Air Curtains 101

What is an Air Curtain?

An air curtain, also known as an air door, is a machine that blows a controlled stream of air across an opening to the other side to create an air seal. This seal separates different environments while allowing a smooth, uninterrupted flow of traffic and unobstructed vision through the opening. Because they help to contain heated or conditioned air, they provide sizable energy savings and increased personal comfort when applied in industrial or commercial settings. They also help to stop the infiltration of pollutants and flying insects.

How Does an Air Curtain Work?

  1. Once it is powered on, air is brought into the unit through the intake
  2. The air then enters the fan housing and is accelerated by the fan.
  3. This fast-moving air goes into a plenum, which allows for an even distribution of air along the full length of the discharge nozzle.
  4. Airfoil-shaped vanes in the nozzle create a uniform air stream with minimal turbulence.
  5. The air discharged through the nozzle creates a jet stream to the floor. Approximately 80% of the air returns to the intake side of the air curtain, and 20% goes in the opposite direction.

Why Use an Air Curtain?

  • Energy savings through control of air transfer
  • Energy savings due to shorter run times of air handler or compressor
  • Safe environment support by increasing ventilation and de-stratifying the air
  • Maintain employee/customer comfort
  • Reduce flying insect infiltration
  • Unhindered traffic flow & unobstructed visibility across the threshold
  • Increase productivity due to stable temperatures
  • Maintain usable space around the door
  • Elimination of ice and fog in cold storage areas

Where to Use an Air Curtain?

Follow the links below to find out more about the different locations within each building type that could benefit from an air curtain installation.

Free Credited Courses:

AEC Daily continuing education course online: “Air Curtains: Energy Savings & Occupant Comfort.”

*This is an approved AIA course (1.25 LU/HSW hour), and it also qualifies for GBCI, RCEP, and many other organizations’ continuing education (CEU) requirements. Under USGBC rule, it qualifies as a 1.0 CE hour.

Are you an FCSI member?  Download this “Air Curtains: Energy Savings & Occupant Comfort” training for 1.0 FCSI approved continuing education credit hour.

AMCA insite Webinar – Air Curtains: Energy Codes & Standards

*Earn 1.0 PDH credit by viewing the entire webinar and completing the online survey here. Credits will be issued electronically within 30 days of completion.