History of Air Curtains

When Were Air Curtains Invented?

The first known record of air curtains is from 1904 when Theophilus Van Kannel received a U.S. patent for one. According to records, however, the first air curtain installation in the States wasn’t until 12 years later. In Europe, air curtains became increasingly popular during the late 1940s and 1950s. Then, in 1956, Erling Berner brought the most advanced European air curtain technology to the United States and formed Berner Industries, the foundation of today’s Berner International. Used over cold storage doorways, the first Berner air curtains were manufactured and sold in 1960.

When Did Berner Come on the Air Curtain Scene?

In the late 1970s, Berner took the lead in approaching the other air curtain (air door) manufacturers to work with A.M.C.A. (Air Movement Control Association) to successfully develop a certified method of rating air curtain performance. Product performance is critical, and at Berner, we believe our customers deserve the best assurance that our products perform as stated.

That dedication has led to an important milestone: having AMCA certified air curtains listed as suitable replacements for vestibules by ASHRAE Standard 90.1 – 2019, the IECC and the IgCC — good news for anyone looking to improve comfort and energy efficiency while maintaining efficient use of space.

Berner International’s growth between 1984 and 2018 was through the leadership of Georgia Berner. Entrepreneur of the Year is just one of the many awards Mrs. Berner and her company have received during her 30+ years of leadership. Under her direction, Berner became (and remains) an employer-of-choice in the region. In 2018, Georgia officially retired, and David Rimbey took on the role of CEO.

In business for over 65 years, Berner has a reputation for customer service, innovation, aesthetics, quality, and performance. We are proud to be a leader in systems that save energy and create healthy, comfortable environments. When the door is open, Berner air curtains.

To learn more about air curtains, take the free AEC Daily continuing education course online: “Air Curtains: Energy Savings & Occupant Comfort.”