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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 20, 2023

Spring is in the air, and for many people that includes tackling a spring cleaning list. Spring cleaning is the practice of thoroughly cleaning a house in the springtime, after some months of spending a lot of extra time indoors. Spring signals the time for fresh and new things, and with people tending to have more energy and excitement, it marks a great time to take on some things that you have been putting off. Air ducts play a critical role in your North Bay Area home, so if you haven’t had yours cleaned in a while, and are noticing signs that they may need it, now could be the perfect time. Should duct cleaning be added to your spring cleaning list?

What is Duct Cleaning?

Before we dive into if duct cleaning should be added to your spring cleaning list, if you have never had this done before, you probably are wondering what it is, and if it is useful for your family and your home. We have got you covered.

We have taken our definition directly from the EPA, their definition states, “Duct cleaning generally refers to the cleaning of various heating and cooling system components of forced air systems, including the supply and return air ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers, heat exchangers heating and cooling coils, condensate drain pans (drip pans), fan motor and fan housing, and the air handling unit housing”. Basically, duct cleaning gives your home’s ductwork a thorough cleaning, like you do for most other visible areas throughout your home.

The quality of your indoor environment and your home's indoor air quality, greatly depends on the quality of your air ducts. Dirty or blocked air ducts won’t just create air quality issues in your home, it can drive up your utility bill as well.

Should Duct Cleaning be Added to Your Spring Cleaning List?

Whether you are trying to decide to have your ducts cleaned in the spring, or any other time, generally, it is recommended that a typical home has its ducts cleaned every three to five years. If you can’t remember the last time you had this done, it is probably time, and spring can be the perfect time of the year to do so.

As the weather begins to warm up, and you and your family begin spending more time outdoors, duct cleaning becomes more convenient because many homeowners prefer to vacate their property while this is done. Duct cleaning is also great in the spring because it helps to remove winter dust buildup and accumulation from the more time spent inside, it can reduce and combat spring allergies, remove pet dander and shedding, improve system efficiency before you are relying more heavily on it for cooling your home in the warmer months, and more.

There are several benefits that come with having your ducts cleaned. These include:

  • Improving Indoor Air Quality
  • Boosting Efficiency
  • Eliminating Unpleasant Odors
  • Reducing Fire Hazard Risks
  • Lowering Allergens
  • Proactively Identifying Other Unknown Problems


Are There Signs That you Need Your Marin, Napa, or Sonoma County Ducts Cleaned?

When it comes to whether duct cleaning should be added to your spring cleaning list or not, it really depends on the home. The time frame in which you should have your ducts cleaned will vary by home and family, so you should really pay attention to if there are indications that this needs done. Some of these signs include:

  • Poor Air Circulation
  • Inconsistent Temperatures Throughout the Home
  • Increase in Dust
  • Higher Energy Bills
  • Dirt or Dust Buildup Around Registers and Vents
  • New Unpleasant Odors
  • Increase in Household Illness


At Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing we are committed to helping our neighbors throughout Marin, Sonoma, and Napa Counties improve their indoor environment, enjoy greater energy savings, and achieve their comfort goals. Whether you need air duct cleaning or you have a problem with leaking ductwork that requires sealing or insulation, you can count on the Bragg team to provide the best solution for your home.

Contact us today.


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.


March 7, 2023

Flowers are starting to bloom, the days are longer, and warmer weather is setting in. That can only mean one thing, spring is in the air. Spring officially begins later this month and if you, like most of us, can’t wait for more hours of sunshine, you are likely ready to get everything prepared for the season ahead so you can enjoy it. Warmer weather signals a time to turn off the heater and turn on the air conditioning. Is your AC ready for the hotter months ahead? Our spring HVAC tips can help you ensure that it is. Check them out below.

Spring HVAC Tips

While our California winters may not be as brutal as they are in other parts of the country, the colder weather can still cause issues for your HVAC system, especially when you are officially ready to switch it over to air conditioning. Much like you should prepare your furnace for the fall and winter, you should do the same with your air conditioning for spring and summer.

