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Air curtains are designed to counteract convection heat losses by using a fan to direct a thin jet of air across the width of the opening. To counter residual heat losses, air curtains normally incorporate an internal heat source to raise the temperature of the air passing through the unit. The energy source is most commonly an electric element, but may also be a low pressure hot water (LPHW) supply. In the latter option hot water is circulated through a heat exchanger within the unit to raise the temperature of air drawn through. Electric units need to be connected to an appropriate electrical supply (loads may exceed 3kW and be three phase) and LPHW units need to be connected to a suitable hot water system as well as an electricity supply. For LPHW units with powerful electric fans, the electricity supply may need to be three phase. Air curtains generally have adjustable fan and heat settings which makes them suitable for spring and autumn use as well as mid-winter. In summer they can be operated without any heating to improve the efficiency of air conditioning and to reduce levels of airborne nuisance such as small insects or traffic fumes.


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