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Believe it or not, the temperature you keep your home at, while you and your family are trying to sleep, can make all the difference in just how restful your slumber is. So, what’s the ideal sleeping temperature and why?

What’s the Ideal Sleeping Temperature?

In general, the suggested temperature, for when you are trying to doze off, should be between 60°F and 67°F for optimal sleep ( When trying to fall asleep, your body temperature decreases to initiate sleep and the proposed ideal temperatures can help expedite this. If your room is cool, rather than warm, it will be much easier to shut your eyes for the night.

Your body’s internal temperature shifts during a 24-hour period. This is known as a circadian rhythm. Your body begins to shed warmth right about the time you go to bed and continues to cool down until reaching its low point near daybreak, at around 5 AM (healthline). The ideal sleeping temperature range is cool enough to promote the body's natural sleep process by lowering core body temperature, while also keeping you warm enough to prevent discomfort and shivering.

To put this simply, a cool, but not cold, room will help you settle into and maintain sleep throughout the night. One 2012 study found that the temperature of the room where you sleep is one of the most important factors in achieving quality sleep. Keep in mind, factors like bedding materials, pajamas, and humidity levels can also impact your comfort while sleeping, so it's important to consider all of these factors when creating your ideal sleep environment.

If you have a programmable thermostat, you can program it to be within the ideal sleeping temperature range for the times that you and your family normally lay your heads on your pillows.

Are There Benefits (Other than a Good Night’s Sleep) for Keeping Your Home Within the Ideal Sleeping Temperature Range?

There are several health benefits to keeping your sleeping environment cooler:

  • Better sleep quality: Let’s start with the obvious, a cooler sleeping environment helps to promote deeper, more restful sleep, allowing you to wake up feeling refreshed and energized.
  • Improved metabolism: Sleeping in a cooler environment can help to activate brown fat, a type of fat that burns calories to generate heat, leading to a higher metabolic rate and potentially aiding in weight loss (Diabetes Journal).
  • Reduced risk of insomnia: As reviewed above, a cooler sleeping environment can help to regulate your body's internal temperature, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.
  • Lower risk of overheating: Keeping your home in the ideal sleeping temperature range, will reduce the risk of overheating and sweating excessively, which can cause discomfort and disrupt your sleep.
  • Reduced risk of respiratory problems: Cooler temperatures can help to prevent the growth of dust mites and other allergens that can exacerbate respiratory problems like asthma and lead to poorer indoor air quality.

Overall, keeping your sleeping environment cooler and within the ideal sleeping temperature limit can lead to several health benefits; however, it’s important to find a temperature that feels comfortable for you and doesn't leave you feeling too cold or too warm.

When it comes to your Marin, Sonoma, or Napa County home’s comfort, Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing is here for you. If you are struggling to catch some zs, there could be an issue with your HVAC system. Give us a call and we can help you diagnose and resolve the problem, so you can get back to resting easy.

If you want to ensure that your home’s air conditioning helps you cartwheel into the fall, there are some actions you need to take to avoid any disruptions. With fall right around the corner, many people are jumping for joy and excitement about the changing colors and temperatures, but unfortunately, the falling leaves can cause issues for your HVAC system. Should you clean the outside portion of your HVAC system this fall and throughout the year? Let’s review.

What is the Outside Portion of Your HVAC System?

If you have central cooling and HVAC, odds are you can’t really miss the outside portion of your system. The outdoor unit consists of the compressor, refrigerant lines, condenser coils, and fan. The indoor unit's evaporator coil absorbs excess heat from the home's air. That heat is then transferred to the condenser coils, which release it outside. After the heat is released, the cooled refrigerant flows back to absorb more. This part of your HVAC system is key to your home’s comfort.

Regular cleaning of the outdoor unit is essential to prolong the air conditioner's life and to ensure your unit functions as it should. Keeping the outside of your AC unit clean is super important, because good airflow is the key factor that enables the outdoor unit to release the heat, and it can even help reduce the amount you pay each month for air conditioning.

Should you Clean the Outside Portion of Your HVAC System?

