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Leave Central Air On For Your Feline Friend When You're Away: Yes Or No?

As you make plans to have central air installed, you're learning tips for keeping your electric bills as low as possible. You can save money by raising the thermostat setting or turning the system off before you leave for the day or for a weekend. There's just one consideration -- you're also planning to adopt a cat. Should you keep the air conditioning running for your feline friend when you're not home? That depends on certain factors.

Are Cats Uncomfortable in Hot Weather?

Cats are all different, but they have a reputation for liking heat. They lie in the sun and are happy to snooze on a screened-in porch all day in the summertime. Once you have your new pet, watch how it behaves in regard to temperature. Run the air conditioner and see whether the cat lies by the vents enjoying the cool air -- or, in contrast, moves to the sunshine or crawls under a blanket. 

Does Your Cat Have a Health Problem?

Ask your veterinarian what he or she thinks about comfortable temperatures for felines. Certain health problems, such as heart disease, make a cat more susceptible to heat-related issues. Your vet may advise you to keep the temperature cooler if you adopt a senior cat, as they also are more vulnerable to overheating.

How Warm Does Your Home Get?

No matter what part of the country you live in, a house can become excessively warm on hot days. That's especially true if you have lots of windows facing south and west, and if the place doesn't get much shade.

Even if you didn't adopt a pet, it makes sense not to shut the central air down altogether on hot days when you're gone all day -- or for more than a day. If you come home and the interior temperature is above 90 degrees, it will take a long time to bring the place back to a comfortable temperature. 

What Temperature Is Advisable?

When you leave for the day, you and your cat will probably both be happier if you keep the thermostat setting within 10 degrees of where you normally have it. 

Think of the situation in reverse in regard to heat. If you normally set your thermostat at 68 degrees in the winter, would you turn it down to 50 degrees while you're at work? It's safe to say most people wouldn't. It would take too long to heat the house up again.

On hot days, if you would normally keep the temperature at 76 when you're home, move the setting to 86 when you leave. You'll have an easier time cooling your home down when you get back, and you'll know your cat is comfy. You'll also still save some money. Making that change just to 10 degrees higher can save you up to 10 percent on your electric bills. 

For more air conditioning advice, contact a company like Smedley & Associates, Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning.