Now that warm weather has the AC powering up, the seasonal struggle is on for households with kids and pets to keep the hot air outside.

Pet doors, often a DIY kit project for wood entries, are part of the solution for parents too busy to be door monitors. But the basic models have their disadvantages – no weather sealing allowing that pricey cooled air to escape and little security to keep other creatures from entering.

Champion Windows and Patio Room Company has a solution “that’s been a very popular item with dog and cat owners,” according to Don Jones, president. The Champion pet door is manufactured as part of the sliding glass door and is available in several sizes to accommodate small pets like cats to larger dogs like Labradors.

“We actually make it part of the door and it includes a GE Lexan security cover with an action pin lock so if you’re going away you can secure the door,” he says.

The glass is sealed so there’s no air infiltration from outside or loss from inside around the edges. A flexible PVC vinyl flap allows for easy pet in-and-out and there are no screws or metal edges to nick pets passing through.

Homeowners don’t have to worry about other creatures gaining free entry. Pet collars are equipped with tiny remote control battery chips that release the lock as the pet nears to let only the good animals inside.

Like all Champion windows, the doors are custom made with the Comfort 365 technology, a glass coating of 12 microscopic layers of metallic and non-metallic chemicals applied during manufacturing to keep heat out in the summer and inside in winter for the maximum energy efficiency and Energy Star compliancy. The coating blocks 95 percent of UV rays and reduces carpet and furniture fading.

The pet door adds about 20 percent to the new door cost, says Jones, and it’s backed by a limited, no-fault five-year warranty.