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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:

  • Seasonal Changes: During colder months, people may prefer slightly warmer indoor temperatures to combat the chill, while in warmer months, a slightly cooler environment may be preferred.
  • Clothing: The attire guests choose to wear at holiday gatherings can impact their comfort levels. Encourage attendees to dress appropriately for the expected indoor temperature. More people being in the space can cause your home to be warmer than it usually is, so plan accordingly.
  • Age and Health: As referenced above, elderly individuals and young children are more susceptible to temperature fluctuations, so it's essential to consider their comfort during gatherings.
  • Humidity: The level of humidity in the air can affect how people perceive temperature. Proper humidity control can significantly enhance comfort.

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:

  • Use Zone Heating: If your home has different rooms with varying heating capacities, consider using zone heating to optimize comfort levels throughout the gathering.
  • Utilize Ceiling Fans: In homes where heating tends to accumulate near the ceiling, gently circulating the air with ceiling fans can help distribute warmth more evenly.
  • Provide Blankets and Throws: Offer cozy blankets and throws for guests who tend to always be colder than others or those who may get chilly during extended conversations.
  • Monitor and Adjust: Keep an eye on the temperature throughout the gathering and be prepared to make adjustments if needed based on guest feedback and comfort levels.

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.

  • Utilize a Programmable Thermostat: Having the right and a functional thermostat, can save you around 10% a year on heating and cooling costs. One of the simplest and most effective upgrades you can make to your HVAC system is installing a programmable thermostat. These devices let you to set specific temperatures for different times of the day, allowing you to reduce heating or cooling when you're away or asleep. By optimizing temperature settings, you can save energy and reduce your holiday utility bills without impacting your home and family’s comfort.
  • Improve Your Air Ducts: Leaky air ducts can cause significant energy waste and uneven heating throughout your home, as well as higher costs. Over time, gaps and cracks in ductwork can develop, leading to conditioned air escaping before it reaches your living spaces. Have a professional inspect and seal any leaks in your ductwork. Fixing duct issues can improve your system’s efficiency, save you money, and extend the lifespan of your heating and cooling system. This is also a great time of the year for professional duct cleaning. Duct cleaning comes with many benefits: leaks, gaps, loose connections, and other problems can be spotted before they are much larger issues, improved indoor air quality, boost in efficiency, eliminates unpleasant odors, and more.
  • Ensure You Have the Right Insulation: A well-insulated home can significantly reduce heat loss during the colder months of the year and heat gain during the warmer months of the year. Check your home's insulation, especially in attics, walls, and crawl spaces. Consider adding weather stripping around windows and doors to prevent drafts. Upgrading insulation can enhance the efficiency of your HVAC system by minimizing energy loss, allowing it to work more effectively and efficiently.
  • Schedule HVAC Maintenance: One of the best HVAC upgrades you can make to lower your holiday bills and beyond, is to invest in a regular HVAC maintenance plan. Proper maintenance is key to the efficient operation of your HVAC system. By scheduling regular maintenance with a professional technician who can inspect, clean, and tune up your system, you can ensure that your HVAC system is running optimally, preventing potential breakdowns, maximizing energy efficiency, and providing uninterrupted indoor comfort. A well maintained system will not only reduce your holiday bills but also extend the lifespan of your HVAC equipment. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

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.

Contact us today.

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.

