Energy Efficiency Testing

Real, Meaningful Testing

If you’ve seen our marketing material or read this blog, you’ll know that we’re committed to objective testing to show just how energy-efficient our pet doors are. We know that energy efficiency is important to our customers, whether it’s to meet rigorous certification requirements (like those for the Passive House) or whether it’s just eliminating drafts and saving money on heating and cooling bills.

This commitment to testing has led us to partner with Architectural Testing, Inc. (ATI) –  a leader in third-party testing for building materials – to do some first-of-its-kind testing on the energy efficiency of pet doors. This past March, ATI conducted testing to determine the air leakage of Freedom Pet Pass doors and their U-factor.  I was able to observe the testing while it was being performed, and I thought it would be interesting to share some of my pictures and impressions.

We’ll share the results of this testing in a future blog post. Stay tuned!

Technician installing pet door for testing
A technician first installs the Freedom Pet Pass Medium dog door into a wood test buck and then too the test wall below. The wall is ½” thick Lexan (impact ressistant) and is see through
Doggie door fully installed in test wall
The wood test buck is compressed to the wall with clamps so that the black foam gasket/seal applied to the test buck produces a tight seal to the test wall. As viewed from the inside of the test wall above.
Freedom Pet Pass door installed in test wall
The pet door is sealed off with a four mil plastic sheet to the wood test buck to determine how much air may leak through the buck when air pressure or vacuum is applied.
Computer screen shot of first test. This measures the background air leakage without the pet door contribution.
Freedom Pet Pass door during testing at Architectural Testing
The plastic is removed, and actual air infiltration (air leakage) testing is performed.
Shot of computer during testing
Computer screen during air leakage testing of Freedom Pet Pass pet door

This thermal lab has two test walls. They are about four feet apart from each other. Our pet door is about ¾ of the way down on the left hand side. The walls are designed for fenestration products that are really big like garage doors and extremely accurate for different types of tests. See the inside view of the test walls or Curtain Wall area in the picture to the left.

On a side note, the facility itself was quite impressive, clean, and very busy. Behind the building I was in, there was a large coliseum type structure where many different fenestration tests could be performed on whole houses or sections of skyscrapers. After testing, samples of the product(s) tested are stored for four years for future reference. In our case the whole pet door is boxed up.

This is the same laboratory where manufacturers of windows, doors, and other fenstration products have their testing performed.  Because of this, architects and state building code authorities can use the data generated to determine the energy efficiency our pet doors with confidence. Energy savings can be scientifically calculated like all other window and door products.

We’re excited to share the full results with everyone! Hopefully it will be soon.

View from inside test wall
View from inside of the test wall at Architectural Testing. Our pet door is about 3/4 of the way down on the left (tough to see).


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