Category Archives: HVAC Industry

More Than One Path to Success

Did you know until 1950, all students were taught both academics and basic vocational skills? School was utilized to educate and prepare young minds for the rest of their lives, with encouragement to go down whatever career path they showed interest in and a natural ability for. However, as time went on there was a push to prepare all students for a college education, leaving vocational training on the back burner.

A comprehensive list of skills, abilities and interests that could lead to vocational training.

So how does this affect young adults entering the work force today? No two students are the same, resulting in a multitude of different learning styles and a wide variety of skills. Some students excel at math, history and biology, and others are better at thinking mechanically and strategically or creatively. Some people learn well in large classrooms, while others thrive in hands-on learning and prefer to participate to best comprehend new information. Most importantly, not everyone goes to a traditional four-year college – so why are we preparing everyone for the same path?

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” –Confucius

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 68% of high school students attend college, while over 30% are entering the work force with neither academic or job skills. Furthermore, of the 68% attending college nearly 40% will not finish, resulting in wasted time and a heap of student loan debt to deal with. Around one-third of the remaining 28% that do finish college, end up with jobs they could have earned without a four-year degree. College can be a student’s path to success, but for some there is more than one path.

“Turning your passion into your job is easier than finding a job that matches your passion.” –Seth Godin

It’s time we bring back vocational training in the high school setting as a potential career path. The negative predisposition against vocational education is destructive to the process of encouraging students to seek training wherever their natural gifts and preferences lead them. Many of the skills most needed to compete in the global market of the 21st century are technical and vocational. The absence of qualified applicants in many of these fields is costing us economically as a nation. These jobs are left empty because younger generations perceive less value in being an HVAC specialist or electrician than an engineer or a medical professional. All the while, young adults are entering lifelong careers that are not fulfilling and don’t best suit their natural talents, not to mention they don’t encourage growth and entrepreneurship.

HVAC technician enjoying a successful and happy career thanks to vocational training.

If you know a young talent who excels at working with their hands or tools, likes building things, or is a detail-oriented problem solver, encourage them to seek out apprenticeship programs or internships and strive for what makes them happy. Choosing a career path that leads to a lifetime of happiness is one of the most important goals we can set for upcoming generations.

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!

Importance of Proper Gutter Maintenance

Are your gutters ready to hold up to the harsh North Dakota season ahead? It’s the time of year when we start to think about winter prep, so this month we will be discussing the importance of proper gutter maintenance and some possible complications resulting from improper gutter care.


When gutters become blocked, they fail to do their intended job of draining water away from the building. That means your home or commercial building may experience problems that ultimately lead to costly repairs. Below are examples of problems that may occur from lack of proper gutter care:

  • Flooding – When water drains into the foundation, it can result in water damage and/or flooding in your basement or crawl space.
  • Sagging – If water accumulates in gutters, it makes them extremely heavy, especially in North Dakota winter months that can cause the water to freeze. This puts unexpected weight on the fasteners, which will in time sag and can even collapse and fall from the building.
  • Mold – When water is not given time to evaporate, mold and mildew will grow. Once mold begins to grow, it has a tendency to spread and can be complicated to remove.
  • Wood rot – Water can accumulate on wooden parts of the structure, resulting in unsightly rotten wood which leads to structural damage that is both difficult and expensive to fix.
  • Water staining – Foliage, dirt, and muck blocking your gutters cause water to leak over the edge of the gutter rather than drain through downspouts, leaving dirty water marks trailing behind.
  • Pests – Insects thrive on moist environments, especially mosquitoes, ants, and termites. These bugs will not only hang out in the gutters, but also quickly find their way into the building, particularly if there is any structural damage allowing for ease of entry.

Avoid many of these costly or unwanted side effects of unkempt gutters by doing the following:

  • Clean gutters regularly – Beginning of spring and during fall is a good rule of thumb to follow. Be sure they are clear before snowfall to avoid damage.
  • Trim back trees – Eliminate overhanging branches to limit debris that may fall into your gutters.
  • Install gutter leaf protection – These protection tools stop debris from entering your gutters using stainless steel and micromesh to ensure nothing impedes your system.

Keeping your gutters working properly is imperative for the health and curb appeal of your home, but like most things in life, gutters won’t last forever. Cleaning and maintenance will extend their life, but they will eventually need to be replaced. The most popular ones on the market today are seamless gutters which provide a highly efficient, leak-free system for your building.

Gutter Cleaning

Check back next blog for great tips about the benefits of seamless gutters and how to know when it may be time to replace your gutters. If you’re a home or business owner with gutters in need of an upgrade, be sure to have the specialists at Vilandre give you an estimate on our seamless gutter services.

Are You Losing Money to Air Leaks?

This month’s edition of The Advantage is all about saving you money! North Dakota is known for our hot, humid summers and icy, cold winters. This means we run the risk of losing both our cooled and heated air to pesky leaks, which are not only uncomfortable and frustrating, but likely to cost you money as well. They cause your equipment to run more than necessary, putting more wear and tear on your HVAC unit while increasing your utility bills. According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program, you can save as much as 10 percent annually on your energy bills (20 percent of your heating and cooling costs) by properly sealing and insulating your home.


There are measures you can take on your own to spot leakage in your home and repair it with caulk or weather-stripping.

Visual Inspection: When checking outside your home, look for gaps and cracks at the common points of air leakage, especially areas where two different building materials meet, including:

  • Where the foundation and bottom of exterior brick or siding meet
  • Where the siding and chimneys meet
  • Outdoor water faucets
  • All exterior corners

Inside your home, inspect around the following for any cracks and gaps that could cause air leaks:

  • Electrical outlets
  • Cable TV and phone lines
  • Baseboards
  • Where dryer vents pass through walls
  • Attic hatches
  • Door and window frames
  • Switch plates
  • Wall- or window-mounted air conditioners
  • Vents and fans
  • Weatherstripping around doors
  • Fireplace dampers
  • Electrical and gas service entrances

In the winter months, it may help to locate leaks by wetting your hand to feel any cool drafts.


Smoke Test: After visual inspection, perform a smoke test to be sure you have found all tough-to-find air leaks:

  1. Pick a cool and windy day to conduct the test. Turn off appliances that create air disturbances, such as stoves, burning furnaces, and water heaters.
  2. Shut all windows, doors, and fireplace flues.
  3. Turn on exhaust fans that blow air outside – dryers, bathroom fans, and stove vents; or use a large window fan to suck the air out of the rooms.
  4. Light incense and hold it near potential points of air leakage. If smoke begins moving unsteadily back and forth, or it is drawn into or out of the room, this indicates a leak.

To guarantee the job was done right and save time, you can hire a qualified technician to conduct an energy assessment. Remember, the goal of your project is to discover all the air leaks so that you can seal them up tight, which should result in a more comfortable and energy efficient home this winter.

The best way to save money this season is to have efficiently run equipment. In order to ensure your system is up to par on all levels and spot potential money-losing HVAC units in your home, set up an appointment or give us a call at 701.775.4675.

3 Reasons to Choose a Career in HVAC

Choosing a career can be a daunting task. In addition to finding a profession that you are passionate about and have a strong interest in, there are innumerable factors to consider: educational requirements, job security, salary, and opportunities, to name a few. With these considerations in mind, it would be beneficial to anyone looking for available positions to consider a career in the HVAC industry. Take a look at a few of the top reasons to consider a job as an HVAC specialist today:


In 2012 there were over 267,000 jobs in the HVAC field. In just 10 years, that number is expected to grow 21%, adding as many as 56,000 jobs by 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is nearly double the average industry when compared to all other occupations. This predicted growth rate is based on a variety of factors, including the large number of existing systems that will need to be replaced and, perhaps more importantly, the serious need for workers with knowledge of new climate control units and skill in the installation and service of the increasingly intricate technology of advanced systems.


Did you know that for every three skilled workers that are retiring from the trades industry workforce, only one is entering in their place? This, coupled with an estimation that merely 6% of high school students are thinking about a future in the trades, leaves a huge number of jobs currently available in the HVAC field. These surprising numbers mean there are vast opportunities for job placement, career development, and expedited advancement into higher positions.


With a high demand for skilled workers and a low supply of tradesmen entering the field, this leaves a world of opportunity for people entering the HVAC industry. As the current workforce moves towards retirement, it is leaving more positions available, especially to younger workers. So consider HVAC if you’re looking for job security, career growth, and exceptional benefits, not to mention an excess of possibilities for career development, including tuition assistance, apprenticeship programs, or continuing education opportunities.

Interested in learning more about the HVAC industry or employment opportunities?

At Vilandre, we are always on the lookout for motivated, hardworking, and dependable individuals looking for career development in a challenging profession. To learn more, visit our employment page or fill out our online application today.

People’s Choice Award Winner


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.


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.

To receive posts as soon as they have been published, subscribe to our blog today! Have a specific topic you would like us to discuss? Share your questions or ideas with us and we may feature it in our next blog post!