Your HVAC and Your Pets: Part 1

Cartoon of Dog Suffering from HeatKeeping your Home Comfy & Safe for Pets by Managing Your HVAC System

Did you know there are nearly 90 million pet dogs in the U.S. and more than 94 million pet cats? In total, 68% of all U.S. households have at least one pet, according to a recent survey by the American Pet Products Assn., (americanpetproducts.org.)

Pets have comfort needs, just as humans do. Using your heating and cooling systems, you can keep your dogs and cats healthy and safe indoors, all year round.

Set Indoor Temps with Your Pets in Mind

When the temperature and humidity rise, it becomes crucial to keep pets comfortable and safe. Animals cool themselves by panting, a process of exchanging warm air from their lungs for the cooler air outside. This cannot happen when it is hot and humid, which leads to increased risk for heat stress and exhaustion.

Dogs and cats are typically comfortable at the same indoor temperatures as their people. That means in colder weather an indoor temperature of 60-65 degrees is okay. In the heat, which here in Florida lasts for many months, pets can stay comfortable at indoor temperatures of up to 78-80 degrees.

While You’re Out or Away

Many homeowners shut down their heating or cooling systems while they are away for the day or gone on a longer trip, in order to save energy and money. But pets are affected by temperature changes, just as humans are. So, if your pet is at home, even if you are not, you must keep the climate controlled for their safety.

You may not know that dogs and cats don’t have sweat glands across their bodies like humans do. That means that the circulating of air via fans isn’t going to do that much in helping keep them cool.

Program Temperature Change

To save energy while you’re gone, consider a temperature setback at a higher temperature in the summer or a lower temperature in the winter, as long as those settings are still within a comfortable range for your pets. This can be accomplished easily with a modern programmable thermostat by using the vacation mode that is available on many models.

Special Cases Need Extra Attention

There are conditions where pets need even more climate consideration. For example elderly, overweight and pets with heart or lung diseases are highly susceptible to heat stroke. Pets with short muzzles like pugs, bulldogs and Persian cats are also at a higher risk of becoming overheated because they cannot pant effectively. These pets should be kept in rooms with the air conditioning set consistently, so they can stay cool and breath easy.

Learn strategies for keeping your home clear of dander and pet hair in the upcoming blog: “Your HVAC and Your Pets: Part 2.”

If you have any further questions about keeping your four-legged family members comfortable call Custom Climate Control today at (941) 955-COOL (2665).