With the holiday season here, most people find themselves, their home, and their time filled with gatherings with friends and family. From festive holiday parties to New Year’s celebrations, creating the right ambiance for these special occasions is crucial to ensure everyone feels comfortable and in high spirits. Among the many factors that contribute to a warm and inviting setting, one key element stands out, the ideal temperature of your home. We are going to review how you can find the perfect temperature for your holiday gatherings and share some tips to ensure your celebrations are memorable, comfortable, and enjoyable for all.
What Temperature do Most People Prefer for Their Home and Why?
Individual preferences for room temperature can vary widely, but studies have shown that the average person tends to feel most comfortable when the indoor temperature falls between 65°F to 72°F. At this temperature range, most people are less likely to feel too hot or too cold, facilitating optimal relaxation and social interactions during holiday gatherings. The World Health Organization recommends keeping indoor temperatures between 64°F and 75°F for healthy people. The minimum temperature should be kept above 68°F to protect the very young, the elderly, or people with health problems.
As we said, the ideal temperature for a home can vary greatly depending on who is in it. Several factors can influence an individual's temperature preferences, and they may vary from person to person. Some of the key factors include:
Setting the Ideal Temperature for Holiday Gatherings
When it comes to the recommended ideal temperature for your home, we have reviewed it before; however, with all the fun of the holiday season, in case you need a reminder, we have got you covered. According to the US Department of Energy, “You can easily save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat to around 68°F to 70°F while you're awake and setting it lower while you're asleep or away from home.” If money isn’t a factor, than try to keep your home’s temperature within the range suggested above by The World Health Organization.
Now that we have reviewed the recommended ideal temperature for savings and comfort and the factors influencing temperature preferences, let's explore some tips for setting the ideal temperature during holiday gatherings:
Keep in mind, as we mentioned above, having more people in your home can make your home warmer than normal, so be prepared to turn the heat down a bit and even open a window if needed. If you are going to have cooking devices running or a fire going, you may consider knocking the temperature down a bit before your guests arrive, to account for the extra heat being produced.
The ideal temperature for holiday gatherings is a delicate balance that can significantly impact the overall enjoyment of the event. By understanding the recommended indoor temperature suggestions and considering individual preferences, you can create a warm and inviting atmosphere that helps facilitate cherished memories during the festive season.
When it comes to your home’s comfort, Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing is here for all of your Marin, Sonoma, and Napa County needs. We are heating experts and offer a wide range of heating services. Contact us today to ensure a holiday season filled with warmth, joy, and unforgettable moments with loved ones.
The holiday season officially begins month. It is a time for joy, celebrations, and spending time with your family and friends; however, it's also a time when homes' energy consumption tends to spike, leading to higher utility bills. The last thing you should have worry about during this season of thankfulness and togetherness, is how much your HVAC system usage is going to cost you. Are there some HVAC upgrades you can and should make to lower your holiday bills? Below we review some effective HVAC upgrades that can help you lower your holiday bills and make your home more energy efficient in the process.
HVAC Upgrades to Lower Your Holiday Bills
During the holiday season, as more people are in and out of the home, the North Bay Area outside temperatures start to drop, and you are looking for an extra cozy indoor environment, energy costs can rise significantly. 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). As we approach Thanksgiving, we enter into the time of the year where more and more energy is being consumed, meaning your costs go up.
If you want to feel extra grateful this holiday season, making some HVAC upgrades to lower your holiday bills, may be just what you need to take things to the next level. We have reviewed before how an energy efficient HVAC system can save you money, but did you also know that with the right HVAC improvements, you can ensure a cozy and energy efficient holiday season while keeping your energy bills in check?
Here are some HVAC upgrades you can make to lower your energy costs this season.
This holiday season, by making some HVAC upgrades, you can lower your holiday bills, while enjoying a comfortable and cozy home. When it comes to your home’s heating system, the team at Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing is here for you. We have duct cleaning services, offer heating tune-ups, are experts in heating repair, have HVAC maintenance plans, and can install a new energy efficient HVAC system for you. We are your team for all of your heating needs in Marin, Sonoma, and Napa Counties.
It’s the season for ghosts, goblins, witches, and more. There are plenty of things to scare you this Halloween, and a strange odor coming from your HVAC system shouldn’t be one of them. If your home’s heating smells funny, it could be trying to tell you something. We are going to review some of the potential reasons for those peculiar odors, to help you get to the root cause of the issue, so you can get back to pumpkin carving, apple bobbing, and all of the other fun seasonal activities.
