June 29, 2016

Blowerdoor Testing The Best Doggie Door In North America

Large-back-wallWe’re excited to put the super-efficient Freedom Pet Pass doggie door to the test. In this quick edit of the video, we introduce it by showing how the double-layer of magnetic strips work to hold the insulated flap in place while easily allowing for opening with the push of a big wet nose. These doors come in a variety of sizes for installation in a door or a wall. They also have a security door that’s easy to lock up, or that could be secured during a very big storm.

Test Results

 

  • Pressurize: Flap opened at ~40 pascal
  • Depressurize: Flap stayed closed at full speed, finally letting go at ~240 pascal

We set up our nice new Retrotec test tent with a calibrated Minneapolis Blower Door.  We sealed the doggie door to a piece of INTELLO and connected that to the tent with several layers of tape, then ran on low to ensure we didn’t have any leakage. We tested by both pressurizing and depressurizing (flipping the fan around), and just cranked the dial slowly. We tried three times for each to make sure we got the same results.

Our Take

FPP_LabelWe say the Freedom Pet Pass doggie door passes the test. It did not make it up to 50 pascal, though we would like to see if we get the same results installed in the real world. The incredible ability to withstand high level of depressurization led us to believe in the ability of the flap to stay closed in high winds. Since pressurizing a house shouldn’t happen in daily life, we would stamp it “Passive House  suitable” if it’s not Passive House component certifiable. Maybe you could argue for the ability to put the security door in place during the airtightness testing, since you would have that in place during extreme weather events. It has a rated U-Value of 0.61 Btu/hr-sq ft °F and air leakage 0.03 cfm/sq ft. Given it’s small foot print on your wall or door, that’s a hit you can probably manage in your energy balance and worth the convenience of being able to give pets the keys to the back yard.

A Word From The Manufacturers

We’re pleased to work with the developers of the Freedom Pet Pass. They take the performance of this product seriously, and give quick and thorough responses to all questions. After taking a look at our video, Freedom Pet Pass COO, Don Love had this response:

Thanks to everyone at 475 for the interest in our pet doors and for setting up this test rig. More data is always better!

As mentioned in correspondence with Craig, I’m a little surprised at the door popping open at only +40 Pa. We have ASTM E-283 lab data for both infiltration and exfiltration at 75 Pa, and that didn’t happen under those controlled test conditions. Additionally, we ran a setup similar, but more clunky, than what you did and saw pressurization and depressurization performance similar to the 240 Pa in both directions.

Regarding being “Passive Suitable”, Freedom Pet Pass doors have been successfully used in Passive Homes, with one of the most recent examples being the Wayland, MA home that was built by Auburndale Builders and was the subject of several NESEA Pro Tours. In all cases, the pet door has not negatively impacted the blower door testing.

Thanks again for the testing and perspective.

Great to note, as our test conditions were not exactly laboratory quality. You can tell from the glowing reviews from owners on the Freedom Pet Pass site, you won’t be unhappy with this one. We’re happy to call it the best doggie door in North America.

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One Response to Blowerdoor Testing The Best Doggie Door In North America

  1. EV August 17, 2016 at 8:19 am #

    Would be interested in a comparison with the Petwalk door from Austria that’s now being sold in the US. Way more expensive, but it also offers passive house certification and is highly insulated, where the Freedom door just offers good air blocking but little in the way of insulation.

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