HVAC for Pets: A Guide to Keeping Your Home Comfortable For Your Furry Family Members

Did you know there there are approximately 70 million pet dogs in the U.S. and 74.1 million pet cats? 62 percent of all American households include furry family members. Pets have comfort needs, just as humans do. Using your heating and cooling systems, you can keep your dogs and cats comfortable indoors all year round.

Comfortable Indoor Temps for Pets
Dogs and cats are typically comfortable at the same indoor temperatures as their humans. In the winter, pets can remain comfortable at indoor temperatures of 60° to 65°. In the summer, pets are comfortable at indoor temperatures up to 78° to 80°. Older animals and breeds with pushed-in snouts can have difficulties regulating their body temperatures, so ask your veterinarian about the best temperature settings for these unique cases.

While You’re Away
Many homeowners shut down their heating and cooling systems while they are away for the day or gone on long trips to save energy and money. Before doing so, you should consider if your pets will be staying in the home while you’re gone. Is it ok to turn off the furnace or air conditioner, or should it be left on for the benefit of your pets?
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Pets are affected by temperature changes, just as humans are. If a pet will be in the home, it is best to leave your heating or cooling system on to avoid temperature highs and lows out of their comfort range. Dogs and cats don’t have sweat glands across their bodies like humans do, so circulating air via fans isn’t of much benefit to them and you can turn them off to save energy while you’re out.

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 they are still within a comfortable range for your pets. With a programmable thermostat, this can be done easily using the vacation mode that is available on many models. Provide your pets with extra water or a warm place to snuggle up so they can keep comfortable in your absence.

The Pet Hair Problem
Even though your indoor living spaces are kept clean, pet hair and dander can hide in your HVAC systems. These particles are light and are easily picked up as air circulates through the home, moving them into your ducts to your HVAC equipment. Most hair and dander is trapped by your furnace filter.

When your furnace filter becomes clogged with pet hair and dander, air flow will be restricted, which can cause a number of problems for your system. Homeowners with pets need to change their filters more frequently than those without. Households with multiple pets will need to change their filters more frequently than those with only one pet. Pet owners should check filters at least once a month to determine if they require replacement. Keeping your pet groomed and brushed can help reduce the concentration of hair and dander in your home and in your HVAC system.

Have questions about keeping your four-legged family members comfortable? Call ACE Air Conditioning & Heating Service, Inc. today!

Statistics source: U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook (2012)