We have already given the answer to this question away, yes, you should clean the outside portion of your HVAC system, but the truth is, many people don’t think about this until it is too late. The fall and spring are two of the most important times in the year to check and clear around your unit. With spring comes new growth and with fall there is more debris and leaves flying through the air. Homeowners should ensure periodic cleaning of the outdoor unit and take precautions to keep the area around it free from any debris.

As leaves and other items fall off trees and blow through the air, they can build up on your AC condenser and that can cause issues. A dirty condenser can cause your air conditioning to blow warm air and shorten the life of your AC unit. Airflow blockages to your condenser can damage portions of your HVAC system, including the condenser coil and AC compressor.

Below we review some things you can do to protect the outside portion of your HVAC system from a potentially costly repair and ensure that it continues to function as it should.

  • Keep your yard and area around your unit clear of overgrown greenery and plants, fallen leaves, and other debris. Trim branches of trees, bushes, shrubs, and grass on a regular basis to prevent them from overtaking or from dropping items in or on the condenser. Also, rake regularly to reduce the number of leaves in the area and the potential for them to blow onto or in your unit.
  • During the spring and fall particularly, you should regularly check your HVAC unit for leaves and other overgrown or blown debris. Items can easily find their way to your unit and may need cleaned off. It’s a good practice to check your outside unit weekly to ensure no nest have been built there or other obstructions may be blocking the airflow.
  • If you find overgrown greenery, leaves, and/or other debris on or in your unit, you should clean them off/out. One way to do so is to use compressed air to blow out the debris found within your unit. WikiHow has provided some tips for cleaning the outside of an AC unit.
  • Scheduling regular HVAC maintenance can help you avoid any unwanted or unexpected breakdowns due to blockages or other issues with the outside portion of your HVAC. It is always recommended to have a professional HVAC technician review and clean your unit to ensure it is done properly and no damage is caused to your HVAC system.

When it comes to if you should clean the outside portion of your HVAC system, the answer is, “Yes”. This part of your unit is essential to your home’s comfort and your air conditioning working as it should.

If you find yourself with heating or cooling problems in Marin, Sonoma, or Napa County, Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing can help. When it comes to your comfort, you deserve the best solutions at the best value. All of our technicians and installers are Bragg employees dedicated to providing you with personalized solutions that meet your goals and budget. Contact us today.

Keeping your Bay Area home cool and comfortable is at the top of most people’s minds this summer and beyond. Our temperatures remain pretty consistent throughout the summer months, but vary throughout the hours of a day; you may need AC by day and heat by night. We know, comfort isn’t always the only thing on people’s minds when it comes to cooling and heating their homes, the cost of keeping your home in the ideal temperature range can play a major role on it and its occupants.

We have all heard about energy efficient options to help save some money on heating and cooling our homes, but do they really work? Are they worth it? Let’s review if an energy efficient HVAC system can really save you money.

What is Energy Efficient HVAC and Why it Matters?

Before we review if an energy efficient HVAC system can really save you money, we wanted to provide a brief reminder as to what this type of system is and why you should even consider this option.

Let’s start with the “why”. The average household spends more than $2,200 a year on energy bills, with nearly half of this going to heating and cooling costs (EnergyStar). Your HVAC system plays a major role in how much or how little you spend. If you have an older HVAC system, or one that is not energy efficient, if you switch to a high-efficiency HVAC system, you could reduce your energy use by 20% to 50% ( That large chunk of savings isn’t something to blink about.

An efficient HVAC system is cost-effective when the lifetime energy savings (from avoided energy costs over the life of the product, discounted to present value) exceed the additional up-front cost (if any) compared to a less efficient option ( To put this simply, compared to standard units, energy-efficient HVAC uses less energy and costs less to operate without affecting performance and comfort. An energy efficient HVAC system can be determined by two things: SEER and AFUE. You can read more about those here.

Can an Energy Efficient HVAC System Really Save You Money?

