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.
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.
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.
December 6, 2022
The holiday season is upon us. While we would like to say that this a stress free time, we know that for most people, that is not the case. With so much happening and people in and out of your home, including yourself, the last thing you want to have to worry about is your home’s HVAC. We are going to review some holiday HVAC safety tips to help you ensure you and your guests are comfortable and able to enjoy the season uninterrupted, at least by your home’s heating and cooling system.
Holiday HVAC Safety Tips
The last thing anyone wants to add into the mix of an already busy time is a furnace breakdown or issue. In Marin, Sonoma, and Napa counties most families and homeowners want to be able to enjoy this time of the year and it would be the worst time for a heater issue to arise. The good news is, you can keep you, your family, and your guests comfortable and safe by following some holiday HVAC safety tips we have outlined below.
Make sure the area around your heater is clear and clean (interior and exterior). With new elements and decorations being added into your home, it is important to remember to keep the area around your furnace clean. Make sure there is plenty of space around the area of your heater to avoid a fire risk. Don’t forget about the outdoor portion of your unit as well. Debris can make their way inside your outdoor unit and damage your system’s components and compromise its performance. Check your condenser and make sure that it’s clean and clear. Also, be sure to keep decorations clear of the condenser.
Don’t restrict access to your thermostat. While it’s fun to decorate for the season, keep your thermostat clear of any obstructions. If your thermostat is blocked, it can misread your home’s temperature and cause your HVAC system to function incorrectly, putting it at risk of uneven heating, or a potential breakdown.
Change your air filter. This is one of the most important holiday HVAC safety tips, because air filters filter your home’s air and keep dust and other debris from reaching your HVAC unit. Dirty, unchanged filters are a leading cause of issues with Marin, Sonoma, and Napa County HVAC systems. During the holiday season with more going on, your air filters are more likely to need to be replaced. Do it now, before you forget, and it is too late and a clogged filter causes issues for your HVAC system. Not only will a changed air filter improve the efficiency of your system, it will help you ensure you and your visitors are breathing clean filtered air.
Schedule HVAC maintenance. We know, the last thing you want to add to your list right now is having a HVAC professional in your home; however, trust us, if there is an undetected issue and they are able to identify and fix it before it is a much larger problem, you will be grateful. Scheduling regular system maintenance is the most effective way to enjoy uninterrupted indoor comfort. The majority of heating problems are caused by a lack of maintenance. Routine maintenance is the most important investment you can make for your heating system. Don’t let a malfunctioning HVAC system ruin this special season with your family and friends and have a Marin, Sonoma, and Napa County HVAC professional inspect, test, clean, and ensure that your unit is working in the best shape possible.
Enjoying this time of the year can be challenging enough with everything that you have going on in your busy life, so let Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing help. 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.
Following the above holiday HVAC safety tips is a good first step, and we are here to help with anything that you need. We offer fast, same-day service in Marin, Sonoma, and Napa counties. Contact us today.
November 8, 2022
In the North Bay Area the fall and winter seasons don’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. While our humidity levels average to be around 75% throughout the year, when you turn on your heater for the season, that can make your home less humid, which can lead to skin irritations, illnesses, and damage to your home. We are going to take a look at some ways you can combat dry air in your home.
How Dry Air can Impact You and Your Home
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that you keep the humidity in your home between 30 and 50 percent. Before we jump into how to combat dry air in your home, we thought it would be a good idea to review why it is important to try to keep your home at ideal humidity levels in the first place.
The average American is indoors 90% of the time, making keeping indoor air at optimal moisture levels very important for a number of health reasons. Some health problems associated with dry air include: respiratory issues, sore throat, dry and irritated skin, higher stress levels, and increased risk of illness.
Dry air can not only impact the health of you and your family members, it can have effects on your home as well. If your home is dry, it can cause structural damage, especially to wooden components of your home by taking the moisture out of them, create static electricity, and damage your belongings by making them brittle, which can lead to them cracking and breaking.
How to Combat Dry Air in Your Home
While we seem to battle the humidity most of the time here in Marin, Sonoma, and Napa counties, as we reviewed above, having air in your home that is too dry, can be a bad thing. There are things you can do to combat dry air in your home and keep your humidity levels within the desired range.
Add houseplants to your home. Houseplants are a great way not only to increase humidity levels, but to purify your indoor air as well. Plants are effective natural humidifiers. They absorb moisture through their roots and circulate it through the stems to the leaves, resulting in moisture being released into the air through the leaves. The soil for the houseplants also holds water that slowly evaporates and can increase humidity levels in your home.
Only use your heater when needed. When it comes to humidity within your home, the warmer air is, the more water vapor it can hold. Cold air holds less water vapor. With that in mind, it may seem like when your furnace is on, there should be more humidity, but the fact is, since the furnace pulls in air from the outdoors, the colder outside air is what causes the indoor humidity to drop. Try to use your heater only when it is needed, to prevent the dryer air from coming indoors.
Make sure your doors and windows are sealed properly. As noted above, the outside air can directly impact the air inside your home. To combat dry air in your home, you should ensure your doors and windows are sealed properly and are not letting any air inside. Check for gaps and drafts and resolve them if you find them.
Add a humidifier to your home. Humidifiers can make a difference when it comes to adding some of the seasonal depleted moisture back into your home’s air. A humidifier’s job is to add humidity into the air; thus, it will do just that. When the air seems too low in humidity, a humidifier can help you combat that dry air in your home and add some moisture back into it.
As we said, in Marin, Sonoma, and Napa counties, we don’t have to face air that is as dry as it is in other places of the country, but as the cooler breezes set in, it can have an impact on your home’s air and comfort levels.
At Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing we know that 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. We are here for all of your Marin, Sonoma, and Napa County heating and cooling needs. We can also help you improve your home’s indoor air quality.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
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.
August 18, 2022
No one wants to think about the end of summer, but it will be here before we know it and when the autumn breezes begin to set in in the North Bay Area, many homeowners turn to their furnace for warmth. After sitting dormant for months, your heater could be faced with some problems. What if you can’t get your furnace to start running? What if you hear loud or unusual noises coming from your system? What if it’s making a strange smell? While you may only use your furnace for a short time each year, you want it to work without issue when you do. We are going to walk you through some tips for how to prepare your furnace for the fall.
How to Prepare Your Furnace for the Fall
Fall doesn’t begin for another month, but now is a great time to start getting ready for it. While we may not get as cold in Marin, Sonoma, and Napa counties as other parts of the country, it can become rather chilly, especially at night, and you will want to make sure that your HVAC unit is ready for the heat to kick on when you need it to. Preparing your furnace for the fall isn’t much different than getting your HVAC ready for the other seasons; however, the changing seasons are always a good reminder for regular maintenance and upkeep.
Let’s review some things you should do to prepare your furnace for the fall and brisker days ahead.
As you begin to prepare your furnace for the fall, if you notice any issues or just want a professional to take a look at it, Bragg Plumbing & Heating can help. We offer annual maintenance agreements that include fall furnace tune ups. Contact us today to learn more about signing up for our maintenance program.