Industrial & Commercial Air Curtains

restaurant air curtainAn open door is not only easy to pass through but it encourages patrons to visit your store. The downside to this is it’s not energy efficient and creates a poor working environment. 

Air curtains solves these issues by minimizing energy loss and creating a safe, comfortable environment for both staff and customers.

Air curtains, also known as air doors, create an invisible door that effectively separates ideal indoor and outdoor temperatures. They work by adding a streamlined, fast-moving air stream to prevent air penetrating through the open doorway.

By creating an air partition between two areas, it prevents outdoor air from entering and indoor air from escaping. This helps the HVAC system work more efficiently by protecting the air conditioned facilities. This in turn reduces overall energy costs.

The latest technology allows air doors to work systematically and maintain the optimum balance between velocity & volume. Having an optimized balance allows air doors to operate at a more comfortable sound level, which is perfect for commercial use.

Having a vestibule in all buildings is ideal. However, this is simply not practical both economically and architecturally. It is recommended by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), that 7 feet of space should separate interior and exterior doorways (study).

Air curtains solve this issue by offering the same advantages of a vestibule, but eliminate construction costs. This improves the use of floor space.

Pests and insects not only make life for clients, customers and staff uncomfortable, but they also have the ability to contaminate products in many industries. Areas like loading docks at a warehouse don’t have the luxury of shutting doors due to constant need of transporting goods. Therefore air curtains are a practical solution to solve this issue.

They’re also useful in ensuring that harmful fumes or harsh irritants don’t affect staff.

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Contact us now for a free quote

We’ll be happy to help explain which model and make is best for your application.  

Choosing the best air curtain for the job

When choosing the best air curtain for your application there are several important points to consider.
  • Installation height and height of the opening are two different things. Air curtains are installed at a higher point than the actual opening.
  • The unit is most efficient when placed as close to the opening as possible. This creates an effective seal between two temperature zones.
  • Air curtains with heating capabilities are available. This allows the area to be heated when doors are closed.
  • The pressure between areas shouldnt be too excessive. It’s important to have an engineer survey the area for proper ventilation.
  • The entire area must be completely covered, both width and height. R. Williamson & Associates offers air curtains in a wide variety of lengths. However, some areas require more than one air curtain.

Industrial Air Curtains

Industrial air curtains provide a lot more benefits aside from making a permeable barrier for ease of access. By installing air curtains, you are creating an environment that reduces toxins, bacteria, pollutants, and helps reduce odors.

They are useful in ensuring that harmful fumes or harsh irritants don’t affect staff. Many industrial areas require the use of harsh chemicals or create a lot of dust. Using these units can keep these fumes and particles out of the area.

Air curtains also provide a unique benefit for businesses that utilize airlocks for separating departments. By installing a unit, a company can maintain positive pressure within cleanrooms, and reduce condensation in storage areas.

Some of the unique applications and how air doors have benefited:

Hospitals & Labs

Hospitals and labs are two places where sanitary conditions are an absolute necessity.

Some of the more important considerations are controlling energy usage, monitoring air quality, and making sure patients’ food is prepared in a hygienic environment.

Warehouses, Distribution Centers & Loading Docks

Warehouse doors are particularly large. Which means a great amount of temperature controlled air is lost when bay doors are opened. These bay doors tend to be slow to open and close. This factor alone reduces productivity.

In distribution centers, specifically loading docks, it’s simply not possible to open & close the bay doors every time. Transporting goods using trolleys, forklifts and other transportation equipment need to move about unhindered and efficently around the loading bay. Therefore, air doors allow for the the bay door to remain open.

Commercial Air Curtains

Commerical air curtains are very common to provide a safe, permeable barrier to keep pests out while giving customers a welcoming feeling of an open door. Which is very important for businesses that rely on heavy foot traffic.

An added element to these types of units is the noise level. Having a quiet air curtain is important for certain commercial applications.

