Monthly Archives: November 2015

How to Save $ This Winter


Here at Vilandre, we are available 24/7 in case of emergency and happy to help install your new HVAC and plumbing purchases, and on top of our great products and services, we are also here to help save you money! As a hometown, family-owned and -operated business, we take pride in the work we do and care about our customers. For over 80 years our company has been serving the Grand Forks community and all of our employees live and work here, too, so we know that when winter comes the utility bills go up. This month, we want to share some of our tips and tricks to help you save this season!


  • Set your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent it from overworking; the water will still be plenty warm for use in your home.
  • Use cold water when washing your clothes to save an average of $30-$40 per year.
  • Turn your thermostat down 5 degrees at night and anytime you’re away from your house. A programmable thermostat makes this option a piece of cake!
  • Take advantage of the heat sunlight produces by opening curtains on your south-facing windows during the day, to allow the natural light to help heat your home.
  • Move furniture away from vents to allow the proper flow of heat throughout your home.


  • Have water-efficient showerheads and faucets installed, which can reduce water consumption by up to 10%.
  • Insulate behind your outlets. The faceplates on both outlets and light switches are extremely thin, and can allow a significant amount of heat to escape.
  • Plug home electronics into power strips and turn them off when not in use. Many electronics use energy when they are shut off, especially computers and phone chargers.
  • During winter months, cover your drafty windows with heavy-duty, clear plastic sheets or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames. Double-check to be sure that the plastic is sealed tightly to prevent air leaks.
  • As your light bulbs burn out, replace them with compact fluorescent light bulbs. The initial investment will be more, but they last on average 25 times longer and use less energy than traditional bulbs, saving you money in the long run.
  • Weatherize your home by locating and sealing off any air leaks, so the heat in your home has fewer places to escape from. Learn more about locating and repairing air leaks here.
  • Insulating your home can help you save as much as 20% on utility bills.The most cost-effective method would be to add insulation to your attic, unfinished basement walls, and crawlspaces.
  • Have your heater inspected annually to be sure it is functioning at maximum efficiency and operating safely.
  • The biggest money saver available is to replace your old, inefficient HVAC system with a high-efficiency unit. This can result in upwards of 60% savings on your energy bills, and you will be saving each month for the next 10 to 20 years!

To determine specifically where the most savings can be gained in your own home, have a specialist come out and conduct an energy assessment. For more advice on how to save, from programmable thermostats to upgrading your appliances, give us a call and we would be happy to visit with you and help you save this winter!