Greenbrae—Get to Know This Cool Place

Where the Hills are Green

Where Corte Madera Creek drains into the San Francisco Bay, the small community of Greenbrae resides. Brae means steep hill in the languages of Scotland and Northern Ireland; the emerald rolling hills of Greenbrae easily explain why it was named after its “green hillside.”

According to the Greenbrae Property Owners Association, “Greenbrae, as we know it today, came into existence as the result of builder Niels Schultz Sr., who envisioned a model community that would provide its citizens with every element necessary for quality living: a well balanced district of single family and apartment residences, supported by shopping facilities, schools and churches. All this was to be created from a singular setting of gently rolling hills studded with magnificent oak trees. An ambitious undertaking. And remarkably, begun as late as the mid-1940s.”

Ongaro and Sons also has an ambitious undertaking: To be recognized and trusted in our community as a company of integrity that values the opportunity to be of service to others. Our dedication to quality is a reflection of our commitment to customer satisfaction and our aspirations to build long-term trustworthy relationships with our employees and our customers. Equally remarkable, as a family-owned business, we’ve been doing this since 1932.

Nearby Attractions

To the South, Corte Madera Marsh State Marine Park is a coastal salt marsh and ecological reserve. Native grasses and shrubs thrive in the wetlands and provide shelter for a variety of wildlife. Blue heron, egret, raccoons, and other species make the marsh their permanent home and other animals stop there during seasonal migration. Enjoy the Corte Madera Marshes on an easy hike or bike ride.

Just North of Greenbrae is the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Scientists study and protect the wildlife of San Pablo and San Francisco Bay.

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area is on the very tip of the peninsula and boasts 19 separate ecosystems and more than 2,000 species of vegetation and wildlife. Hike the park or picnic in view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Most of the homes and businesses in Greenbrae have a view of San Francisco Bay, Mount Tamalpais or the Corte Madera Creek.

Famous Residents

United States Senator Barbara Boxer lived in Greenbrae for more than 30 years. Writer Jack Finney completed his last novel in the town just before he died. Football coach Pete Carroll grew up in town and hall of fame baseball player Lefty Gomez died there. When the NBA Warriors shifted their home base from Philadelphia to California, Wilt Chamberlain built a custom home in Greenbrae.

Other famous residents include radio announcer and television talk show host Les Crane, radio personality Michael Krasny, pediatrician William Silverman who helped develop neonatal intensive care. Also, the 40th governor of California, Gavin Newsom, and former Senator and president of San Francisco State University S. I. Hayakawa lived in Greenbrae.

Ongaro and Sons is famous among Greenbrae residents for outstanding service in meeting their needs for heating and cooling, plumbing and boiler installation, maintenance and repair.

Popular Culture

Don Siegal shot the end of the movie Dirty Harry in the center of town. Scorpio, the movie’s antagonist played by Andy Robinson, robs a liquor store and hijacks a school bus. He drives the bus down Greenbrae’s East Sir Francis Drake Boulevard with Inspector Harry Callahan, played by Clint Eastwood, in hot pursuit.

If you are in hot pursuit of a certified HVAC technician or plumber, you can catch us at Ongaro and Sons.

Climate and Air Quality

Greenbrae has a Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers and winter days that seldom fall below 50 degrees. That’s pretty comfortable. But comfortable as it is outdoors, Greenbrae residences and businesses still need effective cooling and heating systems to stay comfortable indoors. Which is why our customers in Greenbrae trust Ongaro and Sons to provide no-risk, guaranteed service.

Of course, with climate like this, Greenbrae residents spend a lot of time outdoors. When you are outside a lot, you are vulnerable to the constant irritants of pollen and other seasonal allergies. For most of us, it is annoying to endure a runny nose or headache caused by allergies. For some, however, allergies can pose a significant health risk.

Ongaro and Sons offers a set of tips to help relieve your allergy suffering. Regular maintenance of your heating and cooling system, such as periodically changing air filters, can make breathing at home more comfortable.

Like most of Marin County, Greenbrae is subject to an increase in wildfires, the smoke from which further contributes to both poor air quality and threats to resident health. The town of Greenbrae encourages residents to become educated about the possible risk and how to properly respond.

In addition to the danger to property and lives, wildfire smoke irritates the eyes and lungs and   can cause serious problems for those with poor health conditions. When outside air is potentially dangerous, Ongaro and Sons can offer products you need to breathe easier indoors.

Ongaro & Sons Services Greenbrae County

Ongaro and Sons provides a full range of plumbing and heating and cooling services to Greenbrae County. When Greenbrae residents call us, they know they’ll receive quality workmanship and incomparable service.


For any and all plumbing jobs related to your home, Ongaro and Sons provides a variety of residential services including inspection, installation and repair. Our technicians are experienced with drain cleaning and maintenance and repair, including installation and repair of garbage disposals. Experienced certified plumbers carefully and thoroughly explore your plumbing, using drain line cameras when necessary, so that we can identify the problems and fix exactly what is wrong.


Ongaro and Sons designs a Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning (HVAC) system using a diagnostics approach to provide the highest levels of efficiency and comfort. Ongaro and Sons technicians are trained for all residential makes and models of forced air and air conditioning repair. Our fully stocked trucks have replacement parts on hand for most required repairs, and if we don’t have the part on hand we can get the part quickly so that you’ll be up and running in a very short time.

Boiler Repair

Ongaro and Sons technicians make use of the latest diagnostic equipment and years of experience to determine a problem quickly and get you back up and running as soon as possible. They are highly trained in boiler repair and regularly attend boiler manufacturers training courses. We work on most all major manufacturer models. Regular boiler system maintenance and annual tune-up ensure longer lasting equipment and lower utility bills. Should your boiler need replacement, we carry most major brands.

Duct Cleaning, Repair and Replacement

Central air conditioning and heating are the top energy consumers in most California homes, so ensuring the efficiency of your entire HVAC system can yield big improvements in energy efficiency. When we think about saving energy, we usually focus on the furnace and air conditioner units, but a leaky duct system can reduce your climate control system’s efficiency 20 to 30 percent. These leaks also bring unwanted dust, unconditioned outdoor air and humidity into your living space and take money straight out of your wallet.

If your home is over seven years old, have your ducts professionally tested by one of our certified Home Energy Rating System (HERS) technicians via an energy audit. If needed, we can do a thorough and effective cleaning, repair or even replace leaky ductwork.

Indoor Air Quality

Ongaro and Sons puts the “V” back into the HVAC. Ventilation is the process of bringing fresh air into your home to replace stale air filled with indoor pollutants such as cooking smells, pet odors and/or tobacco. Proper ventilation is not only key to the efficiency of your home heating and cooling system, but to your indoor air quality and you and your family’s health. While air filters and air fresheners remove particles from circulating, they don’t bring in fresh air. One simple way to correct this is to open doors and windows, but this is not always practical. It also allows outside allergens and pollutants into the house.

Ongaro and Sons offers a number of solutions to increase the quality of your indoor air, including everything from a filtration system to a complete home purification system and fresh air exchanger system. We’re a family-owned business. No one knows better than us the importance of protecting the health of you and your family.

Contact Us

Living in Greenbrae is all about enjoying all small town life has to offer, but residents still experience everyday headaches when it comes to maintaining their properties and fixing problems. Ongaro and Sons is here for Greenbrae residents as well as commercial businesses to provide full-service heating and cooling, plumbing and boiler installation, maintenance and repair. Contact us with any questions or discuss your needs, and experience 100 percent customer satisfaction.