Some Odors that You may Smell Coming from Your HVAC
Almost everywhere that you go this season, the smells of apples and pumpkin spice fill the air, if your heating system is overpowering those aromas and smells strange, you likely want to get to the bottom of it and resolve it as soon as possible. To help you unravel the mystery, below we are going to review some common odors your HVAC system may be producing and what your home’s heating smelling funny could mean.
This Halloween season, if your home’s heating smells funny, the unusual aromas might be trying to tell you something. Regardless of the odor, if you smell something strange, you should contact the experts at Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing to solve the mysteries lurking in your heating system and restore peace and comfort to your home. Things like professional duct cleaning, advanced air filtration systems, and an annual heating tune-up, should help you avoid less than desirable smells coming from your heater. If you have a strange odor coming from your furnace, you should always power it down and call in a professional to help.
At Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing we offer fast same-day HVAC service as we know you can’t be without your heat for long. Regardless of whether it is a repair or replacement, you can depend on Bragg for expert consultation that meets or exceeds your expectations. We will always give you an honest assessment of your heating situation so you can make an informed decision.
Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing is a full service HVAC company that is licensed to solve all your furnace related problems, including repair, replacement, and maintenance and safety inspection. We’ve been repairing and installing furnaces since 1968. Contact us today.
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 (Sleep.org). 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:
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.
The leaves will start falling soon, is HVAC maintenance calling? When it comes to your Marin, Sonoma, or Napa County cooling and heating system, the majority of problems homeowners face are caused by a lack of maintenance. There are things you can do to prepare your furnace for the fall, with one of the main things being for you to have an annual heating tune-up. While you may only use your furnace for a short time each year, regular system inspections and maintenance are crucial to ensuring your comfort come fall and winter. We are going to review some of the benefits of a fall HVAC tune-up.
What is a HVAC Tune-up?
Before we get into the benefits of a fall HVAC tune-up, we wanted to first touch on what exactly it is. HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, and a HVAC tune-up is a preventative maintenance service performed on your heating and cooling system. It involves a thorough inspection and cleaning of various components of the system to ensure it is running efficiently and effectively.
During a HVAC tune-up, a licensed cooling and heating technician will inspect and clean the system's air filters, coils, blower motor, and other components. They will also check the system's refrigerant levels, thermostat, electrical connections, lubricate parts, check belts and fans, and overall system performance. Any issues or potential problems that are identified during the tune-up will be addressed and repaired to prevent larger, more costly problems down the line.
Overall, a HVAC tune-up is a proactive step you can take to help ensure that your heating and cooling system is operating at peak performance, which can save you money on energy costs and help prevent breakdowns or repairs in the future. It is generally recommended that you schedule a HVAC tune-up twice a year, ideally before the start of the heating and cooling seasons.
Benefits of a Fall HVAC Tune-up
With fall on the horizon, now is a great time to schedule a heating tune-up for your Marin, Sonoma, or Napa County home. There are several benefits of a fall HVAC tune-up before the start of the heating season. Below we review some of the key ones:
Overall, a fall HVAC tune-up is a smart investment in the long-term health and performance of your heating system. It can save you money, improve indoor air quality, and give you peace of mind during the fall and winter and throughout the year.
Our team at Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing are HVAC experts in Marin, Sonoma, and Napa Counties. We provide thorough heating tune-up services for the North Bay Area. Contact us today to schedule yours.
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% (Energy.gov). 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 (Energy.gov). 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:
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.
February 16, 2023
Bang, knock, clang, rattle, click, whistle, buzz, and hum. Has your heater been talking to you? If your furnace sounds like it is playing in a band on Friday night, something is not right. Our Marin, Sonoma, and Napa County nights still get pretty chilly during this time of the year, so now is not the time to ignore issues with your furnace or leave them unresolved. If your heating system is making noises, it is trying to tell you something, so you should listen. If you have to ask yourself, “What’s that noise coming from my heater?”, you likely have an issue.
What’s That Noise Coming From my Heater?
While your heating system may be working as intended, if it has started to make new sounds and loud noises, that is usually an indication that something is about to go wrong. Typically, when your furnace starts to make new sounds, it is a sign that something is not right. While some furnace noises may be normal, if they are new and persistent, they should not be ignored. Below we review some common sounds you may be hearing and what they could possibly mean.
- Banging or Knocking: When you hear a banging or knocking noise when your heater is running, it usually means that parts are going bad or you have dirty furnace burners. There are various parts and pieces of your furnace that can go bad and cause it to produce a knocking noise as it functions. Dirty furnace burners can cause your furnace not to ignite properly and can produce a buildup that will create the banging noise. This is basically a mini-explosion in the furnace, as the furnace is not able to function as it should.
