Air Flow: How Pet Doors Affect HVAC Efficiency

Air Flow: How Pet Doors Affect HVAC EfficiencyIf you have a furry family member, a dedicated pet entry can make outdoor trips less of a hassle for everyone. If your pet door isn’t efficient, though, it can have a negative effect on your heating and cooling budget. Whether you’re considering adding a pet door, or you have one already in place, it’s good to know how it impacts energy efficiency.

How a Pet Door Correlates to Heating and Cooling

Heating and cooling your home represents almost half the energy your family uses annually. Air leaks through the exterior envelope can drive up your consumption and monthly utility bills, and waste your energy dollars. A pet door creates a large opening through the envelope, so making it as energy efficient as possible is vital to keep heated air inside during the winter, and hot air out in the summer.

Aim for Efficiency When Choosing a Pet Door

If you’re shopping for a new pet door, you’ll find a wide array of choices available, from basic ones with plastic frames and flaps, to durable ribbed-steel units with built-in electronic sensors. Regardless of a model’s bells and whistles, only consider energy efficient pet doors that :

  • Feature rigid materials and ample insulation.
  • Seal securely against the elements.
  • Function smoothly regardless of the outdoor temperature.

Reduce Air Leaks Around Your Existing Door

If you have a pet door that’s a source of air leakage, here’s how to make it more efficient and airtight:

  • Remove the pet door’s frame and add adhesive-backed weatherstripping around the cut-out in your entry door. Then, put the unit back in place and seal around it with a bead of caulking.
  • Measure and cut a piece of flexible rubber insulation to fit each flap and install it on the door’s interior side. To boost the door’s wind resistance further, add magnets on the flap’s interior corners and sides if possible.
  • Install self-adhesive brush strips all the way around the door’s opening to help limit air leakage even more.

To learn more effective ways to improve energy efficiency around your Portland-area home, contact us today at Roth Heating & Cooling.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland, Oregon area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).