  1. Inspect the outside portion of your HVAC system. If your HVAC system has a condenser that is outdoors, now is the time to remove any covering you may have on it and check around it for debris and other items that may have accumulated in or near it over the colder months. Turning on the air conditioning portion of your unit and forgetting to uncover it, or having obstructions in it, can severely damage your HVAC system.
  2. Check and change your air filters. Regularly changing your home’s air filter is significant for your home and your family’s health. The change of season can serve as a great reminder that it is time to replace your air filter. Air filters do simply what the name implies, they filter your air. Air filters keep dust and pollen out and are also tasked with keeping larger particles and materials out of your HVAC system, in turn, saving your system from mutilation. Dirty, unchanged filters are a leading cause of issues with Marin, Sonoma, and Napa County HVAC systems.
  3. Test your cooling system. While you may not need AC just yet, one of the best Spring HVAC tips we can provide is for you to check your air conditioning before it is needed. This will allow you to identify any issues proactively, so they can be fixed before you are looking for an escape from the heat.
  4. Examine your thermostat. If you have your thermostat turned only to heat, the spring is a great time to change the setting to automatic. The spring is also a good time to set and program your thermostat to ideal temperatures for the warmer months ahead. Use this time to determine if your thermostat is in need of replacement, and do so if needed.
  5. Schedule an AC tune-up. An annual AC tune-up will help keep your system at optimal performance. Doing this in the spring will ensure that your air conditioner is replaced, repaired, or serviced in time to help you achieve whole-home comfort in the warmer temperatures. Most people don’t realize that in the summer, the average family spends about 40% of their energy bill for air conditioning the house. Periodic maintenance on your air conditioner can help you save money by improving its overall energy efficiency, as well as helping to prevent expensive emergency breakdowns.

Spring is in the air, and if you want to ensure your home’s air conditioning is working as it should, when it is needed, following the above spring HVAC tips can help, and so can Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing.

Working with a trusted and experienced AC professional is one of the most important factors when it comes to the long-term efficiency of your cooling system. Contact us today to schedule your AC tune-up or for any of your heating and cooling needs.


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.


February 2, 2023

February is the month of love, so while we know love is in the air, do you know what else you and your family could be breathing in in your home? The truth is, with every season there are different contaminants that can make their way into your Marin, Sonoma, or Napa County home, and some of those things can be really bad for you and your family. What’s in your home’s air?

We are going to provide a quick refresher as to what indoor air quality is, what the most common things found in the air in North Bay Area homes are, and things you can do to improve your home’s indoor air quality.

What’s Indoor Air Quality?

Before we can jump into what’s in your home’s air, we think it would be a good idea to cover why that even matters in the first place and what indoor air quality is.

Indoor air quality refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants (EPA). Poor indoor air quality has been linked to continued sickness, reduced productivity, and impaired learning and thought processes. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rates poor indoor air quality as an area of major concern, noting that common contaminants, endlessly redistributed by a central air system, can contribute to allergy symptoms and sickness.

Your home’s indoor air quality is important, because it can directly impact the health and well-being of the people who are in your home. There can be short-term and long-term effects. Immediate effects typically are similar to those of colds and other viral infections, while some long-term effects may include respiratory diseases, heart disease, cancer, and more.

What’s in Your Home’s Air?

Every home is different; however, for most homes, there are several things that may be in the air that can lead to your family feeling a general sense of unwell and for it to seem like people in your home are constantly passing a “bug” back and forth (the truth is, they probably are). Below we review some of the most common things that may be in your home’s air.

-  Dust Mites: Dust mites occur naturally and can appear in almost all homes. They are very common during the winter months when your furnace is likely running a lot. Eight out of 10 people in the United States are exposed to dust mites (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America). Dust mites are microscopic, insect-like pests that generate some of the most common indoor allergens and can trigger allergic reactions and asthma in lots of people.
- Mold and Mildew: Most people don’t realize they have a mold and mildew issue until they have an indoor air quality test. Mold and mildew are fungi that reproduce and grow “seeds,” called spores that travel through the air. Mold and mildew develop in damp environments with little to no air movement. Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions) and irritants. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (EPA).
- Pet Dander: Six out of 10 homes are subject to cat or dog dander. Pet dander is composed of tiny, even microscopic, flecks of skin shed by cats, dogs, rodents, birds and other animals with fur or feathers. Animal allergens are carried on small particles that remain airborne and easily attach to surfaces and clothing. People suffering from pet allergies will have symptoms consistent with swollen nasal passages. This includes a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, and shortness of breath (American Lung Association).
- Cockroach Allergens: As disturbing as this may sound, cockroaches aren’t just unsightly pests, crawling across your kitchen floor in the middle of the night. They can be an allergy trigger as well. The National Pest Management Association reports that 63% of homes in the United States contain cockroach allergens. In urban areas, that number rises to between 78% and 98% of homes. Cockroach allergy symptoms include: coughing, nasal congestion, skin rash, wheezing, ear infection, and sinus infection (ACAAI).
- Viruses and Bacteria: If it seems like people in your home are constantly getting sick, it may be because viruses and bacteria are living in your home’s air. People, pets, and pests will inevitably bring microbes into your home. In most cases, they are carried by hosts and transferred to others through direct contact rather than the air; however, microbes can also become airborne and spread throughout your home environment. Your heating system may be pumping germs as well as warm air throughout your home.

