What Are Air Curtains?
Air curtains are special devices that create invisible air barriers. Air curtains have inlets, motors, fans, and outlets. These components take in air currents, compress, and then discharge it in a specific direction. Thus, air curtains effectively create two environmental zones.
If you install an air curtain at the top of your restaurant’s entrance, the air curtain will help maintain the air quality inside the restaurant. The discharged air barrier prevents contaminants, and in some cases, cold drafts, from entering your restaurant.
How Do Air Curtains Work?
Primarily, air curtains discharge a mass of air that forms a barrier between two zones. Air curtains comprise of external components such as the air inlet, air outlets, and filter. The internal components of air curtains include the fans, electronics, and heat exchanger.
Air currents are drawn into the curtain through the grille or inlets. Most modern brands of air curtains have filters in their inlets to protect internal components from damage. The filters trap all the dust and other types of small particles that are common in air currents.
The air currents then pass through the heat exchanger and fans of the air curtain before being ejected in a specific direction. The fans compress the air and force it to flow in a specified direction. If the air curtain is installed at the top of the door, the fans discharge the air downwards.
Some air curtains can be installed on the ground. In such cases, the fans discharge the air upwards from the floor. However, installing and maintain this type of air curtains is a complicated process. If the air curtains are installed on one of the door’s sides, they discharge the air across the doorway.
You can use controls to adjust the performance of your air curtain. The controls allow you to change the level of opening of the outlets. This process determines the amount of air that is discharged by the air curtain.
What Types of Air Curtains Are Available?
There are two ways of describing air curtain types: whether the air is heated and if the air is circulated. Here are brief details about the different types of air curtains based on these two criteria.
Heated air curtains versus unheated air curtains
Heated air curtains have a coil that is used to heat the air before dissipation. The main purpose of using heated air curtains is to control the temperature in buildings. The heated air mass that this type of air curtains discharge creates a powerful barrier that prevents heat from escaping from inside a building.
Heated air curtains are common in supermarkets and other commercial buildings where temperature control is a priority. People inside the supermarket feel warm because the heated air curtain keeps the cold air currents outside from entering the building.
Unheated air curtains do not have coils for heating the air. This type of air curtains is ideal for situations where air purity is critical. The cool air jet that such air curtains dissipate effectively prevents insects, particles, and other contaminants from entering a building.
Recirculating air curtains versus non-recirculating air curtains
Recirculating air currents repeatedly collect the discharged air and dispatch it afresh. Such air curtains are more efficient than the non-recirculating type. However, installing a recirculating air curtain is a costly process.
Non-recirculating air curtains do not recollect the discharged air currents. They dispatch the air and get new air currents from the surrounding atmosphere. Installing such air curtains is a straightforward process; however, they are less efficient than the recirculating ones.
Reasons Why You Need Air Curtains in Your Restaurant
An air curtain is one of the essential things for any restaurant. The following are a few fundamental reasons why you need air curtains in your restaurant.
To increase the comfort of customers
Client satisfaction is critical for the success of any business, including restaurants. If your clients are comfortable in your restaurant, they will spend a lot of time seated. The longer the clients spend on your premises, the higher the amount of money they spend.
Air curtains can complement your décor to make the restaurant very comfortable and appealing to clients. If you install a heated air curtain on the door of your restaurant, it will keep cold drafts from outside and prevent warm air from escaping.
Additionally, any air current keeps contaminants and bugs out of your restaurant. Thus, installing air curtains in your restaurant can dramatically enhance the satisfaction of your clients.
To minimize heating costs
Maintaining a warm environment inside your restaurant can be quite expensive. The large doors and other apertures of your restaurant continuously let in cold drafts. This phenomenon can be quite a big problem during cold winter days and nights.
However, a heated air curtain can help to keep your costs down. This type of air curtain discharges a heated air mass across the entrance of your restaurant. The discharged curtain of air prevents the entry of cold drafts into your space.
Things to consider before purchasing the best air curtain for restaurants
Getting the right air curtain for your restaurant can be a great task if you do not know what to look for. If you do not get the right device, the chances are that you will not enjoy all the benefits of installing an air curtain in your restaurant. Here are a few things that you should consider.
- Get an air curtain that matches the size of your building. It would be a waste of money to install an air curtain larger than what is needed. Similarly, having a small air curtain when you need a larger one will deny you all the benefits of using these devices.
- Go for air curtains that are easy to install and maintain. It is very demanding to install and maintain air curtains on the floor of your building entrance. This is because of the effect of walking into the building while stepping on the floor where the device is installed.
Best Air Curtains For Restaurants
1. Awoco 36″ Indoor Air Curtain
Several features make the Awoco 36″ Indoor Air Curtain a highly reliable, long-lasting, and powerful device for use. For starters, this air curtain is powerful enough to move up to 907 cubic feet of air per minute when operating on high-speed mode.
When running on the low-speed mode, this air curtain moves 742 cubic feet of air per minute. This performance rate is enough to maintain a comfortable indoor environment by blocking contaminants from outside.
