Category Archives: Heating System

Cut out showing intricate detail of the furnace and the need for a professional inspection.

Do-It-Yourself Tips to Prepare Your Furnace for Use

We will soon be enjoying the crisp, cool Fall air and the changing colors of the leaves. This also means winter is right around the corner, and it will be time to kick that furnace on for warm cozy nights spent inside. This month we have some tips to prepare your furnace so it is at the ready when you need it.


Trane Certified Vilandre Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning HVAC specialist teaching client how to properly set programmable thermostat.


Prepping your furnace for the cooler months can increase efficiency, save money on monthly utility bills, and prevent an emergency call, because it will be in tiptop shape well before it’s needed. Read on to find out what you can do to prepare your furnace for use before you make your professional routine maintenance appointment:


  • Change the Filters Regularly – Once your furnace is running regularly, it is suggested that you inspect the filter every month and replace it every 30-90 days, depending on the condition of the filter.
  • Purchase Filters During the Warm Months – Make yourself a note to stock up on filters throughout the spring and summer months to save money. They are generally sold at a lower price, since they aren’t in their peak season of use.
  • Free Furnace of Any Clutter – Oftentimes on and around the furnace can become a storage area when it is not in use. Be sure to move anything (especially flammable items) from the furnace once you are ready to kick it on.
  • Check Heating Vents – If you rearranged or happened to store anything over the heating vents, now is the time to clear them off. Blocked vents prevent heat from being delivered to rooms correctly, and increase heating bills because the air is not being circulated properly for optimal efficiency. This also runs the risk of overheating the furnace, so check that both the supply (where heat blows out) and return (where air is drawn in) registers aren’t blocked.
  • Make a Routine Maintenance Appointment – The earlier you make this appointment, the better! HVAC professionals get very busy once people begin to kick on their furnaces and find out they have a problem. So call now, before you need it running, and avoid potentially having to make an emergency call. Routine maintenance to your HVAC system is the best way to ensure the system is in proper working order and running at peak efficiency to save money each month. Our specialist will come to your home, clean your system, replace any equipment as needed, and answer any questions you may have about the unit.
  • Test Carbon Monoxide Detectors – For the safety of your household, regularly checking that carbon monoxide detectors are in proper working order is important. If you don’t already have carbon monoxide detectors, now is a great time to purchase them.


Trane Certified Vilandre Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning HVAC specialist performing routine maintenance inspection


We take pride in the services we offer, with an A+ rating from the BBB (Better Business Bureau), all backed by our 100% satisfaction guarantee, the Vilandre Advantage. We will have your system ready for the cold months ahead in no time! To schedule your routine maintenance appointment, visit our website or call 701.775.4675.

6 Tips to Save Money While You’re on Vacation

As winter arrives in North Dakota, warm, sunny beaches start to call our names! Are you heading out on a winter vacation? More than likely you have had the mail held and asked a neighbor to keep an eye on things while you are away, but did you remember to ready your electricity and HVAC system for your absence? It is important for not only cost savings, but also safety reasons.


Below are six tips to remember when the packing is done and you are almost ready to set sail in paradise.


Reset the thermostat on your HVAC system to 60 degrees. This will save you money without risking frozen pipes and flooding, while still preventing moisture from building up on your primary heat exchanger, which could cause a possible shortage as well as mildew problems. Temperatures below freezing make it unsafe to turn the thermostat entirely off, and in our area we have the humidity working against us. We also tend to turn the heat back up to 72 or higher upon our return, causing extra stress to the HVAC unit. A programmable thermostat makes it convenient to remotely check on the temperature in your house and slowly increase the heat back to a comfortable setting over a couple of days, helping to prevent overworking your HVAC unit.


This lower temperature will prevent water in the lines and tank from freezing and causing damage, but won’t keep hot water on hand that you are not going to be using. If you are not quite sure how to change the water heater to its “vacation” setting, give us a call!


Turn off the water supply to washing machines and toilets; this can help avoid an unexpected leak while you’re away. Double-check the insulation around water pipes that are close to unheated areas and add insulation if needed, as an added precaution to prevent a frozen pipe while you’re away.


Be sure all interior doors are open. This will keep the heat circulating throughout the entire house and create less of a chance for cold spots where a pipe could freeze or a plant might die from inadequate warmth. If you have someone checking your home, it is a good idea to place a thermometer where it can easily be seen to notify the person of any dangerous temperature drops in your home.


Set your refrigerator to 42 degrees and freezer to 5 degrees, to save money while also reducing the odds of returning home to spoiled food. If you are heading off on an extended vacation, donate or discard perishable food items and unplug your fridge to save even more. Also, unplug any “vampire appliances” that continue to use energy even when they are not in use, such as televisions, lamps, entertainment systems and coffee makers.


If you don’t have motion detectors, it is a good idea to consider investing in them, especially when going on extended vacations. If you do, make sure all the lights are in working order and time them to come on in the evening as the sun sets. You could even set a radio on a timer to ward off possible burglars.

We hope these tips help you have a wonderful, stress-free vacation! If you would like additional information on the care and maintenance of your HVAC system, or help with prepping your system for an extended vacation, or to schedule services to make sure your system is running optimally, contact Vilandres and we would be happy to come give your unit a tune-up before your trip begins.