Catering to the dogs ends up putting excess strain on air conditioner

My wife has two dogs, and they are costing me a fortune in energy bills.

They are constantly begging to go outside, and then immediately want to come back in. Everytime the door opens, our air conditioned air escapes, and a blast of hot, humid air blows inside. Because of the dogs, my air conditioner is working much harder to maintain a perfectly comfortable temperature. If it were up to me, we’d simply leave the dogs in the backyard for the day. The yard is fenced in, with plenty of shade, and the dogs have access to water. They’d be perfectly fine out there, but as soon as they start begging, my wife lets them in. Even worse, I sometimes catch my wife leaving the door ajar so the dogs can go in and out at will. With the door even slightly open, we’re wasting a tremendous amount of energy. I usually realize the door is cracked because I hear the air conditioner struggling for lengthy cycles. In the area where we live, we experience high temperatures, with excessive humidity, for the majority of the year. The cost of running the air conditioner is the largest part of our budget. I would like to do everything possible to minimize energy usage. I’ve added insulation in the walls, replaced windows and installed ceiling fans. None of that matters if the back door is wide open, welcoming in heat, humidity, dust, pollen and bugs. Plus, the extra wear and tear on the air conditioner is bound to lead to more frequent malfunction and shortened life span.

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