Kitchen Design: Air Curtains
The setup of your kitchen is designed for maximum efficiency, but the cohesion and cost effectiveness of your layout can be undermined when the thermal dynamics of the setup are not well regulated. Air curtains - also known as air doors - are a necessary addition to maintaining the integrity of the temperature of your kitchen! While you may have already (wisely) invested in an air curtain for your walk-in unit, you should consider installing one at every doorway in your restaurant. Let’s take a look at the mechanics of an air curtain and what it can do for your restaurant.
The design behind an air curtain is genius in its simplicity. Air curtains are installed the length of a doorway. They draw in air and direct it through a fan and nozzle system wherein it is then discharged at a high velocity down and over the span of the entranceway. These systems can additionally be augmented with an electric heater to add to the warm and cozy atmosphere of your restaurant during cold winter months!
We’ve already glossed over one of the top benefits of thermal regulation. Here are the biggest and most desirable benefits of the installation of an air curtain at any given doorway:
Thermal Barrier : The high velocity air creates an invisible shield that separates air on either side of your doorway, maintaining the separation of temperature on either side!
Wind Resistance : Because of the high velocity of the air curtain, any wind that is slower than the velocity of the curtain itself is kept on its respective side of the curtain. This is great for protecting against the harsh exterior environment outside of your restaurant.
Interior Separation : Different areas of your restaurant should be looked at as a separate unit. For instance, your bar area should be cordoned off from fine dining, and an air curtain at the doorway that separates the sections is great for keeping smoke and dust from the bar separate from the fresh atmosphere of your dining area.
Insect Control : Flies, beetles, and bugs are no match for an air curtain. For the sake of sanitation, installing air curtains helps to keep these pesky insects at bay.
Points to Keep in Mind
As you can see, installing an air curtain at every doorway is truly essential to maintaining the integrity of all areas of your restaurant - not just the entrance and not just at your walk-in unit! Your next step is to start measuring and considering some key variables at each doorway:
Measurements : Since air curtains need to span the entire width of your frame, you’ll want to take exact measurements of each doorway. Air curtains can be installed either horizontally or vertically, so keep this in mind with your preference.
Requirements : Consider the requirements that your air curtain will have to meet to be effective. You’ll probably need a more powerful curtain for exterior doorways to combat wind and a less powerful doorway to separate interior rooms.
In the end, air curtains can generally pay for themselves in a short period of time due to the energy savings gained. At the same time, your guests will probably unconsciously feel the benefits of your well-placed air curtains!
E Friedman Associates