Posts Tagged ‘Weston’

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! 

3 Things You Should Look For In a New Furnace in Ludlow

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Getting a new furnace for your Ludlow home can be a stressful time. But it can also be an exciting time as you get ready to enjoy efficient and reliable heat for your home this winter. At HB Energy Solutions, we’ve installed countless furnaces for our customers in the Ludlow area. For this blog post, we thought it would be a good idea if we put together the top 3 things to look for in a new furnace.

The Size of the Furnace

One of the most common furnace problems that we see in Ludlow is a furnace that is the wrong size for the home. In many cases, the furnace is too large for the home. Having a load calculation performed on your home is a great way to figure out exactly what size of furnace you need. Here are some of the benefits to having a load calculation performed on your home:

  • Greater efficiency – When your furnace is the right size, it will most likely operate more efficiently.
  • Greater comfort – Furnaces that are too big often cause large temperature swings and hot and cold spots in your home.
  • Reduced wear and tear – When the furnace is too big, it turns on, quickly heats your home and then turns off. When your house cools town, it turns back on again. This causes extra wear and tear on your furnace.

Efficiency Rating

Furnaces are given an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating which measures how much of the fuel they consume over a season is actually converted into usable heat. Many old furnaces have an AFUE of around 60%. This means that 40% of the fuel they consume is wasted. Newer furnaces can have an AFUE of 95% or higher.

Fuel Type

Depending on where you live and many other factors, it might be a good idea to at least consider the fuel options that are available to you. For example, if you already have a natural gas running into your home, you may want to consider switching from an electric furnace to a gas-fired one. In many cases, natural gas is less expensive than electricity. This is all highly dependent on your specific situation and budget.

If you’d like help picking out a new furnace for your home in Ludlow, contact the heating experts at HB Energy Solutions. We have years of experience working with all types and brands of furnaces. We can help you find the correct size and efficiency rating for your home. Call us today! 

Signs That You Need Heating System Repair Service in Chester, VT

Monday, November 19th, 2012

When it comes to keeping your Chester, VT home’s heating system operating at the levels of efficiency and effectiveness that you demand, a proper installation and regular, professional maintenance are necessary. Of course, even with the best installation possible, a high-quality machine and meticulous maintenance service, your heating system is still going to have some trouble every now and then. When problems do develop with your heater it is important that you procure the necessary, professional heating system repair service you need as quickly as possible. The early detection, diagnosis and treatment of your heating system problems is the best way to ensure uninterrupted heating service as well as to keep the necessary repairs as minimal as possible. When you need heating system repairs in Chester, VT, you need to call the heater repair service experts at HB Energy. We have all the skills, training and experience necessary to get your heater back on track in no time. Of course, before you can schedule heating system repairs you must be aware of a problem with your heater. Here are some common warning signs and indicators that you should call for heater repairs.

Any decline in your home heating system’s performance is reason enough to call your professional heating service provider. If you notice that your home has developed cold spots or if your heater is having trouble keeping your home at the desired temperature, call for repair service immediately. These conditions are indicative of a problem with your heater that will only worsen if given the time.

If you notice an increase in the cost of operating your home heating system but have not made any changes to your heating habits you may have a problem requiring professional repair service. This is clearly a case of reduced heating efficiency, and there are many factors that can contribute to this problem. Call for repair service the moment you notice this heating cost increase.

Also, don’t try to convince yourself that an irregularity or inconsistency with your heater is to minor to be cause for alarm. Sure, strange sounds or odors coming from your heating system may not seem like that big a deal. It is important that you do not put off repair service for these conditions, though. They can be warning signs that a much more serious problem is developing.

For more information about keeping your heater operating efficiently and effectively with professional heating system repair service, call HB Energy Solutions. We’ll help you keep your Chester, VT home warm this winter.

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.

Acworth NH Heating Quesiton: What is a forced air heating?

Monday, September 17th, 2012

There are many types of heating systems in Acworth NH, but one of the most common you will hear about is forced air heating. You likely already have a forced air heating system in your home, but what exactly does this mean and what impact will it have on your selection of a new heating system in the future?

To start, a forced air heating system is unique in that it does not directly heat your home. Instead, the heating system itself – either a heat pump or a furnace – produces heat which is then applied to an air supply and distributed throughout your home via air ducts by an air handler.

So, let’s say you have a gas furnace. When your thermostat turns on because it gets below a certain temperature inside your home, the gas furnace receives a signal to start burning fuel. The pilot light ignites and gas starts burning. As the fuel burns, the furnace blows air through a heat exchanger. That air is then heated to a certain temperature (depending on your furnace) and transferred to the air handler, which uses another fan to blow the air through ductwork to the individual rooms in your home.

So, the air is forced through ductwork and then through vents to heat your home – hence a forced air heating system. The same type of system operates when you have a heat pump, although the heat being applied to the air flow is not from the combustion of fuel but from the process of compressing and expanding the refrigerant gas inside the heat pump, effectively transferring heat energy from outdoor air.

Over the years, forced air heating has become one of the most efficient ways to heat a home, though radiant heating is a close second. If you are installing a new heating system in your Acworth NH home for the first time, consider the benefits of a forced air system and what they could mean for your heating bills.  For more information about installing a new heating equipment, including furnaces, boilers, and wood stoves, call HB Energy Solutions!

Weston VT Plumber’s Guide: Locate Your Septic Tank Electronically

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

If a problem develops with your Weston, VT home’s septic tank, you want to be able to find it as quickly as possible to check and/or repair the problem. However, it’s not always easy to know where the septic tank is. Unless it is clearly marked, and only if you have seen where it was located before and didn’t just move in recently, a septic tank can be hard to find, especially if service hasn’t been performed on it in some time. Thankfully, if this is the case, there are tools that allow you to find your tank electronically.

First, know that your septic tank is usually about 4.5 feet by 8 feet in the ground and can be buried anywhere between four inches and four feet deep. You can also call your local utilities markers to get a map of where your gas lines and electrical cables are located – something that can be done for free by dialing 811.

Now, there are quite a few tools that work well to find your septic tank without electronics, but if you want to get it done much faster and ensure you are accurate, you hire a plumber who can use a locator and a remote flushable transmitter. The idea is very simple: Drop the transmitter down the toilet, flush it and wait a few minutes for it to appear in the septic tank and then flip on your locator and track it. This is a very accurate method and the transmitter will remain in your septic tank for quite a long time, meaning you can find it whenever necessary until the problem you are having is solved.

If you need someone to handle a repair issue with your septic tank, you should call HB Energy Solutions. We can find your septic tank and perform any necessary repairs very quickly.