What type of air curtain do I need?
Many different types of air curtain exist, so it can get tricky choosing an air curtain for your place of business. Air curtains come in various sizes and shapes, and they can be a waste of money for your business if chosen incorrectly. A wrong or badly installed curtain won’t work, and will do nothing to keep the outside conditions out. Luckily, the experts at Direct Air Curtains are here to help! Our team have plenty of experience in everything air curtain, and can answer all your questions! So read on to find out the different types of air curtain, the best places to mount them, and whether or not a heated curtain is the right choice for you.
Horizontal, or Vertical air curtain?
Horizontal Air Curtain
When it comes to installing the air curtain, there are two main ways you can mount it. The most common placement is a horizontal one, where the air curtain is placed above the main entryway. This is useful for most businesses, as it saves shop floor space, meaning more product on the shop floor. This type of air curtain blows air from top of the entrance to the bottom. This creates an air barrier, that keeps bad weather and bugs out of your business. The design of this type of air curtain needs to cover the whole width of the entrance however, otherwise it will not work.
If there isn’t enough space between the entrance and the ceiling of the building, don’t worry. Special types of horizontal air curtain exist, like the recessed air curtain type, which can be installed in a suspended ceiling, leaving only the air vent visible. This makes it possible to not only create a barrier between the inside and outside but also is more aesthetically appealing, as no large, bulky machinery is visible.
When Do I need an alternative?
Whilst the horizontal air curtain is the most common type of air curtain, it does come with some drawbacks. Sometimes there is not enough space between the door and ceiling of a building to mount an air curtain, AND it is also impossible to mount it in the ceiling, This means that the only choice in this situation is a vertical air curtain.
The horizontal air curtain’s airstream is directly proportional to the fan output. This means that the airstream will be strongest at the top, and gradually get weaker as it reaches the floor. If you accidentally install the wrong unit or power output, it will result in the airstream being too weak to block out the outside air near the floor, creating a temperature leak, which makes the air curtain inefficient. This will bring bad weather and bugs inside of your business. This is why it’s important to choose right when considering installing an air curtain.
Vertical Air Curtain
Blowing air side to side across an entrance, rather than from top to bottom, the vertical air curtain is a polar opposite of the horizontal air curtain. Rather than being above an entryway, the vertical air curtain will be installed on the side. The air curtain stands on its own, and blows air across an entrance. This is useful in scenarios when mounting the air curtain above the door or in the ceiling is not possible, as well as providing uniform distribution across the entire entrance.
The design of the vertical air curtain blows air evenly across the entire entrance, meaning no temperature leaks or extra air conditioning costs required. The design also provides an aesthetic appeal, as the vertical air curtain blends in with its surroundings. This makes the device discreet, and avoids being a jarring experience for customers as they walk in.
There are some disadvantages to installing a vertical air curtain. The most common disadvantage to installing the air curtain on the side of the door, is that it takes away valuable shop floor space. This means that if you are already struggling to keep all your inventory on the shop floor, the vertical air curtain might not be the best type of air curtain for you. The curtain can also be the wrong height or power for your entrance. This means the air curtain’s air barrier will not stretch enough to cover the whole entrance, and will be inefficient.
Heated or Ambient?
As well as choosing between horizontal or vertical types of air curtain, you can also choose between the extra model types available to them. Many air curtains have different power modes, and are even capable of heating your home or business! These come in the form of standard ambient air curtain, and heated air curtain.
The standard, unheated air curtain, blows out cool air and can be useful in almost any setting. The fans do not heat the air, and provide an air-conditioned surrounding for anyone that walks through the airstream. This makes this type of air curtain versatile, which is perfect for establishments that tend to get hot, for example, bakeries or restaurants. The fans will also blow the smell of delicious food outside, which draws customers in!
The heated air curtain is great when trying to maintain a heated surrounding, especially if the outside surrounding is cold. This type of air curtain is particularly useful in maintaining temperatures in places like warehouses, where the shutters or loading docks are often left open for hours at a time, creating cold draughts. The heated elements will also melt snow and ice around the entrance, getting rid of any slip hazards. This is particularly useful in warehouses, as heavy machinery operates there.
Circulating or Non-Circulating?
Another possible feature when looking at different types of air curtain, is the ability for the air curtain to re-circulate the blown-out air back into the fan. This type of air curtain can be installed in order to be even more efficient and eco-friendly.
The standard non-circulating unit blows air out and away from the air curtain, which dissipates into the surrounding after a while. This is useful for saving shop floor space. The non-circulating units are often smaller than circulating ones. This means they weigh less, and can be installed without additional supports. This comes with a drawback, however, as the air curtain is less efficient, and the fuel cost is increased.
A Circulating air curtain will blow air out of the fans, generating an airstream, which will get sucked in by a vent on the other side and will be carried back into the air curtain fans to be blown out again. This makes the air curtain a lot more efficient, saving on operational costs. This type of air curtain is sure to save you money and increase business. The drawback to this, however, is the circulating unit is often bigger, more complex, and more expensive than the non-circulating unit. The unit is heavier, which makes it more expensive to install and uninstall.
Still, confused about which air curtain to go for? Why not give Direct Air Curtains a call today, and talk to the industry’s leading experts about which type of air curtain is right for your business. Our team of experts are fully trained and qualified, and will answer any questions or inquiries! Don’t hesitate and call now, or head over to our homepage for more information.