Warmth is normally retained in buildings by physical barriers. However there are many situations where this is not practicable, such as in a busy shop or restaurant. 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 (typically electric element) to raise the temperature of air that passing through the unit. 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 heating to improve the efficiency of air conditioning or to reduce levels of airborne nuisance such as small insects or traffic fumes. They are generally designed to be either surface mounted above a door or recessed into either a standard suspended grid or plasterboard ceiling.

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