As we reviewed above, if you don’t have an energy efficient HVAC system in your home, chances are it is costing you by up to 50% more than it needs to be. A new HVAC system can help you enjoy more consistent heating and cooling throughout your home and lower your utility bills, yes, saving you money. Energy efficient HVAC systems have several other benefits as well:

  • Increased comfort because energy efficient units produce more even heating and cooling, help maintain a constant temperature in every room in your home, provide consistent levels of airflow, and have superior humidity control.
  • Lower noise level due to newer HVAC units being designed with sound-absorbing materials and technology.
  • Better environmental impact because energy efficient systems use less electricity and burn less fuel than older systems. High efficiency systems use up to one-third less fuel than older models, which means they help conserve more of our natural resources.
  • Rebates and incentive offers. In some states you may be able to get a rebate, tax break, or other financial incentive on a qualified energy-efficient ENERGY STAR HVAC unit. This will save you money right from the start of having your new HVAC system installed.

An energy efficient HVAC system can really save you money and comes with some other added benefits as well.

If you are looking for a heating or cooling system for your Marin, Sonoma, or Napa County home, contact Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing. We are committed to providing fast, cost-effective HVAC solutions for homeowners throughout the North Bay area.

It’s summer and it’s hot. When you are looking for some relief from the heat, you likely turn to the inside of your home to find comfort. If your home doesn’t have central air conditioning, or there are rooms without vents or that never seem to cool down enough, you may turn to whatever solution you can find, to gain your home’s ideal temperatures. If you use window ac units to cool down your home, or even just a room or two, while there are other options available (i.e. ductless air conditioning, central ac, etc.), you may not see the need to change. Should you? Is that window AC unit costing you more than you even realize? Let’s review.

What are Window Air Conditioners?

In case you aren’t familiar with these cooling devices, a window air conditioner is the simplest type of AC unit. It’s a single unit with all the parts and components contained inside one box or casing. This type of air conditioning is usually mounted or installed in a window and plugs into an electrical outlet. Window units operate independently from a home HVAC system. Like other air conditioning units, window AC units use refrigeration properties to remove heat and humidity from a room while cooling air to circulate into the room.

While central air conditioning is a solution for whole home comfort, window AC units are used more for smaller areas, and multiple units may need to be used to keep your home feeling comfortable in the heat.

Many people turn to this type of cooling, when their home doesn’t have central AC or existing ductwork and they don’t want to face the cost of having that or ductless AC installed. The question is, is that window AC unit costing you more?

Is that Window AC Unit Costing You?

It’s rather difficult to compare window AC units versus central AC, because they serve different purposes. Central air conditioners move cool air through a system of supply and return ducts. Supply ducts and registers (i.e., openings in the walls, floors, or ceilings covered by grills) carry cooled air from the air conditioner to the whole home. Window AC units typically only cool a limited space like a room or two (depending on the size of your unit).

When considering if window AC units cost you more than central air conditioning, you should compare the energy usage for your cooling system. A central air unit uses more energy to cool your home than other cooling choices; however, they are cooling a larger space and are typically more efficient. As Mr. Electricity states, a window unit uses anywhere from 500 to 1,440 watts to run, while a 2.5 ton central unit (about the size for a typical 1,500- to 2,000-square-foot home) uses about 3,500 watts.

Basically, to answer if that window AC unit is costing you, it really comes down to its main purpose. If you are looking to cool only a small area, a window AC unit may be okay; however, as a whole home solution, if you have multiple window units running, the energy usage and cost can really add up.

With window units there is a lot more risk of hot air entering and cool air escaping than with central AC or ductless cooling. That too can cost you and make your window air conditioning have to continuously run to keep up with the desired temperature and humidity levels. While installation of a window unit is simple and less expensive than other options, is it worth it?

Are Window AC Units Right for Your Home?

Is that window AC unit costing you? Like we said above, this really comes down to what you are using the cooling device for. If you plan to cool more than three rooms and have more than one or two window AC units, the energy consumption will likely cost you more than that of a central air conditioning unit.

