British Columbians lucky enough to have air conditioning cooling their homes on hot days are passing along the good fortune to their pets.
In a June survey of 800 people, BC Hydro found 75 per cent of B.C. respondents leave their air conditioning on for their furry friends, even when they themselves are not home.
Price is of some concern when it comes to cooling themselves, but two-thirds of respondents said they are more then willing to pay extra to ensure their pets’ safety.
Overall, 33 per cent of respondents said they use air conditioning to cool their pets, 30 per cent said they use fans and 12 per cent said they provide their pets with a cool drink.
Air conditioning use has skyrocketed in B.C. in recent years, with nearly 40 per cent of residents utilizing it now as compared to a 25 per cent a decade ago, according to BC Hydro. The company says it can quickly add up to a household’s most expensive energy cost in the summer.
Running central air conditioning for nine hours a day can amount to $300 over the summer months, BC Hydro says.
The company suggests using a heat pump to keep things cool, which it offers rebates on, or a window-based air conditioning unit, which are twice as energy efficient as portable ones. It also recommends weather-sealing homes to keep the cool air in, by using caulking and weather stripping to close any gaps or cracks around windows or doors.
Cooling mats are another option to keep pets safe, BC Hydro says. The mats have a cooling gel that is activated by the weight of a pet’s body.
Shading windows is also important, as it can block out up to 65 per cent of heat, according to BC Hydro. And, it says, if people have ceiling fans they should be set in a counterclockwise motion.