- Rattling: If you hear a rattling while your heater is on, it could be a sign that your ductwork is loose. Rattling, vibrating, knocking/banging, or whistling sounds usually mean that your ductwork has something loose, a hole, and disconnected joints, amongst other things. The rattling could also be coming from loose panels that need to be tightened. Professional duct cleaning could help you identify any of these issues, before they cause noticeable issues for your HVAC system.
- Clicking: If you have to ask, “What’s that noise coming from my heater?” and it’s what seems like a constant clicking sound, the most common causes are an ignition system malfunction or internal part damage. A repeated clicking indicates a system malfunction, due to your furnace’s spark igniter trying to light the pilot light or burners.
- Whistling: Usually the main cause of a furnace that whistles while it works is a dirty air filter that is restricting airflow. Airflow problems within your heater cause a constant whistling noise. This can also be caused from a leak or gap somewhere in the system allowing air to escape or could indicate a problem with the unit’s blower or motor.
- Buzzing or Humming: While all heating systems generate some light noise, they should run quiet enough not to be disruptive the majority of the time. If you notice a loud buzzing or humming, it can indicate various mechanical or electrical problems, either when the furnace starts up or throughout its operation. If the sound is loudest during startup, the main culprit could be an issue with your blower fan motor. If it’s a blower fan issue, the noisiness may or may not improve after startup.
As we said, if your North Bay Area heater sounds like it is playing in a band, and likely not a good one, and you have ask, “What’s that noise coming from my heater?”, you probably have a problem and should call in a Marin, Sonoma, and Napa County heating professional.
Regardless of whether it is a repair or replacement, you can depend on Bragg for expert consultation that meets or exceeds your expectations. We will always give you an honest assessment of your heating situation so you can make an informed decision.
Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing is a full service HVAC company that is licensed to solve all your furnace related problems, including repair, replacement, maintenance and safety inspection. We’ve been repairing and installing furnaces since 1968. Contact us today.
November 22, 2022
When it comes to the fall and winter time, there is nothing that quite sets the mood like cuddling up in front of a fireplace and listening to the crackling wood. In the North Bay Area, using a fireplace comes with several restrictions, that may be overwhelming enough; however, nothing seems to replace the ambiance these wood burning devices tend to set, so when you can use yours, you likely take every opportunity to do so. The question is; should you use your fireplace with your home’s heat source?
Should You Use Your Fireplace with Your Home’s Heat?
As if the guidelines involving wood burning devices that we have to follow in Marin, Sonoma, and Napa counties aren’t enough, you should also think about if burning your fireplace is saving you money or costing you. When considering if you should use your fireplace with your home’s heat, the answer is about as simple as the laws we have to follow to use them.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, wood and gas fireplaces are the most inefficient heat sources for the home. The U.S. Department of Energy says that the primary reason for the energy loss is the fireplace’s damper; either it being left open or not properly sealed. They estimate that this circumstance alone can result in your energy usage increasing by up to 30%, or around $200 a year. It is estimated that between 80% to 90% of heat produced by a wood burning fireplace goes up in smoke, literally, and you and your home don’t feel the effects of it.
With all that being said, when it comes down to if you should use your fireplace in conjunction with your home’s heat, it depends on your home and your heat source and its effectiveness. Your ductwork, thermostat, and type of furnace can all play a major role. It is widely believed that a furnace is the better choice for heat, as it’s more efficient and can distribute the heat evenly throughout the home.
Reasons you Should Keep Your Furnace on While Enjoying a Fire
As we have reviewed above, your home’s heater is the best option when it comes to heating your home; however, if you are going to enjoy sitting in front of your home’s fireplace, you really shouldn’t turn off your home’s central HVAC. Why?
It will cause energy to be lost and wasted. If you shut off your HVAC unit to utilize your fireplace, your heater will eventually need to be turned back on. When you go to turn your heater back on, many of the rooms in your home have probably cooled down quite a bit, meaning your furnace will have to work harder and longer to warm them back up. That can use a lot of energy and put a strain on your HVAC system.
A fireplace cannot thoroughly heat your home. As we reviewed above, your fireplace should not be used a main source of heat for your home. Using a fireplace to heat a home is less efficient than using a furnace. Furnaces have less heat loss than fireplaces and can circulate air better. A fireplace heats the immediate area or a home but lacks ductwork to distribute the heat throughout the entire house.