A central AC unit adds resale value to your home, so you can recoup more of your investment, if you sell your home. Central AC allows you to cool more of your home at once and maintain more balanced temperatures than window units. Central air units should connect to your thermostat giving you more control over your home’s comfort, than a window AC unit allows. Also, central air units are also more efficient and let less cool air escape.

If you are looking for new AC Installation in Marin, Sonoma, or Napa County, Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing can help. We offer whole home air conditioning options as well as ductless AC installation.

Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing is a full service HVAC company that is licensed to solve all your air conditioner related problems, including repair, replacement, maintenance and safety inspection. Ready to get started? Contact us today.

Being comfortable in your Marin, Sonoma, or Napa County home is important, but your family’s comfort levels can come with increased energy bills. There is a delicate balance between your family’s preferred indoor temperatures and the money you are paying to keep up with them. If you are trying to find the right place to land, when it comes to your home’s air conditioning temperatures, you are not alone. What temperature should you keep your home at during the summer? Let’s review.

What Temperature Should you Keep Your Home at During the Summer?

Having your air conditioning set to a very low temperature can not only cost you more, it can put extra strain on your system, leading to an increase in breakdowns and shortening its life. As the summer sets in and the warmer temperatures stick around, you and your family of course want to escape the heat from the outside, inside of your home; you can do so, without blasting the air.

To stay comfortable and save money this summer, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat to 78°F (26°C) when you are home. Setting your air conditioner to this level will allow you to stay cool and avoid an unusually high electricity bill. We know, that may seem much too high for most people; however, the smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.

Turning your thermostat up seven to 10° F higher while you are away at work, or any time you're out of the house for more than two hours, can help you save as much as 10 percent on cooling costs. With that being said, what temperature you should keep your home at during the summer, depends on if you are there are not. To save money and energy while you're away, set your thermostat to 88°F. The higher interior temperature actually slows the flow of heat into your home, so it won't take as much energy to cool things back down when you return home.

Tips for Keeping Your Home Comfortable While Saving Money

If you are looking to still maintain comfort levels in your home, while following the above temperature recommendations, there are some things you can do to avoid needing to turn the temperature setting down. These include:

  • Utilizing a programmable thermostat to change temperature settings when you are home and away
  • Using window coverings (i.e. curtains and blinds) that keep sunlight out and prevent heat from entering through the windows
  • Keeping weather-stripping and caulk around doors and windows to maintain your home’s seal
  • When possible, try to grill and cook outside to limit the use of appliances that generate heat
  • Installing and using ceiling fans to increase cooling efficiency
  • Investing in a dehumidifiers to help eliminate any access moisture that may come with the higher temperatures

As we said, when it comes to what temperature you should keep your home at during the summer, we know that there is a balance between comfort and costs. At Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing, our goal is to ensure that you are comfortable in your home all year long. We can help you find the right HVAC unit for your home and family, repair AC issues you may be facing, tune up your cooling system so it works at its best, and more. When it comes to your comfort, you deserve the best solutions at the best value. All of our technicians and installers are Bragg employees dedicated to providing you with personalized solutions that meet your goals and budget.

Contact us today.

The warmer weather is setting in. Lots of people are likely jumping for joy, but others are probably thinking about how it can impact the money in their piggy bank. Keeping your Marin, Sonoma, or Napa county home cool during the spring and summer, can really put a dent in your pocketbook. We are going to review some tips for how to keep cooling costs down this spring and summer while not impacting your home and family’s comfort.

How to Keep Cooling Costs Down this Spring and Summer

Let’s be honest, when it comes to cooling your home, one of the most undesired parts about it, is the cost. There are things you can do to try and elevate some of the expense and most of those things are free or cost very little. What are those things? Keep reading to find out.

