We all love our dogs—and we love them even more when they aren’t poking us with their nose 24/7 to go outside. While a dog door might seem like a great convenience for pet owners, it can also have an impact on heating and cooling costs. In this blog post, our team at All Pro Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical is discussing how different types of dog doors affect your energy bills and providing tips for making sure they don’t cause too much of an increase.
How Do Dog Doors Directly Impact Your Energy Bill?
Because pet doors are designed to provide convenient access to your yard, airflow will more easily occur than if the wall or door stayed intact. This means that when you turn up your furnace or air conditioner, conditioned air could be leaving your space before you ever get to enjoy it.
With HVAC systems being controlled by a thermostat, these units will continue to run until your home reaches the desired temperature—making them work harder. This can lead to higher energy bills as well as increased wear and tear on your systems.
Are There Energy-Efficient Dog Doors?
Not all dog doors are created equal, and nowadays there are literally thousands of styles on the market to choose from, some more energy-efficient than others. Many companies utilize the Energy Star energy-efficiency product specifications to determine whether their dog doors could be considered energy-efficient.
When looking for a dog door that won’t leak conditioned air out of your home, look for models that utilize:
- Insulated flaps, such as double-walled systems or additional weatherstripping
- Attached magnets around the edges to keep the door closed
- Core materials that provide additional insulation, such as polyurethane foam
Another option might be to build out a “doghouse” tunnel. While this has a higher upfront cost, the structure operates as a buffer zone between your home and the outside air. Additionally, by insulating the structure you can further minimize heat/cold transfer while providing your pup with a safe space to retreat.
Tips for Reducing Your Monthly Energy Costs
Even the best rated pet doors are only as good as the quality of the installation. Whether you are installing your door yourself or hiring a professional, it’s important to get a tight seal on the frame and that your door is properly sized for the height and width of your dog. Ill-fitting frames and too-large doors will allow conditioned air to leak from where you need it most, causing your HVAC systems to run more often.
Another way to cut monthly energy bills is to make sure your heating and cooling systems are running as efficiently as possible. Overburdened systems often need to work harder to heat and cool your space. This not only impacts your monthly costs but can also lead to the units breaking down faster.
Receiving an HVAC tune-up twice a year can help you spot inefficiencies before they start to cost you. A licensed technician will perform a thorough evaluation of your system, clean and lubricate any moving parts, replace filters, and execute minor repairs as needed. Additionally, they can offer you further tips and tricks for lowering your energy bills.
At All Pro Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical, we take pride in offering our community high-quality HVAC maintenance services so they can stay cool and comfortable—affordably—all year long. If you live in Ontario or any of the surrounding areas and are in need of an HVAC tune-up, call us today at (909) 253-0664.