  • Witches' Brew | The Mysterious Smoky Odor: One of the most common smells associated with heating systems is a smoky odor. If there is a smoky smell coming from your heater, if you have just turned on the furnace for the season; that is usually okay. Dust can accumulate on the heating elements, causing a peculiar odor when you fire it up. This strange fragrance is like a witches' brew, signaling the arrival of autumn and reminding you that it's time to clean and/or change your air filters and for other regular HVAC maintenance. If you notice the smoky aroma lingering or if the stench starts all of the sudden, there could be a larger issue. If this is the case, turn off your furnace and contact a local heating repair professional to come out and inspect your system.
  • Cursed Cauldron | Burning Plastic: If your home’s heating smells funny and that’s because it is putting off a scent of burning plastic, it may actually be because there is burning plastic. Don’t let your HVAC work as a cauldron melting your home’s items together. Before you turn on your furnace for the year and each time you go to use it, you should inspect around it to ensure there is nothing in it, touching it, or near to it. A burning plastic odor can be caused by a foreign object being in or near your HVAC system. If you notice this smell and can’t identify what is causing the odor, shut off your furnace and contact a local furnace repair expert as soon as possible to avoid breathing in the harmful fumes and a potential fire.
  • The Haunted House's Misfortune | The Cryptic Odor of Mold and Mildew: While Halloween decorations may give off a musty smell intentionally, an unpleasant, moldy odor from your heating system is far from desirable. It's a sign that something sinister might be lurking within your ductwork. Moisture buildup and condensation can provide the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew, which can have harmful effects on your health. Summon a professional from Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing to investigate the issue and banish the mold monsters from your home.
  • The Cursed Catch | Fishy Aroma: If there is a fishy smell coming from your furnace, it is sure to make you want to unveil the secrets that lie within and transform this mysterious scent back into a more welcomed fragrance of the season. The electrical components of your heating system are typically covered in chemicals and plastic. When these components heat up and/or start burning, they can produce a fishy burning odor. If you notice a burning electrical smell coming from your furnace, you should contact a HVAC professional. While furnaces are usually built to automatically power down when they start to overheat, if the safety feature is broken, this could cause issues, create the fishy smell, and put you and your family at risk of an electrical fire.
  • Vampire in the Ducts |The Smell of a Decaying Animal: If you catch a whiff of something decaying or a pungent, foul odor coming from your heating system, you might have a deceased critter residing within your home’s ductwork. Small pests and rodents seeking shelter can occasionally find their way into ductwork, unable to find their way out. Just like vampire hunters, you need to call in the professionals for duct cleaning to rid your home of this unpleasant smell.

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.

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:

  • Increased Energy Efficiency: A well-maintained HVAC system will operate more efficiently, which can save you money on your energy bills. During a tune-up, the technician will clean and inspect various components of your system to ensure they are working properly, which can help reduce energy waste.
  • Improved Indoor Air Quality: A dirty HVAC system can circulate dust, dirt, and other contaminants throughout your home, which can contribute to poor indoor air quality. A fall HVAC tune-up includes cleaning or replacing the air filters, which can help remove these pollutants from your home's air and can also identify any issues with your home’s ductwork.
  • Fewer Repairs: Regular maintenance can help prevent breakdowns and other issues that require repairs. A fall HVAC tune-up can catch small problems before they become major issues, which can save you money and prevent inconvenient heating system breakdowns and uneven temperatures throughout your home.
  • Extended System Lifespan: A well-maintained HVAC system can last longer than one that is not properly maintained. Regular tune-ups can help extend the lifespan of your HVAC system, which can save you money in the long run by reducing the need for premature replacement.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing that your heating system has been professionally inspected and maintained can give you peace of mind during the colder months. You can feel confident that your system is operating safely and efficiently, and that your family will stay warm all season long.

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.

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.

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.



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.


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.

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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:

  • Oil or water-filled radiator: Heated oil or water travels through the heater.
  • Fan-forced heater: A fan blows warm air over metal coils.
  • Ceramic heater: Air is warmed over a ceramic heating element.
  • Infrared heaters: Heat is created by infrared bulbs.


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:

  • Purchase a heater with the seal of a qualified testing laboratory.
  • Before using any space heater, read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels carefully.
  • Keep the heater at least 3 feet away from anything that is flammable, including people (especially children).
  • Choose a heater with a thermostat and overheat protection.
  • Station the heater on a solid, flat surface that is out of the way of foot traffic and does not block an exit.
  • Make sure your heater has an auto shut-off to turn the heater off if it tips over.
  • Plug the heater directly into the wall outlet. Never use an extension cord.
  • Space heaters should be turned off and unplugged when you leave the room or go to bed. They should never be left unattended.
  • Only use a space heater to provide supplemental heat and never use to warm bedding, cook food, dry clothing, or thaw pipes.


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.

Contact us today.

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