If you have one or several canine companions, then you may ask yourself whether or not your should turn on the AC when your pets are home alone. The biggest concern of running the cooling system constantly is the increase in electrical usage. You will spend an average of $120 if you run your central air conditioning system for 6 hours a day. If you push the cooling system and run it for 12 hours a day, then you may be looking at an electric bill that is well over $200 a month. This may seem excessive, especially if you are trying to cut your costs. However, leaving your air conditioning running for your dog is a good choice if you care about your pup's well-being. Keep reading to learn why.
It Helps With Panting
All mammals have sweat glands, and these glands produce perspiration as a way to regulate body temperature. The sweat, which is made up mostly of water, is excreted onto the skin where it evaporates. The evaporation helps to cool down the body. Dogs do have sweat glands, but they do not have glands attached to each hair follicle like humans. In fact, dogs can only sweat where they do not grow any hair. This means that the paw pads and nose are among the only spots where a dog will sweat. This does not help much with temperature regulation. To help keep themselves cool, dogs will pant. Panting causes the saliva along the mouth and throat area to evaporate, which cools your dog down.
Panting only helps to cool your dog if the saliva can evaporate. This may be a problem if you live in an area that is both hot and humid during the warm weather months. Warm air holds more moisture than cool air. If you dog pants when it is humid, then the air may be saturated with water vapor to the point that saliva is unable to evaporate. Your dog may then overheat.
If you want to keep your dog from overheating, then your air conditioner can help. Your central air conditioning unit will pull moisture out of the air as it cools, so your dog can regulate his temperature a bit better if he does need to start panting. You do not have to turn your cooling system up to full blast when you are not home. Home temperatures between 78 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit are good for dogs during the summer months. To keep your electrical costs down, increase the thermostat to 78 or 80 when you leave the house and then lower it when you are home and want some cooler air to enjoy.
Dogs Can Grow Mold
Hot and humid weather will not only cause an overheating issue, but it can create a serious skin issue for your dog as well. Mold and yeast thrive in warm and humid conditions, and the spores can make their way in between the hairs that grow across your dog's body. If humidity levels remain elevated, mold can thrive and build on your dog's skin. The mold can cause sores, rashes, and the loss of hair. If your canine already has a cut across their skin, then a condition called sporotrichosis can develop. The condition can cause serious health issues. While the fungal infection does require exposure to a specific type of mold or yeast, it is best to avoid serious health issues by reducing the risk of mold forming on your dog.
Since an AC unit will pull moisture out of the air, leaving your cooling system on all day can help to prevent mold issues. If you have recently given your dog a bath, then it is wise to turn the AC system on high for the day until your dog fully dries out. Water can get trapped in the fur after a bath and cause the same types of mold formation issues that humid weather can. The more your cooling system runs, the more moisture will be pulled from the air. The extra few dollars a month will be worth it if your dog remains mold free.
To make sure that your air conditioner is functioning properly, have a company like Metro Air perform regular service on it.