Archive for October, 2014

How Ductless Heating Systems Work

Monday, 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?

Monday, 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?

Monday, 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?

Monday, 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.