I’m not one for fancy window treatments. I can’t even describe the shades in my own house. What’s a cornice? How did those Romans get their own special shade? I do know a little about the sun’s azimuth and we can discuss fenestration all day. From an HVAC point of view, the idea of hanging cloth over a window is to keep the sun’s energy out of the occupied space. In fact, people have been using curtains for thousands of years to define space, create privacy and to keep the sun from heating indoor space. The first curtains many centuries ago were made from animal hides placed over doorways.
A different type of curtain keeps the outside environment out of your conditioned space at door openings and outside access points. No, it isn’t made of cloth or vinyl or even animal skin…it’s made of air.
Air curtains work by adding a fast-moving air stream to block air movement through the door while the door is open. Simple enough, right?
There are many benefits of installing an air curtain in your warehouse, retail space, office entry ways, restaurant, hospital, manufacturing plant...and, well, just about anywhere you want to keep conditioned air in and un-conditioned air out.
Engineers savvy in air curtain design can save clients a lot of headaches...and money.
- Energy savings. No matter what style of HVAC system your building utilizes, it takes energy to condition the space. Outside, untreated air will increase the load and reduce occupant comfort. An air curtain will keep the untreated air outside and the treated air in. This makes a big impact on your overall energy usage.
- Humidity control. Humidity plays a major role in comfort. An air curtain will prevent the outside humid air from entering the space, reducing the energy required to treat the air and improving comfort.
- Smells. The outside environment has all kinds of uncontrollable smells. Your building may be located near an industrial or urban area. By keeping out that outdoor air, we can eliminate any unpleasant odor getting into the building.
- Bugs. No one likes pests. An air curtain will eliminate the possibility of flying pests getting into your building. Goodbye, pesky flies!
- Keep potential contaminants contained. Air curtains limit the possibility of airborne contaminants getting into areas of your building. That contamination could be in the form of infectious disease in a hospital or medical building. Additionally, in a manufacturing environment or large storage facilities, the air current can be the barrier between different environments within the building.
- Added benefits. Air curtains offer the additional flexibility of being equipped with heaters. In heating season, the air curtain can eliminate cold air entry and address cold conditions at the outer walls of the building
Air curtains are an energy efficient way to reduce the HVAC system energy required and improve occupant comfort.
For more information on air curtains or to schedule a Lunch-n-Learn session for your office, contact us.
Blog images courtesy Schwank Innovative Heating Solutions