When love is in the air, the last thing you want to have to worry about is being sick and stuck indoors. There are things you can do to improve your indoor air quality and prevent home allergens to ensure the only thing you and your family are being hit with, during this time of the year, is cupid’s arrow, and not some unwanted illness.

Do you know what’s in your home’s air? If you want to ensure that the air you and are family are breathing every day is safe, Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing can help. We can assess your current IAQ situation by performing a fast and easy air quality test that measures the level of particulate concentration in your air. We will then make recommendations based on our findings.

Let our comfort specialists help you breathe in clean indoor air. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about your options.


January 19, 2023

Each season brings different temperatures and humidity levels for homeowners in Marin, Sonoma, and Napa counties. When it comes to being comfortable in your home and keeping your family healthy, humidity can play a major roll. Do you know what your home’s humidity level is? The average American is indoors 90% of the time, making keeping indoor air at optimal moisture levels very important. What is the ideal humidity level for your home and why does it really matter?

How Marin, Sonoma, and Napa County Humidity Changes Throughout the Year

Like the colors change with each season, so do the humidity levels. In the North Bay Area, winter doesn’t impact the humidity levels as much as it does in other parts of the country; however, with colder weather, can come drier air, and that can have an impact on you, your home, and your family.

The least humid months we have in our area are early fall, and the most humid months, are late winter and early spring (that is much different than other places in the country). In the spring not only comes flowers blooming, but also comes more moisture in the air, which can affect your home. The average humidity in the North Bay area is around 75% with the most humid month being in March.

What is the Ideal Humidity Level for Your Home?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that you keep the humidity in your home between 30 and 50%. You need to reduce the humidity in your home if it is above 50%, but especially if it gets to 60% or higher.

We have reviewed before how dry air can affect your home and family, and the same is true with air that is too damp. High humidity can lead to HVAC issues, mold and mildew, and damage to your home and belongings. Mold, mildew, bacteria, viruses, and more, thrive and grow when humidity levels are in excess of the recommended levels mentioned above. Not to mention, when the air in your home is too damp, it can be uncomfortable.

How Can High Humidity Affect Your Home and Family?

Now that we have reviewed what the ideal humidity level is for your home and how it changes throughout the year, as we look towards some of the most humid months we will face, it’s important to understand that high humidity doesn’t just make things uncomfortable, it can have negative effects on your home as well.

Below we review some of the reasons you will want to keep your home’s humidity within the ideal levels.

  • Your Family’s Health: Mold can cause significant health problems for you and your family. Molds produce allergens and irritants that can create allergic reactions, cause asthma attacks, and lead to other ongoing health issues. With moisture and humidity comes mold, in fact, mold and mildew thrive in damp conditions.
  • HVAC System Issues: High humidity can cause long term damage to your HVAC system, and make your unit need to run longer to get to ideal temperatures and humidity levels. The constant usage of your air conditioner can cause it to deteriorate more quickly than it should and can also cause the air filter and other parts of your air conditioning to become blocked with condensation, causing a potential freeze up.
  • Rotting and Other Damage to Furniture and Belongings: Anyone who has ever experienced humidity knows that the excessive moisture can lead to things becoming soggy and fragile. When your home is not within the ideal humidity levels, rotting, peeling, and other damage can happen to your walls, hardwood floors, furniture, windows, and all other belongings.


How to Keep Your Home Within the Ideal Humidity Level

When it comes to adding moisture to your home you can do that with humidifiers, plants, and other methods. Reducing humidity in your home can be solved by adding a dehumidifier, using vents and exhaust fans, having an HVAC system that is maintained with a clean air filter, and resolving any areas throughout your home where moisture may be entering through.

When it comes to your Marin, Sonoma, or Napa County home’s comfort, Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing can help. We know that you rely heavily on your HVAC system for year-round comfort. Our experts are here to help with your indoor comfort needs and make sure you enjoy peace of mind no matter the season.

Whether you are looking to replace your AC, fix a broken furnace, or tune up your comfort systems, you can count on our experts for quality solutions that will help you enjoy improved indoor comfort and greater energy efficiency. Contact us today.



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