Is it best to install a pet door through the wall or through a door?

When D.E. Rink Construction helps you with your home remodeling or new custom home, we think about details like this. As a Green Builder we are conscious of energy efficiency and comfort no matter the requirements.

However, think twice about installing a pet door – any opening will let out heat in winter, and let heat in during the summer months. Cutting a hole in a door or wall the size of your pet will affect the quality of your heating and air conditioning in the entire home, as it interrupts the air-tight envelope that exists. But, if a pet door is a must, we suggest installing an airlock system where there are two doors with a short tunnel or air space between the doors. When one door is open the other is closed.

It’s important to carefully consider the location of the door for the greatest convenience and security to you and your pet. A pet door in the garage is a good location (with a doormat placed on the inside). This way, your pet can leave dirty paw prints on the mat and hopefully not on your carpet when they go inside the home. Another reason to consider the garage is to keep unwanted critters out, as it’s not unusual for stray cats, raccoons or skunks to enter through a pet door. Even worse, burglaries have been known to happen by entry through a pet door. Therefore, our recommendation is that access is only through the garage. And always have a way to lock the pet door. This is very important.

If installing in the garage doesn’t work for you, and you have a sliding glass door, a good alternative is a glass panel pet door that you install in the track (of the sliding glass door). This is probably the most cost-effective and removable option. If you go this route, always remember to put a rigid stick in the track to lock the slider for safety’s sake. This is a temporary solution that won’t leave a permanent hole in your wall or door. Ideally, the pet door should have a magnetic lock to keep the wind from opening it as well as a locking option.

Regardless of where you install the pet door, plan on your heating/air conditioning bills to be slightly higher each month. And hopefully, your pet can learn to use the pet door!

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