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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those of you in warm climates, how do you handle air conditoning & keeping your home comfortable, while keeping your hedgie's home warm enough?

We've hit hot weather here in Chicago, and while I'm keeping the temp very close to what she's used to (70-73F), she's been less active since the A/C.

It's central A/C so I can't control the temp from room to room unfortunately. It's only going to get hotter, and keeping the A/C off is just not an option. What to do?
 

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A/C can make the air very dry so maybe this is what your hedgehog is reacting to as well as the season change.

Try keeping a thermometer in the cage where your hedgehog cannot reach it so you know what the temperature is and if necessary get a heat source for the cage (lots of posts about heating in the cages and accessories forum)

I would also keep the cage away from the vents where the AC comes out.
 

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A/C 70-73 is actually cooler than heated 70-73. You may actually have to turn the temperature up a few more degrees.

Keep the cage away from drafty areas.

You might just have to invest in a ceramic heat emitter(along with all the accessories needed), so you can keep the cage at your hedgie's desired temp, while the rest of your place is at your desired temp.
 

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70-73 heated air is too low for many hedgehogs but that temperature with air conditioning is cold. Either block off the registers going to the room she is in, or up the temperature of the A/C or both if necessary. Sometimes when A/C is being used, the hedgehogs still require heating to keep them at a comfortable temperature.
 

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When the weather gets warm, I usually leave my window open and don't worry about the rest of the house (the door is always closed). If you don't want to keep a window open and have the A/C on, then you can heat the room just like you heat during any other season. I prefer to keep the window open though, the room gets a bit stuffy with the the hedgies (Inky and a foster), the bearded dragons, the mice (all 30+ of them), and the crickets/mealies. Not to mention me. :lol: If you are not as desperate for fresh air then your regular means of heating should work just fine.
 

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I have my hedgehogs cage built, UNDER my bearded dragon cage, 2ftx4ft and the cage bottom is 14" high.
I have my AC set to 72, a good compromise for all my animals(snakes dragons...)
They all have seperate temp control.
To keep my hog at 74-76(74 at night, 76 during high noon.
I place a wire/plastic heater, I found it at my local herp store... its surface heats to what I can tell about 85.
I place this on the TOP of the hedgehog cage, to the bottom of the dragon cage.
The hog can not get within almost 8" of the actual wire.
This raises the temps, ever so slightly by 2 or 3 degrees through out the cage.
I have 5 digi temps with probes for all my animals, they rotate from cage to cage every week or so, I took reading at 6 different locations in this cage, by the BACK wall which is the most ventilated and drafty side, gets no hotter then 72,73.
the center and side walls are warmest, at 74-76, I have 2 shoebox hides for her, one at the back wall internal temp around 74(she rarely is found in there, except to dig about in the fleece), then 1 along the sidewall, internal temp is 76-78, she is most often found in that home, I also have a completly empty hide on the other side with no fleece or blankets, which stays at the cage temp of about 74 msot of the time.
wow that got lengthy... I hope I did not stray to far from the thread, but I find ceramic heat emmiters to be to hot, and to localized. Where my 'wire heater' zig zags the entire length of the top of the cage.
EDIT: http://www.reptilekings.com/supplies.html "ZOO MED HEAT CABLES"
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks all for the responses.
She's not near any vents, and unfortuantely, I can't block the A/C vent as she is in the main living space of my apartment (I have a small 1 bedroom), so if I keep the A/C blocked for her, it would be super uncomfortable in my home.

I'll look into a ceramic heating device.
I'm starting to think my home is maybe not the proper home for a hedgie.
I did SO much research before getting her, and none of it mentioned how temp sensitive they are. I was given a lot of misinformation, too. (They're easily litter -trained *ahem* I think most here would disagree w/ a few exceptions, they don't need their nails trimmed, or to be bathed, etc).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I read Reaper's list of heat sources, and none of them would work well in my apartment/ her cage.
Would a microwaveable snugglesafe disc be a solution?
 

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Why wouldn't a ceramic heat emitter work? I thought those worked with most cages.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Lilysmommy, I have a plastic bottom cage, so I'm concerned about melting, and the way Reaper described them, ceramic heaters sounded 1) complicated 2) expensive 3) hazardous w/o a ceramic outlet- her cage is nowhere near an outlet and it's the only space I have for her. :(
 

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If it was hot enough to melt the plastic, it'd be hot enough to cook the hedgie. I think it'd still be safe with it. The problem with the snuggle safe disc is that it doesn't warm the air. They're okay for emergency situations or short trips in the car, but I don't think they should be used for long term use. Would a ceramic emitter be safe to use an extension cord or something like it, or is it a fire hazard?
 

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I would assume extension cords are fine to use, as ceramic emitters technically use the same energy as the same wattage light bulb.