  • Keep your Air Filters Clean: Dirty AC filters block airflow and make units work harder to cool your home, in turn, costing you money. Replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one, can lower your air conditioner's energy consumption by 5% to 15% ( Not to mention, regularly replacing your home’s air filters can prolong the life of your HVAC system and make the air you are breathing cleaner, saving you even more in the long run.
  • Set your Thermostat Effectively: Having the right and a functional thermostat, can save you around 10% a year on heating and cooling costs, and if you program your thermostat to stay within the ideal temperature range, it can save you even more. The key to finding the right temperature is being comfortable, not chilled. Setting your AC as high as is comfortably possible and using a programmable thermostat to increase temperature when you’re out, or asleep, could easily decrease your summer cooling bill by 10% or more.
  • Utilize Fans and Ventilation Systems: As we recently reviewed, using your home’s ceiling fans with your HVAC system can save you money. If you are looking to keep cooling costs down this spring and summer, turning on your fans can help. If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting by about 3-5°F with no reduction in comfort. On average, for every degree you can move the air conditioner thermostat up, you reduce the duration of “on” cycles of the air conditioner compressor by 10%, cutting energy consumption, prolonging the life of your air conditioner, and increasing comfort in your home. When you take a shower or bath, use the bathroom vent to remove heat and humidity from your home, this can also save money on trying to cool down the space.
  • Avoid Allowing Heat into Your Home: When it is warm outside, do whatever you can do to try and prevent that heat from coming inside your home. Close curtains and blinds to block out the rays during the day. Keeping sun out of your home, means you are reducing the heat that enters. Don’t run heat producing appliances during hot peaks. Things like using a stove or oven, doing laundry, or running the dishwasher can be saved until nighttime, or when the temperatures are a little cooler. Seal any cracks around windows or doors to prevent warm air from leaking into your home.

When it comes to keeping cooling costs down this spring and summer, there are many things you can do without really impacting the comfort level of your home. While we have reviewed a few tips above, for more, you can check out’s Energy Saver 101 infographic, covering everything you need to know about home cooling.

In Marin, Sonoma, and Napa counties, Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing is here for all of your Bay Area cooling needs. Whether you are looking for new AC installation, repair, or a tune-up, we have got you covered. Contact us today.

Do you have areas in your home that seem to never be cool enough? What about an outdoor space that you spend a lot of time in, but tend to avoid when it is too hot outside? Is your home lacking central air all together? Whatever the cause, you are reading this because you are thinking about adding ductless AC to your home. We are going to review what this type of cooling is, and dig into if ductless AC could be the solution to keeping your home cool during the warmer months of the year.

What is Ductless Air Conditioning?

Ductless HVAC systems, also referred to as mini-split systems or ductless split systems, are a type of air conditioning and heating unit that does not require ductwork for installation to transport heated or cooled air. These systems have two main components connected by a refrigerant line: an outdoor condenser and an indoor blower.

Multiple indoor units can be connected to a single outdoor unit; that’s where the “split” part of the name comes from. These units, typically wall-mounted, blow cooled or heated air into the room they’re in, cooling or warming it. This type of air conditioning does not go in a window or, as mentioned above, need any ductwork.

Ductless mini-split air conditioners offer a more energy efficient and comfortable alternative to standard AC units. Ductless systems feature more flexible indoor climate control, which allows you and your household members to achieve your comfort goals without hassle. Also, you don’t have to worry about air escaping through leaking ductwork and driving up your energy bill. Ductless air conditioners come with zoned cooling benefits to help promote more flexible and efficient cooling throughout your home.

Could Ductless AC be the Solution to Keeping Your Home Cool During the Warmer Months?

Most homeowners who are considering ductless AC either don’t have central air conditioning at all, have rooms or spaces that aren’t connected to their current ductwork, or have rooms or spaces that just aren’t cool enough. Regardless the reason, ductless AC has many benefits and could be just what you are looking for to elevate the comfort level in your home.

Below we review some of the most common spaces of homes that many people add these units to.

