For virtually any business, at least one facet of an air curtain installation will appeal. Air curtains assist in temperature moderation, reduce heating and cooling costs, prevent insects and dust from making their way into your building, and keep smelly fumes outside. Their benefits can provide simple comforts or be instrumental in meeting sanitary guidelines. If there’s a single worry that businesses have about adopting air curtains or air doors, though, it might be volume.
Air Curtain Noise: Why It Is a Concern
Perhaps a quiet, relaxing environment is crucial to the atmosphere you are trying to cultivate with your business. Alternatively, maybe you operate a bar or restaurant that is already loud most of the time, and you want to avoid introducing extra white noise into the equation. Either way, the volume of an air curtain might concern you. After all, air curtains function by generating a downward flow of air that covers the opening of a door, window, or garage area. This air flow needs to be powerful enough to extend over the entire doorway.
Considering how much noise fans or air conditioning systems can make, it’s not surprising that some business proprietors are worried about air curtain noise. A loud air curtain would be especially distracting since most air doors only switch on intermittently when someone opens a door or window. Surely you don’t want a loud air stream interrupting everyone’s conversations or activities every time a door opens.
The Truth: What to Expect from Air Curtains Regarding Sound
The good news is that air curtains, in the vast majority of situations, are not loud at all. Air curtain manufacturers understand that volume is a concern for their customers and have taken steps to improve their technologies and eliminate distracting or irritating noise from the equation. Many air curtain companies have even started developing and marketing “whisper quiet” air door systems.
So how loud are air curtains, exactly? The answer depends on the size, type, and brand of the air curtain in question. However, on average, you can expect a sound output of between 40 and 50 decibels. For reference, 40 decibels is roughly the level of noise you would expect to hear in a library, while 50 decibels is the same volume as you’d find in a quiet suburban neighborhood. 60 decibels, meanwhile, is the volume at which most normal conversations take place. In other words, you don’t need to fret about an air door interrupting conversations between your employees or patrons.
Of course, just as there are “whisper quiet” air curtains on the market, there are also air doors that produce a bit more noise. In particular, large commercial or industrial air curtains are going to produce more noise—usually because they are being used to create air barriers over larger spaces. An air curtain that is covering a garage door opening in an industrial warehouse has a lot more work to do to create an effective barrier than an air curtain over a standard-sized door in a restaurant or retail establishment. Since these air curtains need to work harder and require a bit more power, they also produce more noise.
However, since these larger, louder air curtains are typically situated in larger spaces with higher ceilings, the noise dissipates more easily. As a result, even “loud” air curtains often don’t seem that loud when installed in the appropriate settings. A plant, warehouse, or factory is also probably going to be a considerably loud environment than a small office or retail store, which means that noise from the air curtain is probably less of a factor anyway.
Using Noise to Monitor the Health of Your Air Curtain
With air curtains, excessive noise can also be a sign of diminishing performance or a technical problem. If you notice that your air curtain has become louder over time, there’s probably something wrong with it. Monitor noise as a benchmark of air curtain condition and seek inspections or repairs for your units if they start producing more sound than they should.
Being vigilant about cleaning your air curtain devices on a regular basis can prevent the kind of wear and tear that leads to noisier performance. Often, air curtains grow louder over time because the motor is working harder than it used to work. Usually, a louder motor is the result of dust accumulation in the air curtain. As dust builds up, the device needs to work that much harder to create a stream of air at the correct volume and pressure. Dust buildup can also impact the performance of an air curtain and make it less effective at creating a complete barrier against pests, cold or warm air, dust, or fumes.
For these reasons, it is wise to clean your air curtains on a regular basis. Using a dust cloth to remove dust from the air curtain installation once a week or so will help prevent dust buildup, preserve strong performance, and keep the device quiet and unobtrusive. Of course, dusting, vacuuming, and cleaning the rest of your business regularly will also protect your air curtain by reducing the amount of dust and debris in the air.
Get Help Finding a Quiet Air Door Solution
If you are shopping for an air curtain or air door solution but are concerned about volume, get in touch with our team at Air Door Distributors today. We would be happy to help you find the quietest air door possible to suit your needs. As discussed above, though, you can typically expect any modern air curtain product to offer quiet performance.