You will find it easy to operate this air curtain. It comes with a unique magnetic switch instead of the traditional switch. Installing and using the magnetic switch to change the way your air curtain operates is a straightforward process.
Sadly, as is the case with any device, the Awoco 36″ Indoor Air Curtain has its faults. Notably, this air curtain is limited to small spaces. If you need to create an air barrier in large spaces’ entrance, you will have to get an alternative bigger brand than this one.
- It has two-speed options for maximum comfort
- Easy control using the magnetic switch instead of the traditional one
- Highly durable because the components are made of high-quality materials
- Unsuitable for use in large buildings
2. DuraSteel Aerial Titan-2 36″ Commercial Indoor Air Curtain
The DuraSteel Aerial Titan-2 is an elegantly designed and powerful air curtain ideal for use in various settings, including small restaurants and shops.
It has a powerful motor and fans that discharge air at 3150 FPM. Additionally, you can choose between the high and low-speed modes, according to your needs. This mode of action ensures that a warm and comfortable environment is maintained indoors.
This air curtain has an excellent design and a matching white look. Thus, it matches with all modern and contemporary décor styles. You can use its elegant look to enhance the appearance of your building.
One significant drawback of using the DuraSteel Aerial Titan-2 relates to its noise level. The air curtain produces a slightly loud buzzing sound when its powerful motor is running at full speed.
Moreover, installing and using the magnetic switch is more comfortable than the traditional microswitch that this air curtain has.
- The long runtime of 5,000 hours delivers excellent value
- It has high and low settings to suit your needs at any time
- Perfect design with a matching white finish to offer aesthetic value
- The air curtain is slightly noisy when running at high speed
3. Wostore 36 Inch Air Curtain
If you are looking for a powerful, long-lasting, and reliable air curtain for use in a commercial building, consider the Wostore 36 Inch Air Curtain.
This unit has very powerful fans and motors that can dissipate up to 1030 cubic feet of air per minute at a speed of 2362FPM. This performance level effectively creates a powerful barrier that maintains the air quality inside your building.
You will enjoy the services of this air curtain for a long time. Its motor is designed to run for over 5,000 hours. Besides, the casing is entirely resistant to corrosion and is made of high-quality ABS materials.
The other internal and external components of this air curtain are designed to remain functional for a long time. Therefore, you will get real value for installing this air curtain at the entrance of your commercial building.
- It is CE certified for commercial use, including small to medium-sized restaurants
- Easy installation and little maintenance because of the quality and optimization of electricals and components
- Large capacity: over 1000 CFM and 2362 FPM
- Highly durable because of the use of high-quality ABS materials and an anti-erosive and powder-coated metal casing
- The air curtain is quite loud when running on the high-speed mode
4. Global Industrial 36″ W Air Curtain
One of the most remarkable things about the Global Industrial 36″ W Air Curtain is the ease with which one can operate it. This industrial air curtain comes with remote control. You can conveniently change its fan speed and other settings from the comfort of your seat.
Additionally, it has oscillating louvers that complement its powerful fans and motor to deliver excellent service. When properly installed at the top of your commercial building door, this air curtain creates a mighty barrier between the indoor and outdoor environments.
If you intend to mount your air curtain outside of your building, you may have to get another brand. The Global Industrial 36″ W Air Curtain cannot be mounted on the outside where it would be exposed to the weather elements.
Nevertheless, this is a small drawback, considering the excellent performance and other air curtain features.
- Convenient control because the air curtain comes with a remote
- Quick installation procedures, thanks to the pre-drilled mounting holes and the plate
- The oscillating louvers maximize the air dissipation
- Designed for internal mounting strictly
5. Maxwell Commercial Air Curtain
Installing, running, and maintaining your Maxwell Commercial Air Curtain is a breeze. It comes with all the hardware that you need to get it up and running. The pre-drilled walls and a removable mounting plate make your work fast and uncomplicated.
This air curtain comes with a powerful microswitch. Although installing and managing this switch is more complicated than the magnetic one, it ensures that that air curtain operates according to your needs.
Cleaning and maintaining this air curtain are not a difficult thing to do. There are no visible screws on the surface of this air curtain. This means that you can clean it very quickly.
The Maxwell Commercial Air Curtain is one of the safest air curtains you can use in commercial settings. Apart from being UL listed, it has multiple certifications related to safety. In addition to safety features, this air curtain is quite energy-efficient. Unlike most brands that are currently available on the market, this air curtain utilizes 110V.
Sadly, its CFM rating is relatively low. At the high mode, this air curtain can move 647 cubic feet of air per minute. This is relatively low, considering that many brands have high ratings of even 1,000 CFM.
- Powerful enough to create effective air barriers across doors that are 14 feet high
- High safety features: UL listed for maximum safety features
- Quick installation because the air curtain comes with all the required hardware
- Efficient power consumption: 110V
- Relatively low CFM rating of 647 high and 529 low