What Is An Air Curtain?

What is an air curtain?

An air curtain can simply be defined as a stream of air that flows continuously across the doorway of an air-conditioned area or room.

It works by forcing out a stream of air over the doorway at an angle that prevents anything from infiltrating the air-conditioned space. Expanding on this simple definition, an air curtain is powered by a fan and creates a sort of invisible barrier to separate the air-conditioned environment from a non-air-conditioned environment. For example, an air curtain may be placed at the entrance of a shop in order to keep outside air from penetrating it, along with pollutants and pests. It creates two separate environments without having to put up a physical barricade, allowing traffic (whether foot traffic or vehicular traffic) to pass through.

Where are they used?

Air curtains can be used in a variety of different places and settings. It is common to find them in shops and at restaurants as a way of keeping out pollution and pests such as insects. It can also help to stop cold air from getting in on a cold day and warm air on a hot day. Different locations benefit from air curtains for different reasons. In this section of the article, we will be giving you a little bit more information on the types of establishments that may need an air curtain and more importantly why they might need one. The list below is not exhaustive by any means but it gives great examples of what types of places may find an air curtain helpful.

Schools and universities

Using an air curtain at a school or university can be very helpful as it can keep out pollutants such as cigarette smoke, car fumes, and even flying insects. It does this in a chemical and harm-free manner, without the need to use harmful pesticides and air purifiers. They can be placed at many different entrances and areas in a school such as the main entrance, staff doorways, cafeteria entrances, and much more. They can promote a much more comfortable learning environment for students, and a comfortable work environment for staff. They can also help to save and conserve energy.


Air curtains can be used in supermarkets and other shops to great effect whether at the customer entrance, staff entrances, or loading bays at the back of the shop. They are used to protect customers and staff from exhaust fumes from the lorries and vans delivering the stores produce, to help prevent insects from flying in, and to promote energy conservation. In the long term, they can help a shop to meet their sustainability goals, as well as keep customers and staff happy.


Whether you are a high-class restaurant or a quick-serve fast-food place, an air curtain can be essential for your establishment. They work well on warm and cold days, keeping flies, other insects, cigarette smoke and fumes from traffic out of your restaurant, and retaining the air conditioning or heating within the restaurant. You can have them fitted at the entrance so that you can really maximise your space and have customers sit close to the door. They can also help to create a more sanitary environment if you place them on kitchen entrances as they will stop pests and other contaminants from getting into the kitchen and food storage and preparation areas.

Food processing factories and other big warehouses

Food processing factories are major clients of air curtains because of the importance of keeping out pollution and pests. They work as a fantastic solution for keeping your factory environment separate and free of smells that could come in from lorry fumes and other vehicle pollutants, as well as cigarette smells and general outdoor smells you can also get air curtains for any cold storage areas and refrigerated areas to ensure the room stays the right temperature.

Warehouses can also make use of air curtains for similar reasons, regardless of whether they are processing food. Large scale, industrial air curtains can be very beneficial in warehouse settings as a way of keeping workers comfortable and productive whilst also making the environment as safe as possible. Of course, they will also help you to save energy.


In airports, it is very important to keep the temperature and surroundings as comfortable as possible for travellers and staff. For this reason, an air curtain will be the perfect solution to keep out pollutants and pests while maintaining a comfortable temperature. Temperature control is particularly important considering the amount of foot traffic that the airport sees each day. It can also help to save energy as heat or air conditioning will be less likely to escape through entrances. They can also be installed on luggage loading entrances to help protect staff from plane fumes and cold temperatures as they work.

What is the purpose of an air curtain?

The purposes of an air curtain are varied. Typically they are installed for a number of reasons. These reasons are to conserve and save energy in a building, for example, by keeping in warm air on a cold day and keeping it cool on a hot day. Air curtains can also prevent outside pollutants from infiltrating a building, such as vehicle fumes, air pollution and insects. In effect, an air curtain creates two separate environments.

How to clean an air curtain

It is very important to clean your air curtain regularly as it is likely to have taken in lots of pollutants, pests, dust and debris in order to stop them from entering your establishment. Cleaning it will ensure that the air within your establishment remains clean. To clean it you must first ensure that the air curtain is turned off. You can do this on the control or service panel. Lock the panel too, if it has that feature, to ensure it does not turn on whilst you are cleaning it.

You can then remove the air intake part of the air curtain. This is typically a grille. This will allow you to access the blower and its motors. You can vacuum and wipe away any built-up debris. You may even need to gently scrape the build-up off if it is tough to move. As always, we highly recommend that you also follow the instructions of your particular model as some may differ slightly.

Is an air curtain right for you?

If you would like to have an air curtain installed for your business, have one already that needs maintaining, or would just like to know more about air curtains in general, feel free to contact us. Either via our contact form, or give us a call on  08000 588 035.

Ben Winrow
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