If you live in the northern hemisphere you are probably experiencing winter right about now. Indeed, the leading authority on the state of the U.S. climate, the Farmer’s Almanac, “forewarns that exceptionally cold, if not downright frigid weather will predominate over parts of the Northern Plains, Great Lakes, Midwest, Ohio Valley, the Middle Atlantic, Northeast, and New England this winter.” It also predicts “shots of very cold weather will periodically reach as far south as Florida and the Gulf Coast.”
Considering that our comfort is sorely compromised at this time of year, it’s worthwhile to explore options for adding supplemental heat at door openings.
Heaters come in all shapes and sizes with various capabilities of producing heated air. The key phrase here is producing heated air. By traditional means, what happens to that heat is a foregone conclusion each and every time the door opens.
Air curtains are designed to provide a two-prong solution to this problem. First, an air curtain installed over a door opening discharges a thermal barrier of air each time the door opens, thus working to prevent the infiltration of outside cold air as well as the loss of inside heated air. Second, a heated air curtain will add warmth, either activating each time the door opens or as a space heater linked to a thermostat set point. If a particular door opening is subject to an exceptionally brisk wind, negative air pressure, wind tunnel effect or other unique issue, the heated air curtain will temper any incoming air to make it more palatable. Comfort aside, an air curtain can also improve safety by keeping the area around the door dry.
Air curtains are not a one-size-fits-all piece of equipment. The unit needs to be as wide as the door opening and there are various types of heat to select from, including electric, hot water/steam, indirect gas and direct gas.