Remember when you were a kid and your parents would say to you, “close the door, we’re not paying to heat (or cool) the outside.” I always think of this when people inquire about air curtain applications, first as an adult that now pays these bills, and secondly as a representative of LONG, a vendor for them. If someone is on the fence wanting to justify the cost, I just need to channel my forever-wise mother. Air curtains are a wonderful way to economically treat a pedestrian or warehouse (garage) door. To phrase it in its simplest concept: an air curtain creates an invisible wall of air that separates the outside air from the indoor air.
Some of the benefits of an air curtain in your building or residence are:
Reduce the costs of heating or cooling a space due to the conditioned air not being lost through open doors
Provide a clean air environment, particularly so with the addition of UV lights inside the air curtain
They work in tandem with the building's HVAC system already in place to enhance air quality
They create comfortable space for people inside the building
Let’s go into detail about these benefits.
Reduce the cost of heating and cooling for your building
Air Curtains are typically mounted above a door and blow air down, but they can also be mounted sideways and blow air horizontally. When it blows the air down it effectively creates an invisible wall of air. For example, when the dock doors open in a large warehouse, the air curtain goes to work. The motor kicks on and the fan wheels produce the air needed to make this invisible wall to seal or separate the indoor air from the outside air. This allows for the indoor air to stay at its current state, reducing the loss of conditioned or heated indoor air, and therefore reducing your cost in maintaining that environment.
Maintain a clean and safe environment
Air Curtains allow for a clean environment in many ways. Specifically, they can keep things like particulates or insects from entering. They can prevent other undesirable outside influences as well, like fumes from a diesel truck, the pollen that causes you allergies, or even the unfortunate smell from a local business nearby, from penetrating the indoor space. Restaurants are a great example of an environment that can benefit from an air curtain, particularly restaurants that feature large, open doors to allow guests to enjoy a nice day outside while still dining indoors. These places can be inviting and enjoyable, but there are some issues that an air curtain would easily solve. They would prevent insects from getting inside, something no one wants to deal with in a restaurant. They can also limit rogue gusts of wind that blow in dust and dirt from outside and send light items on the table flying. You could also have one in the pedestrian door to the kitchen to prevent contaminates from getting in there as well.
There are also new, reengineered air curtains that have added UV lights. UV technology isn't new, but it’s certainly become more prevalent within HVAC systems due to the pandemic, and air curtains are one such piece of equipment to benefit from its increase in application. When an air curtain with UV lights is mounted on a pedestrian door, it essentially creates an invisible wall of sanitized air, stopping harmful pathogens before they enter the building. This can aid in keeping something like the flu neutralized and stop it from spreading unnecessarily around a space.
Work with existing HVAC systems
Air Curtains are also great supplements to an existing HVAC system, as most HVAC systems are not designed for the specific task air curtains are designed for: separating the indoor air from the outdoor air. Even if it is freezing or scorching outside, you can still have your doors open without adding stress onto an HVAC system hard at work keeping your indoor climate comfortable. It’s a great, inexpensive tool to use to keep your occupants comfortable and allow employees to continue doing their job without concern of overworking your HVAC system.
Create a comfortable workspace
As mentioned above, air curtains will give your customers and employees a comfortable workspace. I like to imagine a shipping and receiving dock in a warehouse during the winter. When you open that garage door, the warm inside air escapes at an extremely high rate and the cold air comes right in, making the environment rather miserable for those working in it. If you had something like an electric heated air curtain you would not feel this and you would not lose the existing heat either, making the cold winter air tolerable and, I dare to say, even unnoticed. The opposite can be true in the summer with an unheated air curtain that is keeping your cold air from escaping and preventing that summer heat from coming in.
We here at LONG want to always make your building better using the best we have to offer. These are just some examples on how air curtains can help your guests and employees have a comfortable, clean, cost-effective workspace. Contact us to today for additional questions about air curtains or to find the right option for your building.