Category Archives: Awards

What the Vilandre Advantage Means for You

So you need an HVAC specialist. Hiring a new HVAC specialist is a risk you’re taking on as a home or building owner, with the potential of hundreds or even thousands of your dollars on the line. Have you shopped around for online reviews? Called a friend for recommendations? Looked a little deeper into the company you are considering hiring?

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So what is the Vilandre Advantage? Quite simply, you get a 100% satisfaction guarantee with every service, no matter what. What does the Vilandre Advantage mean for you? We have assembled a team of professionals who have the same high standards in customer service as our company, and offer our guarantee to all of our customers with every service we perform. We set the bar for our team to not only meet, but also exceed your expectations, and maintain these high standards in order to offer you the best service available in the Greater Grand Forks Area.

At Vilandre, our goal is to put your mind at ease with the reassurance that your investment in your structure is well spent and the job will be done right the first time, saving you both time and money. We are here to build a trusting, long-term relationship with our customers, not only through our high level of service, but also our guaranteed satisfaction.

When you make the choice to work with us, rest assured that you are in the hands of a credible, honest service provider you can trust. In addition to our guarantee, we have also been accredited with an A+ business rating by the Better Business Bureau since 2004, and have been named the Grand Forks Herald People’s Choice for Best AC and Heating four years in a row. We have worked hard since our start in 1935 to remain true to the goal of providing exceptional service and products to our loyal customers. If you are in need of HVAC services backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee, give us a call at 701.775.4675 or for your convenience, you can request services on our website.

Preventing Costly Repairs: Furnace Edition

October is Furnace Maintenance Month. As we gear up for evenings inside, enjoying family, sports, and cuddling up with a good book, a warm and cozy home is a must. Having a properly maintained furnace will not only keep your home comfortable, but also help to save you money by operating as efficiently as possible.

If you have a gas furnace, your home is being heated by the burning of natural gas or propane. This process involves a flame and a combustible material, demonstrating the importance of keeping your furnace maintained. A neglected furnace can lead to problems, from costly repairs and replacements to dangerous malfunctions like gas leaks. We recommend an annual furnace tune-up; this inspection can pay for itself by increasing efficiency, resulting in lower utility bills, and detecting potential problems, leading to fewer breakdowns.

XC95 Furnaces Gas Basement with Dealer-editHere are some ways to tell if your furnace is in need of a tune-up, before it turns into an emergency repair:

No heat

This one seems pretty obvious, but you usually realize there’s a problem once it’s too late. Test your furnace before it gets cold to be sure it is putting out heat. Also check the corresponding circuit breaker’s on/off switches before making a service call.

Carbon monoxide monitor goes off

If your household uses gas appliances, you should have a carbon monoxide monitor. Carbon monoxide is created as a result of incomplete combustion. It is known as the “silent killer” because it’s undetectable to our five senses and can be a deadly poison.

If the alarm goes off:

  • Shut down your gas appliances
  • Open your windows to bring fresh air in
  • Leave your home and call the fire department
  • Call a professional to come and test all of your gas appliances (especially your furnace) to see if they are venting exhaust correctly

Utility bill suddenly increases

It is not uncommon for your utility bill to go up in the winter because the furnace is working harder, but if there is an unusual spike in your bill and there has not been a change in utility rates, then your furnace may not be working properly and is in need of service.

Loud banging noise when furnace is turned on

Your furnace should be relatively quiet when it’s running, but if you hear loud bangs, clangs, groans, or whining sounds, certain components of your furnace, such as the ignition system or a moving belt, could be worn out or damaged. Any sound not typical of your furnace warrants a call to a service technician.

Furnace produces a strong fuel smell

It’s natural for an oil or gas furnace to produce a faint scent of burnt fuel, but if you’re smelling the strong rotten-egg smell of unburned gas originating from your furnace, you have a serious gas leak that needs to be looked at immediately. If you smell gas, leave your home right away and call the fire department.

Furnace turning off and on

When working properly, your furnace will turn on, remain active for a period of time, and then turn off again once the desired temperature has been achieved. Changes in this pattern, such as a furnace struggling to turn on or one that turns on and off constantly with very little result, indicate a problem with either your furnace’s efficiency or its parts. Not only does this behavior cost you extra money due to lost efficiency, but it also won’t heat your home very well. If you notice this cycling, call your heating service to take a look at your HVAC system.

Poor indoor air quality

Your HVAC system plays an integral role in the quality of the air inside your home. When your furnace is dirty or failing, you may detect a noticeable increase in the amount of dust on flat surfaces. Even if you don’t notice a change in your indoor air quality, an increased incidence of asthma, allergies, or upper respiratory illnesses throughout family members could be related to furnace function, and is a good indicator that you should schedule an inspection to determine whether repairs are needed.

Maybe your furnace is working, but do you know how efficiently? Is it clean and functioning properly or, maybe more importantly, is it operating safely? These are all questions that can be answered by scheduling an inspection by your local HVAC service company. Maintaining your furnace will improve the comfort and air quality inside your home, while helping you to save money on heating bills and preventing premature replacement of this valuable appliance. Do not wait until the cold weather hits and your furnace goes down to call – schedule your furnace inspection today!

