What Are Air Curtains?
Air curtains are special electronic devices used to create a mass of air barrier across doors of buildings. It worth noting that air curtains are not air conditioners. The mode of operation of air curtains is completely different from that of air conditioners.
Air curtains comprise fans that effectively compress and then dissipate air. The discharged air-jet then forms an invisible barrier that separates the outdoor and indoor atmosphere.
Because the barrier is invisible, people and cars can pass across uninterrupted. However, contaminants such as dust, insects, and other particles cannot cross the barrier created by an air curtain.
Also, in some cases, outside air, which is often colder than that on the inside, cannot cross the air barrier created by the air curtain. Thus, the air curtain effectively controls the temperature and level of purity of the air indoors.
How Do Air Curtains Work?
The basic principle of air curtains is compressing and ejecting a powerful jet of air across the door. The jet of air forms a barrier that separates two areas with different atmospheric conditions. However, there is much more that takes place inside the air curtain that results in this effect.
Air curtains are made up of air inlets, fans, motors, and air outlets. Air currents get inside the air curtain through the inlets. Once inside the air curtain, the currents get compressed and ejected at high speed because of the fans’ effect. The compressed air jet that is dissipated at high speed prevents the entry of contaminants into the building.
Air curtains are usually controlled via a small switch. There are two types of switches for air curtains: magnetic and conventional microswitch.
Essentially, the air curtain is automatically activated when the door is opened. The switch is connected to the door via a small rod that triggers it on and off, depending on whether the door is open or closed.
Are Air Curtains Effective?
Air curtains are very effective devices. Here are a few ways air curtains can be effective when placed in your garage door or the opening of any other building.
Maintaining the ideal temperature
Heated air curtains are very useful in maintaining the temperature of an indoor environment. If you install such a device on your garage door, you will enjoy a comfortable environment inside the garage because the air curtain will prevent the loss of heat from your garage.
Reducing heating costs
Heating poorly ventilated spaces, including garages, is a very costly undertaking. Most of the heat is lost through openings such as doors and other apertures. An air curtain can help you minimize the heating costs because it prevents the loss of heat and the entry of cold drafts into the building.
Installing an air curtain on the door of your building can enhance the overall safety levels. If you have an air curtain on your garage door, you will not have to lock the door when working inside the garage. In the event of an emergency, including a fire outbreak, it would be easy to evacuate the garage and minimize the level of damage.
Improving the air quality
Both heated air curtains and unheated air curtains effectively keep off bugs and other types of contaminants from getting inside your building. The air curtains help maintain the air’s hygiene conditions inside the building by preventing the entry of dust and other particles.
If you install an air curtain in a commercial building, you can drastically improve the building’s air conditions. Improved air conditions will lead to high client satisfaction levels and more business for you.
What Types of Air Curtains Are Available?
The following is a list of air curtain types that are available. Air curtains can be divided in terms of whether the air that is dissipated is heated or recirculated. Also, air curtains can be categorized based on the position on the door where they are installed.
- Heated air curtains. Heated air curtains have coils that are used to warm the air before dissipation. The warm jet of air that this type of air curtains release forms a blanket that protects one zone’s temperature. People behind the air curtain are entirely protected from the cold air currents on the other side of the curtain.
- Unheated air curtains. Unheated air curtains are the most common type of these devices. They are ideal for use in situations where protecting the atmosphere’s hygienic conditions is more important than regulating the temperature.
- Recirculated air curtains. Recirculated air curtains are quite efficient because they recycle the air currents that are dissipated.
- Non-recirculated air curtains. Non-recirculated air curtains are less efficient than the recirculated types. Once the air is dissipated from the outlet grilles, new air currents are drawn through the inlet grilles.
Things to consider before purchasing the best air curtain for doors
Purchasing the best air curtain for doors can be a tricky task if you are not certain about the features you are looking for. Currently, the market is awash with different brands of air curtains with various technical capabilities. Here are a few things that you should consider getting the right device for your doors.
Ease of installation
Choose air curtains that can be easily installed. Such air curtains usually come with all the relevant hardware, including mounting plates and dedicated wires for the switch. Also, the air curtain may be pre-perforated to allow you to install it fast enough.
Although air curtains rarely cause severe accidents if anything goes wrong, you nevertheless need to consider their safety levels when choosing the right brand. The best air curtains in terms of safety are those which are UL listed as well as have certifications for various safety standards.
This is one of the most important things you should consider when choosing the right air curtain for doors. The performance of air curtains can be measured in terms of CFM.
Air curtains with a high CFM rating can move large volumes of air at high speeds per minute. This, in turn, creates a very powerful air blanket that separates the two atmospheric conditions.
Best Air Curtain For Garage Door
1. Awoco 36″ Indoor Air Curtain
The Awoco 36″ Indoor Air Curtain is an elegantly designed and powerful device that you can rely upon to create a significant air barrier at your garage door.
This powerful air curtain can run on two modes: high and low. It consumes only 110 volts when running on the low mode but effectively moves 742 cubic feet of air per minute.
