a wood pellet conversion in New Hampshire, call HB Energy Solutions today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts today.


Does My Furnace Need Repair, or Is It Time for a Replacement?

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Whether to replace or repair a furnace is a question we hear a lot during the fall. Fall is a good time to replace, if that’s what’s needed, but you should first assess whether or not your furnace needs replacing. There are some key factors to consider when deciding whether or not to replace your current heating system, and we’ve outlined them below. Whether you need replacement or repair for your furnace in southern Vermont, HB Energy Solutions has the trained technicians to assist you with all your heating needs.

Signs It May Be Time for Replacement

There are some telltale signs that it may be time for you to replace your current heating system:

  • Constant repairs – did you make a lot of repairs to your system last winter, and are facing more this year? Repair costs can add up, sometimes to the cost of a new system. It may be worth looking at where your money is better spent.
  • Rust, cracking and corroding components – it is normal for your system to incur some general wear and tear, but if you are seeing clear signs of physical breakage, it may be time to consider a replacement. Cracking and corroding parts can be dangerous – carbon monoxide may be able to escape from them – and it isn’t always possible to repair or replace the broken areas.
  • High energy bills – did you see high energy bills last winter, despite not changing how you use your heating system? Decreased energy efficiency is a symptom of a poorly-performing system.
  • Age – the average lifespan for a furnace or boiler is about 15 years. If your system is over this age, and is experiencing any of the above problems, you may be better off investing in a new heater.
  • Decreased comfort – an aging system may no longer be able to meet your heating needs. This is usually indicated by hot and cold spots in your home, or an inability to achieve the set temperature. If your heater is not operating effectively, it may be time to consider a replacement.

The best way to truly assess whether it’s best to replace or repair your furnace in southern Vermont is to work with an expert.

For all your furnace repair needs call HB Energy Solutions today and make an appointment with one of our heating specialists.

Finding the Right Company to Use for Whole House Plumbing Installation

Monday, September 15th, 2014

If you are building a new home, or you live in an older home with outdated galvanized steel plumbing, you will need to have professionals handle your whole house plumbing installation. This is a large job—probably the largest job you will ever need to call a plumbing company to handle—so you must make sure you bring in the best plumbing experts you can, people who will get the work done fast and accurately, leaving behind no impending repair problems.

Here are some tips on how to pick the right plumbing contractor to install whole house plumbing systems in Southern Vermont. We think that after you look around, you will decide that the best company to call is HB Energy Solutions.

Making the choice of companies for whole house plumbing

The first criteria to use when it comes to whole house plumbing is to search for a company that offers comprehensive services. New plumbing installation, from water pipes to gas pipes, covers the spectrum of appliances and systems in a home, so make certain that you hire a contractor who offers services that cover everything: installation, repairs, and maintenance for anything from water and sewer lines to water heaters.

Next, pay attention to the amount of years a contractor has served the community. Although it’s possible to find skilled technicians at a newer company, you have certainty that a company with many years to its credit has the experience a large job like whole-house plumbing requires. You should target a contractor with a minimum of 10 years in the business.

Look for a company that offers free estimates and second opinions. It’s important to know from the start what you should expect to pay for whole house plumbing installation, so look for a plumbing company that’s willing to tell you what it will cost before the work starts.

Finally, make certain that the contractor offers a satisfaction guarantee. This is an immense task that you need done, and you should have assurances upfront that it will get done right—or you won’t have to pay.

When you look over our qualifications at HB Energy Solutions, we think you’ll agree that we are one of your best options for any plumbing job, and especially for whole house plumbing systems in Southern Vermont.

We offer a 100% money-back guarantee and free estimates, and provide almost any plumbing service that you can imagine. Call HB Energy Solutions today.

How Whole House Surge Protection Works

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Damage from electrical surges is more common than people often realize. A lightning strike, a downed power line, or an accident at a power plant can result in large surges that can seriously damage appliances in a home and shut down the power. But these large-scale surges are only one type of power surge. There is a more insidious kind that can occur on a daily basis without a homeowner noticing it. Cumulatively, these smaller surges can end up inflicting as much damage on household appliances as the more catastrophic surges associated with storms and other disasters.

