Energy Vampires: Pet Doors and Your HVAC Efficiency
There are many energy vampires in your home — that is, appliances that use energy when you don’t realize they are running after they’re turned off. But another type of energy vampire is an air leak. Most homes have numerous air leaks, around doors, electric switches, window frames and around recessed lighting. But one place we don’t commonly think of as an air leak is the pet door.
Pet doors generally leak air in two ways. First, they may not be installed tightly, so that there are small cracks around the frame that allow conditioned air to escape and unconditioned air to get inside. Second, the way the door is constructed may be allowing drafts inside the home, or letting conditioned air out when the pet makes its entrance or exit.
Learn what you can do to keep your pet door from leaking air and costing you more on your energy bills.
Choosing the Most Energy-Efficient Pet Door
Pet doors come in a variety of styles. One of the most efficient types is the kind with sturdy plastic flaps that close tightly behind the pet as it comes and goes. The double-flap design does a good job of insulating the home by trapping air between the flaps. Unconditioned air is less likely to intrude, while conditioned air is less likely to leak with this design. Models with triple plastic flaps boost energy efficiency even more. If you choose this type of door, look for one with magnets that help secure the flaps in place so they don’t blow open in a strong wind. You can also apply magnets to the flaps of your current pet door to make it more efficient.
Note; You may need a pet door that locks to keep out animal or human intruders. Several types are available, but make sure the one you choose also prevents air leaks.
Tight Installation Counts
When installing your pet door, make sure it fits tightly in the opening. Fill air leaks around the door with weatherstripping or caulk.
For more on pet doors, contact Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions of Orlando.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).