We have had several calls from pet owners asking about how they can best save energy while taking care of their dogs and cats.
Here are some of the key things to keep in mind:
- Go ahead and use your programmable thermostat. The latest thermostats allow you to set different temperatures when you are out, but many people don’t take advantage of those energy savings because they are afraid to make that change when pets are home. Depending on the breed, your pet might not need as much heat or air conditioning on. This is particularly true for air conditioning, in fact your cat will love you for turning it off. Certain breeds such as pugs, bulldogs or sphinx cats will definitely require warmer environments than others, so ask your vet before you make a change. For most, you can still make a bit of a change in the temp, and that’s usually enough to get some savings.
- Turn off the ceiling fan. Cats and dogs do not have sweat glands like us, so the fan has no cooling effect on them.
- Get an energy efficient pet door, or caulk your existing one. If you do have a cat or dog door, make sure to air seal it, so you are not creating a source of significant air and heat leakage. Higher quality doors have weather stripping and a door sweep to keep it tightly closed. There are actually some high efficiency doggie doors recommended by EnergyStar. These use some serious technology and claim to maintain an airtight seal every time the dog or cat passes through the flap, “190% better than an average brand”. These can be found online and are higher priced (eg: a small dog door range was between $85 to over $200). If you are considering a new door from Washington Energy, our door installation experts can install any pet door add-on you have on hand. They are installed perfectly to ensure they are air tight and energy efficient. We also sell storm doors that already come with a pet door.
- Turn the lights off. Having lights on during the day will actually disrupt the pet’s natural sleeping pattern. And they can manage in dim or dark conditions just fine. If you are bothered by not having lights on for them in the evening, put them on a timer to limit electrical usage.
- Turn off the TV. Your pet is not watching it. And if they need some entertainment, toys are available inexpensively. Treats that are released by a timer from an auto-feed tray can also make their day more interesting. An occasional mouse-toy stuffed with catnip appearing in the cat food dispensing auto feed tray will be a big hit.
- Fix that leaky faucet. You may think that the dog or cat that loves fresh water is enjoying lapping up some drips, but you are just driving up your water bill. I learned the hard way that when that water hits the tub or sink, it picks up bacteria and if the cat laps it up from there, he or she can get very ill. It is more energy efficient to get a pet fountain if the pet has a love of fresh flowing water.
Energy efficient pet practices can be part of an efficient lifestyle and energy saving home. For the best in energy efficient home products, such as windows, people-doors and more, call Washington Energy Services at 800-398-4663.