Recessed or low-profile air curtains are complete the job while remining unobtrustive. They’re ideal for archetual applications that require a more refined finish.

Some of the unique applications and how air doors have benefited:

Restaurants & Food Service

Air curtains for restaurants are a necessity on several fronts. By using air curtains, a restaurant can separate the dining area, back-of-the-house kitchen area, and drive-thru.

The dining area is a high traffic area. The door is continually opening, letting out conditioned air, while letting the outside air in. While the door is open unwanted pest can enter the restaurant. This decreases the chances of customers having a positive experience.

A restaurant air door also has the added benefit of keeping the delicious smells from escaping the dining room.

Restaurant kitchens or food service areas need to apply strict fly and insect control, and an air door stops these pests from entering the facility. Keeping food pathogens and contaminates away from food is imperative as well.

If your restaurant has a drive thru then an air curtain is necessary to keep pollutants outside and away from food products.

Outdoor Air Curtains

It’s no secret that people like sitting outdoors in restaurants. However, there is the issue with nearby traffic emissions, general pollution, and insects. With an outdoor air curtain you seal off the area when the windows and doors are opened.

This feature is not only beneficial to restaurants, but other food service areas, such as grocery stores. Having large doors open helps with the ventilation. Air doors keep a nice invisible partition to separate the two areas. This is all while remaining inviting to customers and allowing employees to move freely, which increases productivity.

Cold storage and walk-in freezers

Units designed for these applications can control the vast difference between the internal and external temperatures. Improper calibration can cause frost buildup and unwated moisture.


Every application is unique, so a trained professional should be able to assess your needs. They need to examine such factors such as what is being stored, temperatures on both sides of the door, and even how often the door opens.

Grocery stores

Grocery stores stand to benefit from air curtains because of fly and insect control. Keeping pests out ensures that your produce stays fresh and inviting longer. If the grocery has a food service area or a meat storage freezer, air curtains can easily separate those departments without a physical barrier.

Retail stores

Most retail shops have their doors opened and closed throughout the day. These actions allow for air, dust, allergens, and pests to make their way in with the customers. Adding an air curtain allows customers to enter the store, while keeping the unwanted extras out.

The application helps out in several ways. It gives customers the welcoming feeling of an open door. Reduces air pollution, pests, contaminates and allergens out. All while saving on net energy.

Air Curtain Features

Our industrial and commercial air curtains come with a variety of features, providing you with exactly the capabilities and requirements to meet your commercial or industrial air curtain needs.

Some of our air curtain features include:

  • Heating Options – Our industrial and commercial air curtains support a variety of heating options, offering electric, steam, and hot water, direct and indirect fired gas heat. Unheated units are also available
  • Mounting Options – Many of our air doors and air curtains can be installed both horizontally and/or vertically to meet the requirements for your specific application. In addition, our air curtains can be either wall mounted or suspended depending on your needs.
  • Motor Options – We can supply you with a commercial or industrial air curtain with a range horsepower and speed options. Ranging from 1/5 hp to 30 hp we can protect openings from 3’ high to 30’ high. Most air curtains are provided with motors are suitable for variable or multi-speed operation.
  • Digital Control - Most of the air curtains within our commercial/retail offering are furnished with a digital multi-function controller. This control allows for several sequences of operation, temperature control, timed operation, and more.
  • Wireless operation – Most of the air curtains within our commercial/retail offering can be furnished with WIFI – Bluetooth controls. This allows for unit control and programming using your smart device rather than having to physically access the unit.

R. Williamson & Associates serving the Greater Chicago area

Once you have decided on the appropriate air curtains, R. Williamson and Associates can provide you with pricing for these units. We specialize in curtains that fit a variety of business needs. We are also the official representative of many major manufactures in the Greater Chicago area.

We can also send out a trained specialist to assess the area and make certain the proper unit is being used for your specific application. We run tests on-site to see how cost effective each model will be to assure maximum efficiency.
Contact us now for a free quote

We’ll be happy to help explain which model and make is best for your application.  

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