When operating on high mode, this device moves 907 cubic feet of air every minute. Thus, you can rely on it to create a massive air barrier on your garage door and keep the internal environment ideal for working.
Unlike conventional air curtains, the Awoco 36″ Indoor Air Curtain has a magnetic switch. Installing this type of switch on your door is a breeze. Two wires are dedicated to the procedure.
Additionally, this air curtain comes with all the hardware that you need to get it up and running quickly. Sadly, you must install this device indoors. It is not designed to withstand the harsh effect of the weather elements.
- It comes with all the hardware needed for installation
- Power-efficient because it utilizes 110V
- It has two speeds settings for personalizing its performance
- The air curtain cannot be installed outdoors
2. DuraSteel Aerial Titan-2 Commercial Indoor Air Curtain
The DuraSteel Aerial Titan-2 is a sturdy, powerful, and highly durable air curtain suitable for commercial buildings. The casing of this device is made from some of the most durable and quality ABS materials. Moreover, the use of rust-resistant aluminum alloy for the casing makes it thoroughly resistant to rust.
To complement the rust-resistant casing is the heavy-duty motor that can run for a maximum of 5,000 hours nonstop. This motor is powerful enough to drive the fans and create an impregnable barrier of air at the door of your garage.
Whether the door of your garage is large or small, this air curtain will fit perfectly and provide the much-needed protection from contaminants. It fits perfectly at the top of the door and automatically starts to function when the door is opened.
Sadly, this air curtain has a relatively low capacity of 684CFM. There are many other brands with high capacities of even more than 1000CFM. Thus, you will have to consider an alternative brand if you prioritize high performance.
- The casing is made of rust-resistant aluminum alloy and protective ABS materials
- A heavy-duty motor that can run consecutively for 5,000 hours
- Compact design that fits perfectly at the top of small doors
- Relatively low capacity: 648CFM rating
3. Wostore 36 Inch Air Curtain
If you are looking for a simple, elegantly designed and highly efficient air curtain, consider the Wostore 36 Inch Air Curtain.
This device is efficient because it consumes 110V and can move large volumes of air at exceptionally high speeds. When operating at its high mode, it can move a maximum of 1030 cubic feet of air per minute at a fantastic rate of 2362FPM.
The resulting air curtain is strong enough to create a massive barrier between the outdoor environment and the inside of your garage. You can work comfortably and control your garage’s heating expenses because no heat will be lost through the door.
This air curtain comes with a magnetic door switch. The magnetic door switch is more convenient than a conventional microswitch. It is quicker to install and operate the magnetic door switch than the traditional microswitch.
The only notable drawback of using this air curtain relates to its noise level. Although this is not a big problem if you use it in your garage, you should note that the air curtain produces a slightly loud buzzing sound.
- Highly efficient air curtain: great airspeed and volume
- It comes with an easy-to-install magnetic door switch
- Excellent modern design provides aesthetic value
- The air curtain is slightly noisy
4. Global Industrial 36″ W Air Curtain
The Global Industrial 36″ W Air Curtain is a robust and reliable air curtain ideal for use in various buildings, including garages, restaurants, and shops. It effectively separates the outdoor and indoor environment to maintain a contaminant-free and warm atmosphere inside the building.
Operating your Global Industrial 36″ W Air Curtain is a straightforward process. It comes with a remote control that you can use to change its speed and every other operation aspect.
In addition to the remote-control capabilities, this air curtain has other features that you can use to personalize its performance. It has oscillating louvers that allow direct airflow from its outlets. This operation mode ensures that the air curtain dissipates a powerful barrier at the door where it is installed.
However, like all devices, the Global Industrial 36″ W Air Curtain is not without faults. Its major drawback is that it is rated 120V strictly. Given that many other air curtains are rated 110V, this one is not as energy efficient as one would expect it to be.
- The remote control is a very convenient way of operating the air curtain
- Quick installation because it comes with all the required hardware
- Powerful performance, thanks to oscillating louvers
- Less energy-efficient: it is rated 120 V only
5. Maxwell Commercial Air Curtain
Several features make the Maxwell Commercial Air Curtain a device of choice for commercial use. First, it has all the safety features you would like to find in an air curtain installed in your commercial building. Apart from being UL listed, this air curtain has all the necessary safety certifications. Thus, you can use it with peace of mind.
Second, the Maxwell Commercial Air Curtain is designed to help you get personalized performance. Its two-speed setting is a great feature that you can use to adjust its performance according to your preferences at any given time.
Third, installing this air curtain is a breeze. It comes with all the hardware that you need for the process, including mounting plates and the two dedicated wires for the switch.
This air curtain can move 647 cubic feet of air per minute when operating in the high mode and 529 when in the low mode. Unfortunately, these ratings are relatively lower than those of many other 36-inch brands of air curtains.
- It has been certified for all relevant safety standards, including UL listing
- Two-speed settings for personalized performance
- Low noise airflow
- Relatively low CFM rating of 647