You cannot leave a fire unattended. A fireplace can be a good source of heat for the short term, usually in a small space, but it’s not a good idea to shut off the heater and leave the fire burning overnight, unattended. Also, as we know per our California guidelines, the air that is produced from a fireplace can have some safety risks.
Should you use your fireplace with your home’s heat? Like we said, there is not an easy answer. To put this simply you should not use a fireplace to replace your home’s heating source; however, if using one, you should still keep your HVAC on.
If you have a problem with your home’s heat, Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing can help. We are very good at troubleshooting furnaces and getting you back into heat in no time. We service and repair all makes and models. The right tools and expertise make all the difference. We are your North Bay Area heating experts.
Regardless of whether it is a repair or replacement, you can depend on Bragg for expert consultation that meets or exceeds your expectations. We will always give you an honest assessment of your heating situation so you can make an informed decision. Contact us today.
October 6, 2022
When it comes to your Marin, Sonoma, or Napa County furnace, when you need it and go to turn it on, you expect it to work. When you start to feel the warm air coming out of it, you are filled with relief that it has yet again survived another long season without being used. As the heat begins to warm up your home, you may start to notice a strange odor, and ask yourself, “What’s that smell coming from my heater”? While some smells coming from your furnace may be normal, there are some odors that may be cause for concern. We are going to review common aromas that your heater may produce and what they usually mean.
What’s That Smell Coming From my Heater?
If your furnace is producing an unpleasant odor it can not only be annoying, it can be discomforting and concerning for you and your North Bay Area home and family. While you can prepare your furnace for the fall and winter, there are still things that may cause it to produce more than just heat, and could be the reason you are sniffing around to find out what it is.
As we said, not all smells coming from your furnace are bad; however, there are some that should be cause for concern. We review some of the most common smells and their reasons below.
Things like professional duct cleaning, advanced air filtration systems, and an annual heating tune-up, should help you avoid less than desirable smells coming from your heater. If you have a strange odor coming from your furnace, you should always power it down and call in a professional to help.
At Bragg Plumbing & Heating we offer fast same-day HVAC service as we know you can’t be without your heat for long. Regardless of whether it is a repair or replacement, you can depend on Bragg for expert consultation that meets or exceeds your expectations. We will always give you an honest assessment of your heating situation so you can make an informed decision.
Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing is a full service HVAC company that is licensed to solve all your furnace related problems, including repair, replacement, and maintenance and safety inspection. We’ve been repairing and installing furnaces since 1968. Contact us today.
September 20, 2022
As the weather starts to become cooler in the North Bay Area, many homeowners turn to space heaters, as an alternative to turning their furnace on just yet, and as a way to heat up their home or specific rooms that stay a bit colder. The autumn mornings and evening can create a chill throughout your home, but you may not fully need your heat for the season, so these types of heaters can be a great alternative. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that space heaters are responsible for 43% of house fires and 81% of home heating fire deaths. That leads us to the question, are you using your space heater safely?
What is a Space Heater?
Whether you are trying to warm up a space that doesn’t have a built in heat source, or just looking for some warm relief, a space heater may be the solution you turn to. These, usually small and portable heaters, provide a way to warm up an individual rooms without turning up the thermostat to the entire house. They can be used almost anywhere in the home that flammable materials are not present. Space heaters differ from central heating systems, as space heaters are meant for smaller and typically enclosed spaces, while central HVAC systems are intended to heat your entire home.
There are several different types of electric space heaters:
Regardless what type you use, it’s important that you are using your space heater safely. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more than 25,000 residential fires every year are associated with the use of space heaters, resulting in more than 300 deaths. In addition, an estimated 6,000 people receive hospital emergency room care for burn injuries associated with contacting the hot surfaces of room heaters, mostly in non-fire situations.
Are you Using Your Space Heater Safely?
As you can see, space heaters, while a great solution for providing heat to your Marin, Sonoma, or Napa county home and family, can also pose a safety risk. Are you using your space heater safely? Below we review some safety precautions you should take if using one of these heat producing devices.
Recommended space heater safety tips:
Are you using your space heater safely? It doesn’t matter if you are trying to avoid turning on your entire heating system until later in the year, warming a room that is a bit chilly, or trying to heat up a garage, when using one of these heating devices, you need to be sure you are taking the proper safety precautions to protect yourself, your home, and your family.
At Bragg Plumbing & Heating, our specialty is providing comfort to your home. We are North Bay Area furnace and HVAC professionals. Ensuring your peace of mind is our priority. Whether you are planning on replacing an old furnace or you’re looking to have your system tuned up for the season, the Bragg expert installers and technicians will make sure you receive a top-notch service experience and total home comfort.