Also, it wouldn't melt the plastic bottom, as long as the emitter is not directly touching the plastic. I'm assuming it's a wire top plastic bottom? Many here just have the emitter lamp resting on the wire top. That's how my ex had his heat lamps for his snakes and scorpion.

And as Kelsey said, snuggle safes or anything that heats only the bottom of the cage is not enough, as the air would still be cold. So you'd just have a hedgie that refuses to come out of her hiding spot because the air is too cold to come out.

And yes, to get the entire proper set up on the ceramic emitters is a bit on the expensive side...But it's also the well being and safety of a living creature in question. The bulbs last a decent amount of time, and the rest of the equipment is pretty durable. And then later on down in years, I'd bet if the conditions of everything are well kept, can easily sell on something like ebay, or local classifieds to get some of the $ back(especially if you target reptile people, as a lot need heat lamps).
 

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Linny said:
Lilysmommy, I have a plastic bottom cage, so I'm concerned about melting, and the way Reaper described them, ceramic heaters sounded 1) complicated 2) expensive 3) hazardous w/o a ceramic outlet- her cage is nowhere near an outlet and it's the only space I have for her. :(
I use a ceramic heat emitter for both of my hedgehog's C&C cages which use corrguated plastic (coroplast) as the bottom and have fairly high walls and have never had any issues. Ceramic heat emitters are very easy to use and IMO safer than space heaters that can tip over. Ceramic heat emitters attach to the wire part of the cage and have clamps so that you can secure them, but I also secure mine with ziploc ties.

This is the heat emitter fixture I am using:
http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2753983

It only costed me $25 for the fixture and the bulb was $50 (150W) but if your cage isn't as large as mine, you may not need a bulb that big or expensive. I have both my heat emitters attached to a thermostat (which controls turning the heat lamp on and off to keep a constant temp).

I use the Repti-Temp500R which does a pretty good job: http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2752604

It did cost me $50. So in total you're looking at about $125 but this really is a one time cost, because the bulbs do last a long time. And It's very simple to use. I look at my digital thermometers once a day at least to make sure the temp is good but otherwise it requires no maintenance.

The good thing about the arizona heat fixtures is that they have built in rheostats (ie. dimmers that allow you to turn up and down the temp). This enables me to heat two cages on one thermostat, because I can also independantly control the heat fixtures.

Here's some pictures of my set-up: http://s635.photobucket.com/albums/uu76/Puff_and_Chloe/Cages/

As far as having a "cermaic outlet" goes I don't think this required. I definitely don't have one and I've had no problems what so ever.

Hope that helps ! :)
 

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Lilysmommy said:
If it was hot enough to melt the plastic, it'd be hot enough to cook the hedgie. I think it'd still be safe with it. The problem with the snuggle safe disc is that it doesn't warm the air. They're okay for emergency situations or short trips in the car, but I don't think they should be used for long term use. Would a ceramic emitter be safe to use an extension cord or something like it, or is it a fire hazard?
All the ceramic fixtures I've used say that as long as the outlet is one of those polarized ones (where one hole is wider than the other) you can plug them into that. So I imagine if your extension cord had a polarized outlet you'd be good to go. Just don't force the polarized plug into a non-polarized outlet or put it in upside down cause that's definitely a fire hazard.
 

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Get an extension cord designed for an air conditioner. They are heavy duty and are safer to use with a heating appliance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Lilysmommy said:
If it was hot enough to melt the plastic, it'd be hot enough to cook the hedgie.
That's just it!
Reaper's list said without a closely moniored thermostat device, a ceramic heat emitter would cook a hedgie!!

I'm sorry guys, this is all getting to be too much for me in terms of worry and expense.
It's just been one hurdle after another trying to keep her and her home healthy and safe.
 

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That's why you use a thermostat, which regulates the temperature so that it doesn't get too hot. I don't have one, but with the advice you could get from people on this board, I don't think it would be too difficult to get the set-up. A lot of people use ceramic heat emitters without too much trouble. It doesn't seem like a good reason to rehome her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Lilysmommy- this is not a decision I come by lightly.
You don't know my situation, and while this may not be an issue for you, it is for me.

I've looked into the ceramic heat emitter and I don't see how it would work in terms of her cage set up.

I've worked very hard to give her a healthy living space, I've researched all the heating options, none of them seem workable for my living situation or her cage set-up; so it's a little hurtful to read your comment that this "doesn't seem like a good reason to rehome her."

I want her as comfortable and happy and healthy as possible; if I'm not able to keep her home at a healthy temperature, I'm sorry, but to me, that's a reason to find her a home that can. :(
 

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I'm sorry I hurt your feelings. I hope you can find her a good home, she seems like a sweet little girl.
 

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A ceramic heat emitter setup does seem rather confusing but truly it isn't. Once it is set up it works great and is safe to use and will solve your heating problems. The most difficult part of it is finding the thermostat. If you have a plastic bottomed wire topped cage one will work great. I can talk you through the whole process if you want. :)
 
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