  • Bonus Room or Space in an Outdoor Area: If you have a garage area in your home, or some other outdoor enclosed space that you spend a lot of time in, ductless AC could be the solution to keeping that area, and you, cool. Spaces like this usually make it hard to get ductwork too and may not have windows where a window unit can go, so ductless AC can be the perfect solution.
  • Home Addition: Often times when an addition is added to the home, it can be very difficult and costly to connect existing ductwork and central cooling to the space. Not to mention, the added space could be too large for your current HVAC system, which can cause issues. For these reasons, ductless HVAC systems may be your best solution.
  • Three Season Room: As the name, “Three Season Room”, suggests, these rooms are designed to be used when the weather and temperatures allow. One of the biggest things that makes them different from a four season room, is their lack of temperature control. If you want to turn your three season room into a livable space that can be used all year round, a ductless system may be the best way to do so.
  • A Large Open Space (Great Room): If you have a large space in your home, such as a great room, that never seems to be cool enough, it could be causing your current HVAC system to work harder to keep up with your desired temperatures, which can shorten it’s lifespan. This can also make the space not as comfortable as you would like. Many people add additional cooling systems to these larger areas of their homes to ensure the space remains within desired temperatures.

There are many other areas of your home that ductless AC can be the solution to keeping them cool during the warmer months: master bedrooms, offices, etc. When you are trying to determine if ductless AC is right for your home, you should consider its benefits: independent comfort, efficiency, dual cooling and heating, space flexibility, easy installation, and more.

Our experts at Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing offer professional ductless AC solutions that will help you meet your indoor comfort goals more efficiently. Whether you need to install a new system or have your current one serviced or repaired, our experts are prepared to deliver the quality solutions you deserve.

We serve customers in Marion, Napa, and Sonoma, California. Contact us today.

Are you looking out your window to embrace the spring views, while still trying to stay cool in your North Bay Area home? It may look great outdoors, but if your air conditioning isn’t working inside, it can be miserable. While the May weather in Marin, Sonoma, and Napa counties isn’t too hot just yet, the heat will be here before we know it, and one of the most important things is ensuring that your air conditioning is ready to take on the task of keeping you and your family comfortable. We are going to review some of the most common AC problems for spring and summer, so you can proactively keep your eyes peeled that a problem may be looming.

The Most Common AC Problems for Spring and Summer

Air conditioning, in this day and age, isn’t just a convenience, it has shifted to more of a “must have”. When your home’s AC isn’t working or isn’t up to par, it can create an uncomfortable situation and make your home less enjoyable. By knowing and watching for signs of an issue, you can try to stop a problem before it becomes much larger.

Below we take a look at some of the most common AC problems for spring and summer that we see many of our customers face.

Your AC is running, but there’s no cool air coming out. If you hear your AC running, but don’t feel any air, or warm air is coming out, there is likely an issue. There are multiple reasons why this may be occurring, and some are easier than others to identify and fix. Some of the main causes of this issue include: a dirty air filter, an air duct obstruction, the condenser or belts have an issue, refrigerant is low, or something else.

Your system is making loud and unusual noises when it turns on and off. Your AC should not be making loud noises and should be no louder than a hum. New sounds indicate an issue. If you notice a hissing, clicking, thumping or rattling, screeching, or buzzing, that is not normal. The new noises could indicate that there is a refrigerant leak, blower or motor issue, the condenser fan motor has a problem, there are loose parts, you have faulty electrical, or more. For any of these problems, you’ll want to contact a HVAC professional as soon as possible.

The system is short cycling (constantly turning on and off). One of the most coming AC problems we receive calls about is when a system is short cycling. This means that instead of completing a full cooling cycle, the AC starts up over and over. This is a serious issue that can damage the compressor. This problem may be caused by something as simple as clogged air filters or thermostat issues, or it could be a much larger concern.

There is liquid or it looks like something is leaking around your AC unit. It’s usually rather simple to spot when you have liquid somewhere in your home where it shouldn’t be; however, an AC refrigerant leak may appear within the unit, so it’s not as easy to detect. If you notice colored stains or liquid near your air conditioner unit, you likely have a problem. It is okay to see some condensation on the outside of the unit, but there should never be excessive moisture or colored stains. These types of leaks can be caused by multiple reasons, and usually always require the help of a professional to resolve the problem.

