Posts Tagged ‘Walpole’

Springfield, VT Plumbing Tips: Why You May Need Leak Detection Services?

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Leak detection services in your Springfield, VT  area home are important for several reasons. Having one of the professional plumbers at HB Energy can detect any hidden issues and remedy the situation before it becomes a major problem and expense. If you have an older plumbing system, we recommend that you schedule routine maintenance at least once a year to help catch problems early on.

Before you call for leak detection services, you should be familiar with all the signs that indicate a potential leak in your home. These include noticeable damp spots near the plumbing pipes inside walls, below floors, or the ceilings of basements. Large puddles in your yard could indicate a broken main water line. A sudden increase in water bills is another sign.

It is also a good idea to call HB Energy if you’ve had problems with freezing pipes. A burst pipe can cause a major water leak, but you may not know it until it is too late. There are ways to insulate exposed pipes. Any underground pipes that have been damaged by tree roots should either be relocated, or the trees need to be removed.

Call one of our professional Springfield, VT  plumbers day or night if you have a plumbing problem. We can pinpoint the causes of common problems, such clogged or slow drains, system backups, and leaks. Contact HB Energy for all your Springfield, VT leak detection and plumbing repair needs! We provide comprehensive plumbing services throughout the area.

Why You Should Replace Your Old Fuse Box: Walpole, NH Electrical Tip

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Years ago, fuse boxes were standard on many homes in Walpole, NH. However, thanks to advancements in technology, most new homes are built using a circuit breaker. However, not all homes have converted to the newer circuit breakers. If you’ve just moved into a home with a fuse box there are a number of reasons why you should have it upgraded to a circuit breaker. Below we describe some of the benefits of doing so.

How Fuse Boxes Work

Electricity flows into your home from the street and into your fuse box. The job of the fuse box is to route the power to where it’s needed. The second job of the fuse box is to protect your house from power spikes. As electricity passes through the copper wires of your home it produces heat. If the wires get too hot they could catch fire. Fuses protect against that by shutting down the flow of electricity when too much heat is present. As electricity flows from the street into your home it has to pass through a fuse which is comprised of a thin metal wire called a filament. If the electric current gets too hot the filament will melt and the connection will be broken. Once the fuse is melted it has to be replaced.

Safety

One of the great benefits to upgrading your fuse box to a circuit breaker is safety. Fuse boxes are obsolete technology. When the fuse is melted it has to be replaced with a new one. Also, when the old fuse is removed, both ends of the electrical connection are exposed leaving the homeowner vulnerable to electrocution.

Insurance and Code Compliance

In many cities, old fuse boxes aren’t in compliance with building codes. This could also mean that the wiring in your home might be out of compliance as well. To get your home back up to code you would need to upgrade to a new circuit breaker. But sometimes, the old wiring and the new circuit breaker don’t interact well. This can cause your circuit breaker to trip a lot which is annoying.

Additionally, some mortgage insurance brokers won’t cover your home if it has an older fuse box. This has to do with the fire danger. But many lenders require you to have mortgage insurance so upgrading the fuse box will be necessary.

Available Power

Finally, many old fuse boxes only had 2 to 4 available circuits for appliances. Obviously, new homes have a much greater electricity demand. New circuit breakers can have room for up to 24 circuits.

If you have an old fuse box in your Walpole, NH home that you would like to have replaced, contact HB Energy Solutions. We have years of experience working with all types of old fuse boxes and circuit breakers. Give us a call today! 

Why Consider a Solar Heating System in Bellows Falls?

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Increasing energy costs have become a major concern in the past few years. As the price of keeping your home comfortable continues to increase many Bellows Falls, VT homeowners are looking for ways to reduce the amount of energy that they use. One of the most obvious ways to do so is to make sure that you are not wasting energy. Proper insulation, high-efficiency heating systems and sealing up air leaks are among the most common measures taken to reduce the amount of energy wasted in homes. The truth is, though, that most people waste a lot of energy every day. We’re not talking about leaving the windows open while heating your house, either. Each day that you let the sun’s energy go unused in your home you are wasting the potential of this sustainable, environmentally friendly energy source. If you live in a cold climate but your Bellows Falls, VT home gets a lot of sun exposure you may want to consider the installation of a solar heating system by HB Energy Solutions. Consider this information about how these systems work and the benefits they present to your home.

