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Money Matters: How Pet Doors Affect Energy Efficiency

Money Matters: How Pet Doors Affect Energy EfficiencyPet owners appreciate the freedom that pet doors offer, but for all their convenience and benefits, they’re not always energy efficient. While the ability of the door flap has to resist heat transfer, the greater concern is air leaks around the flap and the pet door’s frame.

When choosing a pet door, keep these characteristics in mind:

  • Dual-flaps. When installing a pet door into a wall, make sure it has enough space between the interior and exterior sides to provide an insulating air space. Doors with flaps on the inside and outside do the best job at preventing air infiltration and heat exchange.
  • Sliding glass door inserts. Manufacturers use glass above the pet flap and they’re designed to fit tightly into the opening. They are available as dual-pane inserts, something you might want to consider if the sun shines on the window during the summer. A low-e, dual-pane insert keeps the most heat out.
  • Weatherstripping around the flap. The weatherstripping should be thick enough to keep a reasonably tight seal to prevent air from entering or leaving when the door is in its closed position.
  • Magnetic door flaps are more likely to snap shut than those that use simple hinges.
  • Locking doors. Moderately priced to expensive pet doors are available that use locks in a variety of ways. They could have manual levers, magnets, or use electronic signals to open and automatically close. Besides being more energy efficient, they also prevent intrusions from unwanted animals or humans.

Installing the Doors

Unless you have some woodworking skills and tools, you may want to hire someone to install the door for you. You might have to cut through an exterior wall or door, neither of which is without its challenges. A professional will be sure that the door is straight and level, and that it’s adequately insulated and caulked where it needs to be for maximum energy efficiency.

For a complete home load evaluation and more energy-efficient HVAC options, contact the pros at Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company, providing HVAC services for Yuma-area homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 928-723-3183.