Your AC will not turn on at all. Talk about a problem! One of the most common AC problems for spring and summer is when your air conditioner just will not turn on at all. The first step to diagnosing this issue is checking your thermostat. Ensure it has power, is set to the right setting, and that the temperature is low enough for it to kick on. If all is well there, check your circuit breaker and power source to ensure it hasn’t tripped and that the unit has power. If that is not the issue, you may have loose wiring or another issue and should call in a North Bay Area cooling expert for help.

There are new unpleasant odors coming from your system. If you find yourself plugging your nose when your AC is on, there is a problem. Whether it’s a burning or musty smell, something isn’t right. Electrical and smoky odors may mean that the motor has wiring issues. If your air filters are clogged, it can cause the system to overheat, leading to burning smells. Mildew smells are related to improper drainage. If you detect a burning smell, turn the AC off right away. Check the air filters. If they look dirty, replace them.

The above are some of the most common AC problems you may face this spring and summer; however, you could have other issues with your air conditioning as well. If you are having trouble with your air conditioner, don’t hesitate to contact Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing, for professional cooling troubleshooting. We will take the time to explain what’s causing your cooling problem and discuss your options for repair.

At Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing we offer annual HVAC service agreements that include comprehensive AC tune ups every spring. This all-inclusive service covers coil cleaning, refrigerant inspections, and more. We are here for you and all of your Marin, Sonoma, and Napa county AC needs.

April 6, 2023

April is a great time in Marin, Sonoma, and Napa counties. The flowers are blooming, sun is shining, and the weather is ever changing. At some point in the day you may be using your air conditioning for a relief from the heat and then at another point in the day, you may turn to your heater to stay warm. The multiple temperature range, even throughout just one day, can really put a strain on your HVAC system. There are some things you can do to try and reduce the stress your HVAC system is incurring and increase your home’s comfort levels, one of which is embracing ceiling fans. That leads us to the question, “Should you use your home’s ceiling fan and HVAC at the same time”?

What are Ceiling Fans?

Most people are familiar with ceiling fans and very likely have one or more in their home; however, for those who aren’t, we are going to provide a brief review before discussing if you should use your home’s ceiling fans and HVAC at the same time.

A ceiling fan is a mechanical fan mounted on the ceiling of a room or space, usually electrically powered, that uses hub-mounted rotating blades to circulate air. Ceiling fans come in all different shapes and sizes and some include lighting fixtures.

Ceiling fans have been around for over 100 years, since the early 20th century. Philip Diehl, a contemporary of Thomas Edison, is credited with being the inventor of the electrically powered ceiling fan in 1882. They were originally invented for commercial use to cool factories and hotels, and were added into homes in the 1920s. Now, research shows that more than 75% of all homes in the U.S. have ceiling fans.

Should You Use Your Home’s Ceiling Fans and HVAC at the Same Time?

If you are looking to save money on cooling or heating your Bay Area home, could using a ceiling fan help? Below we review how a ceiling fan can not only help to keep your home at ideal temperature and comfort levels, but it can also lower your energy expenses if used in conjunction with your home’s HVAC.

Using a Ceiling Fan with Air Conditioning

Homeowners can find value in a ceiling fan by using it in conjunction with their air conditioning to keep their home cool. When the air conditioner is running, ceiling fans circulate cooled air and make people feel even cooler. A ceiling fan works similar to wind chill on a cold day, as the wind makes the air feel colder than the reading on the thermostat. A thermostat in a room with a ceiling fan running may display a specific temperature, but to the occupants, the room may feel up to 5 degrees cooler due to what is called the fan chill factor.

If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 3-5°F with no reduction in comfort. This allows you to increase the temperature of your air conditioner's thermostat several degrees without causing a decrease in comfort. On average, for every degree you can move the air conditioner thermostat up, you reduce the duration of “on” cycles of the air conditioner compressor by 10%, cutting energy consumption and prolonging the life of your air conditioner, and increasing comfort in your home.

Using a Ceiling Fan with Heat

Most people don’t think about using a ceiling fan when they are trying to stay warm, but could using your ceiling fan and HVAC at the same time, when you are trying to heat up your home, help? The answer is, “yes”. Using a ceiling fan to provide extra warmth in your home can reduce the strain on your HVAC system and save you money on heating costs.