With an active solar heating system a liquid or air is heated by solar energy and is either transferred directly to your living space or to a storage system. If you are planning to use a radiant heating system or a boiler then a liquid system is probably your best option, as they lend themselves better to storage. They store the collected solar heat in tanks of water, and the heat from the working liquid passes through a heat exchanger into the distribution liquid.

There are a few different ways to distribute heat with a solar liquid system. Radiant heating is a popular method, though central forced-air systems may also be used. In a forced air system a heating coil is used. Air coming from your living space is heated, and additional heat may be supplied by your furnace. It is important to have a professional help with the sizing of the system and components to ensure that sufficient heat will be created.

The benefits of solar heating in your home are many. While the collectors and installation certainly make solar heating an investment you can greatly reduce the heating costs in your Bellows Falls, VT home, saving money over time. It is a sustainable energy source and is very environmentally friendly. If you are interested in cutting down on the amount of energy used to heat your home while also reducing your environmental impact, consider the installation of a solar heating system from HB Energy Solutions.

Heating with Wood Safely and Efficiently in Springfield VT

Monday, November 5th, 2012

When done correctly, burning wood is one of the simplest and most efficient ways to keep your home warm. As long as new trees are being planted to replace those that are harvested for wood it is a sustainable, carbon neutral practice as well. If you’re interested in supplementing your home heating system – or even replacing it – with a wood burning system, HB Energy Solutions has some information to help you make the right decision for your home. Consider this information and follow the tips and you should have no problem heating your Springfield VT home safely and efficiently with wood.

  • Choose the right stove for your home. A fireplace is great for heating a single room, but they are not really designed to keep your whole house warm. A good wood burning stove can handle the task of heating your home efficiently and effectively. Be sure that your stove meets EPA guidelines and that it is properly sized for your home.
  • Don’t expect to just walk outside, find some wood and be set for the winter. You must season your wood for at least six months, keeping it off of the ground and protected from the elements while it dries. Green wood will not burn efficiently and smokes a lot more than well-dried wood.
  • Chop your wood as evenly as possible. Keeping your wood supply uniform allows for more even burning. Be sure to split your wood down to a fairly small size as well. This too helps wood burn more evenly and efficiently. It also speeds up the drying process.
  • Start your stove off hot. Get a mound of coals going and add a few logs all at once. This will help your stove burn wood as completely and cleanly as possible.
  • Keep an eye on your chimney. If you are generating a lot of smoke that means that the combustion is not complete enough and that you are creating a lot of pollutants. This can lead to chimney fires.
  • Do not burn trash in your wood burning stove. This creates more pollution. Also avoid questionable, moldy wood.

We hope that this information is helpful and that you enjoy your wood burning season. If you have any questions about the operation or maintenance of your wood burning stove be sure to call HB Energy Solutions. We’ll help you get the most out of the wood burning stove in your Springfield VT home.

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!

Bellows Falls VT Electrical Guide: How Surge Protection Protects Your Home

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Your Bellows Falls VT home is filled with devices attached to and drawing power from the electrical system. You probably have components in place to protect certain devices, such as your computer and television from power surges, but what about the rest of your home? Power surges can occur at any time and they can have a direct, negative impact on your major appliances and even the wiring in your house.

 Why Surge Protection Is Necessary

A power surge occurs when a larger than normal volume of electricity courses through the wires within a circuit. Normally, your home is protected against such surges. Fuses are designed to blow out if the current gets too strong and circuits breakers are designed to trip. But in certain circumstances, surges can occur anyways.

They can occur during electrical storms with a lot of lightning flashes. They can occur when there are interruptions to the power entering your home, especially if it goes on and off frequently. They can even happen simply because of a hiccup in a transformer supplying your home with power.

Protecting Your Home and Appliances

The wiring in your home is not designed to handle sudden surges of electricity, especially not if they happen often. It can damage and fray the wiring and eventually lead to power loss or even an increased risk of fire. Your appliances will be damaged even quicker as the sensitive circuitry and electronic component inside can be broken by a sudden surge of excess electricity.

For all these reasons, it is recommended that you have a whole house surge protector for your Bellows Falls VT home. These devices stop these large surges of electricity from entering your wiring, stopping them at the circuit breaker and preventing shorts in things like your air conditioner or heating system. Contact HB Energy Solutions today to learn more about what these devices can do.