Do I Need Air Curtains?

Air Curtains provide a less restricting but effective separation between spaces to optimize indoor air quality.

air curtains indoor air quality

Air Curtains and Facility Air Quality

Many industries employ air curtains to maintain quality indoor air, to improve the quality of products being produced in their facility, and to increase the comfort of workers or customers using their indoor space. As an example, restaurants with both indoor and outdoor dining can install air curtains to keep elements of outside air (heat, odors, and flying insects) from altering or contaminating indoor air. Not only does this improve food safety but it also reduces energy costs. Industries that use air curtains are as follows:

  • Grocery Stores
  • Food Processing Facilities
  • Indoor Grow Facilities
  • Schools & School Cafeterias
  • Hospitals
  • Airports
  • Restaurants

What is an Air Curtain?

Sometimes referred to as an air door, an air curtain is a device designed to blow air across an opening in a precise pattern that creates an air seal from the other side. Because air is used to separate different spaces or environments instead of a physical door, vision is unobstructed as is the flow of traffic between the two. This can result in tremendous time savings, and perhaps more importantly significant energy savings because air conditioned or heated air is contained. This helps to maintain more comfortable facility air for occupants and actually protects them and any products being produced from pollutants and flying insects.

diagram of air curtain function

Airflow Sensors to Measure and Monitor Air Curtain Performance

Air curtains are often installed, set to a medium speed and then left untouched. But since both internal and external conditions, such as temperature and air turbulence constantly vary, the air curtain is only operating efficiently part of the time. The rest of the time, the airflow is set too high or too low.

DegreeC offers solutions for both air curtain manufacturers and end users of air curtains. So, manufacturers of air curtains can use DegreeC products to augment their products and end users can use them to monitor airflow in order to get the highest performance out of the air curtains installed in their facility.

Airflow Sensors

Our airflow sensors can measure air velocity, temperature, and humidity and are available as corrosion-resistant probes, remote head transducers, non-directional, bi-directional – with both digital and analog outputs that can be used simultaneously. This provides air curtain manufacturers with the diversity and flexibility they need to embed sensors in their products. We consult manufacturers on best practices and custom-build airflow sensors for their specific needs.

Airflow Monitors

End users of air curtains can add our monitoring solutions to ensure that they are getting the highest efficiency and optimal airflow even with varying conditions on both sides of the air curtain. An airflow monitor like our Rooster™ Monitor200 provides airflow monitoring and alarming with BACnet® MS/TP capability for real-time communication with building management systems (BMS). BACnet® allows for ease of integration into building automation and control systems, supporting reduced energy costs and maximum building efficiency. It features a built-in LCD touch screen and dual password protection allows users to personalize operational experience, but not override safety features set by facility managers.

Supplying outdoor air to the HVAC system is critical to the safety of indoor air. This should be measured and tested.

Why Use Air Curtains?

From a business perspective, energy efficiency is the first thing that comes to mind when answering this question. The energy savings associated with the use of air curtains is the result of controlling air transfer and thereby reducing run times for the air handler or compressor. Customer and worker comfort is also a high priority for business owners and whether it’s maintaining comfortable temperatures or keeping flying insects outside, air curtains are an ideal way to solve these challenges in facilities with indoor-outdoor spaces. Visibility and mobility are both improved when using air curtains to divide spaces because the obstruction and physical presence of a door is eliminated.

How Do Air Curtains Work?

When an air curtain is turned on, air is brought into the device by means of an intake and goes into a fan housing where it is accelerated. The now high-velocity air goes into a plenum which distributes the airflow evenly along a discharge nozzle. Airfoil-shaped vanes in the nozzle create a uniform air stream with minimal turbulence. This creates a stream of airflow to the facility floor with about 80% of that air reintroduced to the air curtain through intakes on the side of the device.

Consult with an Airflow Sensor Specialist

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