Pets & Air Conditioning: A Good Mix?
Let’s face it – we love our pets. Whether you’re a cat person, dog person, or somewhere in-between, you want the very best for your furry friend. While you are gone all day, you want to make sure that your pet has plenty of food, water, and toys to play with. You also want them to feel comfortable as well. This begs the question: should you leave the air conditioning on for your pet while you are gone all day, or even multiple days?
Pets & Humidity
If you had a fur coat, you would certainly know when it was hot! Surprisingly, it is not the heat that is the major issue for your pet. Dr. Helen Meyers of the ASPCA, in an interview with news organization Mother Jones, tells us that the humidity is the bigger problem for your pet. When the humidity mixes with heat, your pet will not be able to pant, which is their cooling system. They are unable to exchange the warm air in their lungs for the cool air that is outside of them. This can lead to an increased risk for heat exhaustion and other heat related issues for your pet.
The Environment & Your Wallet
While it may seem obvious that we should leave the air conditioning on all day for our pets, what about the environment? We love our pets and want to keep them cool, but we also are worried about being environmentally friendly and saving money. Running your air conditioning all day can be very expensive, especially if you have an older system that is not energy-efficient. The environmental impact is significant when you are constantly running your air conditioner. An article posted by The New York Times reported that if we continue to install equipment using the current refrigerants in air conditioners, close to 27% of global warming will likely be as a direct result of those gases by the year 2050. So how do we achieve the balance between being environmentally friendly, saving money, and keeping our pets cool and comfortable?
Finding the Balance
So where is the balance? It is definitely not an easy thing to achieve. A great deal of how much you should run your air conditioner for your pet is based on your pet’s unique needs. Dr. Myers suggests that you set your thermostat between 78-80 degrees Fahrenheit. In general, this is a comfortable temperature for your furry friend. Be sure to also keep your pet hydrated. This will prevent you from having to make the air conditioner work too hard, saving you money on your energy bills. Dr. Myers adds that cats and dogs are not the same with how they handle the heat. Since cats are more likely to control their level of activity, which results in less muscle movement, they will not add as much heat. She also adds that pets that are older, overweight, or have heart and lung conditions should be closely monitored. These pets are more susceptible to heat related illness. Balancing between being environmentally friendly, saving money, and keeping your pet cool may not be easy, especially if your pet needs to be kept extra cool.
Saving Money & the Environment
You’ve watched your pet constantly hanging out by the A/C vent. They are panting heavily, clearly not loving the summer heat but loving the cool air that is constantly coming out of the vent. While you are happy to see your pet stay cool, you wish there was a way that you didn’t have to spend a fortune to keep your pet cool this summer. Luckily, you don’t have to! It may be time to consider buying a newer, more energy-efficient system. If so, read our complete guide to air conditioning to help you find the right air conditioning system for your needs. If the thought of buying a new system is overwhelming, don’t worry! Our network of trusted professionals from around the country will be glad to help you find the air conditioning system that is best for you and your furry friend.
We love our pets. There isn’t much we wouldn’t do for them. While we want to keep them cool and comfortable, we worry about what the cost to our wallet and the environment will be. With a network of trusted professionals on your side, you will be able to keep your pet smiling all summer while you save money and stay friends with the environment. Reach out to us today here at HVAC.com and we will put you in touch with a certified, trusted professional in your area that will keep you and your pet cool this summer.