Normally, ceiling fans rotate counterclockwise, pushing air down and producing a slight wind chill effect, as we reviewed above. When you are looking to use your ceiling fan and your heater at the same time, you can switch your ceiling fan’s blade rotation to clockwise, producing an updraft and moving the warm air that collects near your ceiling down into the rest of the room. Hot air rises, so reversing and utilizing your ceiling fans can push the warmth to you.

Your Home’s Comfort is the Top Priority

Should you use your home’s ceiling fan and HVAC at the same time? The truth is, it really can’t hurt and in fact can save you money and prolong the life of your HVAC system. Most people aren’t going to want to turn their blades around, to either heat or cool their home, daily; however, once the weather becomes a little more stable, you should utilize your ceiling fan for whatever season we are in.

At Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing your Marin, Sonoma, and Napa county home’s comfort is our number one priority. We are your heating and cooling experts. When it comes to your comfort, you deserve the best solutions at the best value. All of our technicians and installers are Bragg employees dedicated to providing you with personalized solutions that meet your goals and budget. If you need HVAC repair, replacement, maintenance, or something else, we are here for you.

Contact us today.

March 21, 2023

If you have to plug your noise when your air conditioning is on, or find yourself trying to sniff out where that new odor is coming from, there may be something wrong with your home’s AC. Different smells may mean different things. If you are wondering, “Why does my AC stink?”, we review some of the most common reasons below.

Why Does my AC Stink?

If your AC is making your home smell funky, chances are, there is a reason, because your AC should generally not produce any noticeable smells. We review some of the odors you may be sniffing out, and reasons why you may be asking yourself, “Why does my AC stink”?

  • Musty or Moldy: If your AC smells musty or like mildew, moisture within your unit is probably the cause of the stench. If you smell a moldy odor, chances are that mildew or fungus has begun to grow in or near your air conditioner. This can come from various sources, so calling an AC professional is your best bet to resolve the issue. Exposure to damp and moldy environments can cause a variety of health effects, or none at all, depending on the person, and the amount of mold in the environment. You won’t want to leave the smell unattended for too long, as it is not only less than enjoyable, it could be impacting your home’s indoor air quality.
  • Exhaust Fumes: If your AC smells like an exhaust pipe, then you could have a refrigerant leak. These leaks can not only be dangerous to your health, but they can also shorten your HVAC system's lifespan. Air conditioners run on electricity, not fossil fuels, so an exhaust smell is a telltale sign that the fluids inside the motor or other components are leaking.
  • Rotten Eggs: If you are asking “Why does my AC stink?” and it’s because it smells like rotten eggs, you are likely looking for a solution to resolve the bad stench as soon as possible. This odor can be caused by a number of things, including a decaying animal within your ducts or a gas leak. If you smell this unpleasant odor, it’s best to leave the investigating and troubleshooting to the professionals. Open your windows and call a Marin, Sonoma, and Napa County HVAC expert right away.
  • Burning or Smoky: When your AC is on, does it smell like something is burning? If so, chances are that something is. A smoky or burning aroma coming from your air conditioner can be caused by dust burning off (this should go away after a while and is nothing to worry about), having a clogged air filter, a broken capacitor, your motor overheating, electrical components burning, or more. If the burning odor doesn’t go away after a while, turn off your HVAC system and call a professional.


Any time that you have to ask yourself, “Why does my AC stink?”, you should be alert and pay attention to what you are smelling. Sometimes what you are sniffing out can be easily explained and resolved, other times, the odors are an indication to much larger problems within your HVAC system.

Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing is here for all of your Marin, Sonoma, and Napa County HVAC needs. When it comes to your comfort, you deserve the best solutions at the best value. All of our technicians and installers are Bragg employees dedicated to providing you with personalized solutions that meet your goals and budget.

HVAC problems can happen at any time and often require immediate attention. We’re available to provide fast same-day service throughout Marin, Sonoma, and Napa Counties at no extra charge. Contact us today.


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