Dogs that live outdoors need a comfortable dog house where they are protected from the elements. In a cold climate the house should be warm in winter, and in the warmer states it should be possible to keep it cool during the hot summer months. Installing air conditioners and heating units will create a safe environment for your pet that will keep it happy and healthy throughout the year.
The majority of commercial units available for dog houses are dual air conditioning and heating units, which provide heating in winter, cooling in summer and include a dehumidifier all in one. Weighing around 45 lbs., the units are portable and made specifically for small enclosures. These units have a cooling capacity of 2500 British thermal units and heating capacity of 1800 Btu and are suitable for an area from 27 cubic feet up to 350 cubic feet. Both temperature and humidity can be set to a preferred level or left to adjust automatically, and the thermostat comes with a digital display for easy viewing. The unit conforms to all U.S. environmental regulations and retails for at around $600 at the time of publication.
Houses for Multiple Dogs
For homes where multiple dogs share a large dog house, a bigger unit is required. A 5200-Btu unit will cool a dog house large enough for six big dogs and comes with temperature control, an optional programmable timer and a slide-out washable filter. The unit takes just a couple of minutes to set up and has no exposed hoses that dogs can chew. Some systems are sold together with the dog house, and are not available separately.
“Winterize” your outdoor dog house for a much lower cost than the installation of an electric air heater. Install heating pads on the floor or under the dog’s bed, and these will transform the dog house into a warm and comfortable den. Plug the pad into an electrical outlet and switch it on, and let the built-in thermostat regulate the temperature after a few minutes. Heating pads are made of cotton, poly fiber and plastic and are available in a variety of sizes up to 30 by 45 inches. The pads retail for under $100 and are recommended by veterinarians for older dogs, dogs with arthritis or hip conditions, and dogs that live outdoors in cold climates.
Remote Controlled Units
Several of the dual units and air conditioners come with remote controls. The combined dog house and large unit has an infrared remote, and some thermostatically controlled units have a digital display control panel that can be installed in the main house so you can check the temperature of your dog’s den without going outdoors. For dog houses that use heating pads in winter, a remote temperature sensor can be purchased online for less than $100 and installed in the dog house, with the display unit located where you can read it easily.
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How to Install an Air Conditioner
When installing a window air conditioner, following the instructions that came with the unit is important, because different units have different requirements.