When a walk-in cooler door is opened, warm air infiltrates the interior, causing the temperature inside to rise. During peak business hours, cooler doors can be opened so often that it could cause dangerously high temperatures for safe food storage. This is especially a problem for the food products stored near the entrance. Installing an air curtain provides the best protection against these dangerous temperature spikes.
Many health codes require either air curtains or plastic strip curtains over walk-in entrances for food safety. Opting for an air curtain over vinyl strips reduces employee touch points, eliminating the risk of spreading germs associated with the use of plastic strips.
Two major manufacturers are quoted in the Federal Register Vol. 79, No. 106, “Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for Walk-in Coolers and Freezers” discussing air curtains and their impact on walk-in cooler efficiency. The first commented that one of the largest factors to energy waste is the amount of time the door is open. They continue by stating that a cooler door may be open over 200 times a day. The second source also supports these claims. They comment that “air curtains may save almost as much energy as freezer panels with 5-inches of insulation” (32071-2).
The Department of Energy agrees with both companies – air infiltration when walk-in cooler doors are open adds to the heat load, lessening the unit’s efficiency. Air curtains can be used to reduce this infiltration according to the DOE.
A study was also performed at an Arby’s Franchise to test the effect an air curtain could have when installed above a walk-in cooler door. The results were a 27% reduction in compressor run-time and equipment wear-and-tear. This translates into nearly 100 fewer operating hours per year for an estimated annual savings of $447.
Find out more about the impact of walk-in cooler efficiency with this sharable infographic.
Learn about the building codes and certifications that support the use of air curtains on walk-in coolers.
Below are Berner’s recommended models for walk-in cooler applications.
Contact a Berner Sales Representative today for more information.
For door heights to 7' (insect control). EPH Listed to ANSI/NSF-37. Low profile air curtain with white powder-coated cabinet. Suitable for Outdoor Use.
For door heights to 8' (environmental separation) and 7' (insect control). Low profile air curtain with white or black powder-coated cabinet.