Why Go Seamless

Welcome back to The Advantage! Last blog we had our minds on gutters, discussing how proper care and maintenance extends the life of not only gutters, but also the building they protect. We’re back today asking, “How do you know when it’s time to upgrade your gutters, and what are the most efficient options on the market available?”

Let’s start with when it is time to replace your old or worn-out gutters. Ask yourself the following questions to determine if any red flags are present indicating that gutter replacement is imminent:

  • Does the exterior of your home or commercial building have mold or peeling paint?
  • Are your gutters sagging or pulling away from your structure due to improper pitching (sloping)?
  • Is there standing water around your building attracting insects or mold?
  • Does the foundation of your home or commercial building have cracks or water in the basement?

If you can answer yes to any of these questions, the next step is calling your gutter expert to assess and help you create a plan to best address and correct the problem.

When it comes time to replace your gutters, seamless gutters are the most efficient option available today. The seamless structure eliminates leaks in the gutter system and lessens the opportunity for debris buildup to occur. Conventional sectional gutter systems are made of many sections pieced together by snap-in-place connectors which over time can form leaks at the seams and likely cause wood rot behind the gutter. Where the seams meet on traditional systems is also where many of the blockage problems can originate. This means going seamless will result in less maintenance to the home or commercial building owner as well.

RaincarrierHouseAlthough there are many advantages to choosing seamless over traditional gutter systems, here are the top reasons from our perspective:

  • Custom measurements for exact fitting
  • Baked-on enamel finish never needs painting
  • Protects the value of your home
  • Eliminates unsightly seams
  • Greatly reduces the possibility of leaks
  • Many colors, materials, and styles to choose from
  • Preserves the architectural details of your home or building
  • Less maintenance

Seamless gutters not only have the potential to extend the life of your roof, but also protect your home or commercial building’s value. For more information about seamless gutters or to get an estimate, contact us – our services are always backed by our satisfaction guarantee, the Vilandre Advantage!

What Your Plumbing is Telling You

Welcome back to the Advantage! In this edition we will discuss how to interpret the sounds coming from your pipes, to help determine whether the noises are normal or potentially indicating a serious issue. The first step in translating the language of your pipes is to locate exactly where the disturbance is coming from, and to determine if the noise happens when the water is turned on or when it is draining. Here is a list of common plumbing sounds and their causes:

Hissing

If you hear whistling or hissing when the water is turned on, you may have an intense water pressure problem. The best thing to do in this situation is to call your water supply company to determine if the water pressure is higher than normal, and inquire about solutions to eliminate the sounds by reducing the pressure. If your water is supplied by a well, call your plumbing professional to take a listen.

Chattering or Screeching

This occurs when a valve or faucet is turned on and usually disappears when it’s opened all the way, indicating loose or defective internal parts. Pumps and appliances such as dishwashers can also transfer motor noise to pipes if they are not properly connected. When appliances are installed, your plumber will utilize plastic or rubber hoses, rather than inflexible pipe, to reduce the amount of noise created.

Thudding

A thud followed by a shuddering sound, also known as “water hammer,” occurs when pipes are trying to absorb an intense buildup of pressure as water is turned on. This results in pipes moving and bumping into the surrounding materials, creating a thud. Tackle this issue by contacting your professional plumber to install pressure-reducing components, such as air chambers, as well as noise-softening devices on the pipes.

Other Noises

Scratching, squeaking, tapping, creaking, and snapping are often caused by the expansion or contraction of pipes used to supply hot water. The disturbances can occur when the pipes slide against loose fasteners or strike surrounding materials. Although generally harmless, these sounds can result in larger issues, such as leaks or flooding, due to excessive movement in your plumbing system.

Other plumbing noises may suggest a bad toilet fill valve or flapper. If you hear strange sounds when your toilet is flushed, lift the lid and manually lift the flapper to see if the noise ceases. If lifting the flapper stops the sound, you may need a new one. If the sound does not stop, the culprit might be the fill valve and will likely need to be adjusted or repaired.

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Stubborn plumbing sounds can often be resolved by upgrading fixtures. If you’re planning to replace plumbing products, such as faucets or toilets, we offer water-saving alternatives that are less noisy than conventional models.

If you are unsure of what the sound is or how to fix it, or have any plumbing questions or concerns, contact Vilandres to make an appointment. We would be happy to be the interpreter between you and your plumbing.

People’s Choice Award Winner

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We are extremely pleased to announce that we have been named the 2015 Grand Forks Herald People’s Choice Award winner for Best A/C & Heating! This award marks the fourth year in a row that we have been acknowledged in this category by our wonderful, loyal customers. At Vilandre Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, the satisfaction of our customers is our top priority. To be recognized for our hard work in this area by receiving this award multiple years in a row is an honor that everyone on our team highly values. All of us at Vilandre join in saying ‘thank you’ to those who have voted and continue to vote for us. We truly appreciate the opportunity to be awarded this title and will continue to work diligently to keep bringing you the best possible products and services for years to come.

Welcome to The Advantage

Hello and welcome to Vilandre Heating, Air Conditioning, and Plumbing’s new blog, The Advantage! We are thrilled to present you with this new avenue for delivering everything from news and tutorials to events and company information.

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The Advantage is a wonderful addition to our website that will offer useful knowledge for home and business owners alike in the form of tips, how-to’s, industry trends, and more! Stay tuned for excellent information and to keep up with everything there is to know about Vilandre’s.

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