History: The Air Curtain & Berner International

The Air Curtain

Air curtains first came to the U.S. in 1904 when Theophilus Van Kannel received the 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 were becoming 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.

Berner International

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 air curtains listed as suitable replacements for vestibules by 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 continual growth is through the leadership of Georgia Berner, president of the company since 1984. 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 has become an employer-of-choice in the region.

In business for over 60 years, Berner has a reputation for customer service, innovation, aesthetics, quality, and performance, and is proud to be a leader in systems that save energy and create healthy, comfortable environments.


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