AMCA has revealed the results of a study that documents the energy savings available from using air curtains as an alternative to, or in conjunction, with doors and vestibules.
The Air Movement and Control Association said the study used computational fluid dynamics and whole-building-energy analysis of the DOE Medium Office reference building model for three different building entrance scenarios. They were: one single door without vestibule or air curtain; a single door equipped with an air curtain; and a single door with a vestibule.
The study found that air curtains save far more energy than they consume, suggesting that they should be more commonly considered to protect any opening in the building envelope to reduce exfiltration of conditioned air and infiltration of pests, dust, and outside air. Compared to the vestibule door, the study found that air curtains save 0.3% to 2.2% in whole building energy depending on location, which corresponds to 1,146 kWh to 18,986 kWh in the DOE reference model. Better performance will be achieved for colder climates, according to AMCA officials.
The study can be viewed or downloaded for free at www.amca.org/feg/research-and-whitepapers.aspx.