Power strips connected to outlets provide one layer of protection from power surges, but they are often not enough. If your home experiences frequent surges, or if you are concerned about protecting your valuable precision electronics, contact HB Energy Solutions and ask us about surge protection for a New Hampshire home. We can install a whole-house surge protector that goes to the next level of guarding your home from the damages of power surges.

What whole-house surge protection is

The small surges that can cause trouble for a home usually occur when a powerful appliance—a refrigerator, an air conditioner, etc.—abruptly makes a large demand on the electrical system, causing an imbalance and subsequent energy surge. You might notice this when the lights briefly flicker as the appliance comes on. These guttering lights are a good sign that you would benefit from the installation of a whole-house surge protector.

Professional electricians connect a surge protector into the home’s electrical panel. Unlike power strips, which simply cut off the power when excessive voltage tries to move through them, a whole-house surge protector diverts the power down through a home’s grounding power line. Each time the surge protector detects anything higher than 120 volts (the standard voltage for U.S. homes) moving through the control panel, it moves the energy safely away. This means that your home has protection from smaller surges without you needing to constantly reset switches.

The whole-house surge protector will also guard against lightning strikes and other major power spikes, although it may need to be reset. A warning light on the protector will inform you when it needs to be reset, so be sure to check on the system after your home experiences any large surge.

Even after you have a whole-house surge protection system installed, you should still keep your point-of-use protectors for your computers and other important appliances: it never hurts to have a second line of defense when it comes to valuable electronics.

At HB Energy Solutions, we not only offer residential whole-house surge protection in New Hampshire, but also surge protection for businesses.

Call our team of trained and certified electrical technicians to find out about all the electrical services we can provide for your home or workplace.

The Fashion of Wearing White and Labor Day

Monday, September 1st, 2014

You may have heard about the fashion faux pas of wearing white after Labor Day. In the present, this tradition is usually treated as old fashioned and a joke. Few people will criticize you for wearing white articles of clothing after the first Monday in September, or even take notice of it except to wonder why it was ever a major concern at all.

Where did this tradition of white clothing going out of fashion after Labor Day come from, and why did it fade away like colorful fabric washed in a hot load in the washing machine?

In general, white makes sense for the heat of summer. Light-colored clothing reflects away the radiant heat of the sun, instead of absorbing it the way dark colors do, so for thousands of years of human history people have preferred to wear white clothing during the hotter months.

However, the idea of white as strictly fashionable during the summer season only emerged in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—the time when the very concept of “fashion” began to spread across the Western Hemisphere.

It was only the highest level of post-Civil War society in the U.S. that strict and often bizarre rules for fashion controlled whether someone was in with the “in” crowd. Compared to our ideas of what’s fashionable today, the Czars of Style in the 1880s were true despots. Things as trivial as sleeve length could determine whether a woman in high society—no matter her level of wealth—was fashionable or a pariah.

Wearing white during the only summer, when it was common for weddings and outdoor parties, was only of these restrictive society rules. When the U.S. government made Labor Day a federal holiday in 1894, the Fashion Czars gained a definite cut-off point for when wearing white was no longer “acceptable” in the upper echelons of wealthy society.

For many decades, this rule only applied to a small number of millionaire socialites in a few big cities, but in the 1950s it reached general fashion magazines that were read around the country and started to affect more people.

But time eventually broke apart this odd rule, and during the 1970s fashion became more individual. Some fashion legends, like Coco Chanel, also purposely rejected the restriction and wore white throughout the year. Today, the “no white after Labor Day rule” is little more than an amusing gag to tease friends, and almost nobody takes it seriously.

Whatever you choose to wear after Labor Day (and if it’s white, we won’t tease!), everyone here at HB Energy Solutions hopes you have a happy end of the summer and great plans for the fall!