The reasons for installing an air curtain in a business are well established, and essentially come down to controlling your internal environment. A special type of fan mounted above an entry passage, an air curtain or air door directs a flow of conditioned air downwards to create an invisible barrier that acts as an insulator to block temperature exchange, and also keeps out flying bugs, dust, odors or other contaminants.

Those are the advantages. But sometimes questions do arise about air curtains, specifically about their noise and appearance.

The noise question

Being a fan, an air curtain does make some noise while in operation. How much depends partly on how powerful a fan it is, which in turn depends on what you’re using it for. If you’re interested in keeping insects out, your air door needs to have more power, and may be a little louder. On the other hand, an air curtain used for insect control can often be installed outside at a back door, where a little noise will be less of a problem. For temperature control, though, you can go with a quieter, lower-strength fan that creates a milder air stream. Some models are very quiet.

What about looks?

Some business owners simply don’t like the appearance of an air curtain. One solution is to install a recessed unit, which is mounted up inside the ceiling above the doorway, out of sight. For an external mount air door, you can choose a color that fits in well with the surrounding décor.

Air curtains come in a range of sizes, appearances and voltage levels, making it likely you can find one well-suited to your needs. Note, too, that some air curtains can generate a heated air stream, which may be an attractive feature in cold weather.

What Do You Want in an Air Curtain

Look for air curtain models with high-performance motors and optimized blade designs that use less energy. Some curtains come with variable air speed settings, allowing you to adjust the fan speed. You can increase or decrease the speed based on the traffic flow or the weather outside. Here in Sacramento’s hotter seasons, you may want an air curtain with a stronger output to keep drafts out. Additionally, consider air curtains with advanced control options. Motion sensors or programmable timers can activate the unit only when needed saving you energy.

How Much Maintenance Do Air Curtains Need?

Proper maintenance is crucial to ensure the longevity and optimal performance of the air curtain. Regular cleaning of the unit’s intake and discharge grilles should be regularly done. A quick clean that can prevent dust and debris buildup, which can hinder airflow and reduce efficiency. Check the air filters and replace them as needed to maintain the curtain’s filtration capabilities. Inspect the fan motor and blades periodically for any signs of wear or damage. Lubricate moving parts and bearings to reduce friction and noise.