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    Air Management in Large Facilities Using Air Doors

    Admin on Tuesday, July 19, 2022

    Large facilities are needed for a wide variety of commercial activity. All large spaces need air management strategies for optimal performance. Commercial activities that need large facilities includes:

    Air Management Challenges Inside Large Facilities

    Large facilities have challenges because spaces are tall and wide, high ceilings host warm air, and there is equipment and racks that block air flow. There are also large doors, usually many of them, and they are often open to let people or equipment flow freely. Additionally, there are millions of square feet of space that needs air management.

    Most large facilities have forklifts, trucks, mobile cranes, strand jacks, and loaders moving around along with pedestrians. Manufacturing processes can create dust and fumes. Vehicle emissions and fumes are emitted along with odors from fuel.

    Four Considerations in Large Facility Air Management: What is a Commercial Air Curtain’s Role?

    Air management is not a simple set of actions or easily defined. You will need to understand what affects your air quality based on what activities are hosted in the facility.

    Sports Arena
    Large entertainment venues and sports arenas, with millions of square feet of space and thousands of occupants, need advanced air management strategies.

    1. Controlling Temperatures Critical in Air Management

    Facility managers overseeing large interior spaces must regulate temperatures, control air flow, keep workers comfortable and manage operating costs.

    The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) is the agency responsible for making sure workplaces are safe and healthy. To date, OSHA does not have any mandated temperature guidelines but says that ideal inside temperatures are between 68°F and 78°F degrees. These temperatures keep workers safe from being too hot or too cold.

    The Society for Human Resources Management reports workplace temperature is sure to affect productivity. Using commercial air curtains at entry points, both windows, dock doors and person doors, controls the outside air from entering through building openings so heating or cooling is less affected. With air curtain protection, all heating and cooling is less expensive and more effective.

    2. HVAC Systems are Expensive to Operate

    Nearly three-quarters of industrial buildings are more than 20 years old according to real estate giant Jones Lang LaSalle. Older buildings will have older HVAC systems which will not operate as efficiently as newer, energy efficient systems. Large facilities will also frequently have air leaks that will make HVAC systems work harder.

    The HVAC system will scale up with the size of the space. The HVAC equipment must be large and properly designed for effective air movement. Large HVAC systems will require a lot of ductwork, compressors, condensing units and other components. Effective air circulation must reach all corners of the building.

    Sources suggest non-refrigerated warehouses use 6.1 kilowatt-hours of electricity and it is known to be a big part of the operating budget. Air curtains will reduce the use of the HVAC system to keep temperatures comfortable. HVAC equipment will work less when air curtains stop outside air from entering. The entire HVAC system will have a longer lifespan when the need to cycle on and off is reduced with air curtains protecting the entry points.

    Warehouse
    Large facilities with tall ceilings, thousands of square feet, fast-paced worker activity, large boxes and equipment moving around and wide entry points all contribute to the need for a strategic air management plan.

    3. Industrial Facilities Have Odors and Fumes

    Exhaust fumes from loading bays, emissions from manufacturing processes, idling forklifts and trucks and pollutants from outside cause odors inside. Air curtains form an invisible barrier to keep the outside odors and fumes from entering.

    When processes inside a large facility cause odors or pollutants to be emitted, air curtains can be used inside to separate that process from the rest of the interior. This air barrier will keep the emissions from moving freely around the facility and contaminating other areas. Mars specialized air curtains with True HEPA filters and UVC can be helpful to destroy odors and capture particulates.

    4. High Ceilings Cause Uneven Temperatures in the Space

    In high ceiling facilities, warm air moves upward toward the ceiling leaving colder air below where people are working. Colder air closer to the floor triggers HVAC systems to operate to heat the space. Air mixing strategies are needed to destratify the air and even out the thermal temperatures from ceiling to floor. When air flow is adequate the layers of air throughout the space are equalized. This is important to create comfort for the workers and guests inside a building.

    Using a commercial air curtain or commercial air door will increase the effect of HVLS fans. Air curtains will stop outside air from drifting inside and interfering with the work of lowering the temperature in summer. In colder weather air curtains keep the colder outside air from coming inside and interfering with building heating efforts.

    Final words

    An air curtain is one of the most effective and energy-efficient solutions for maintaining a safe, hygienic, and comfortable indoor environment. Whether specified at building design or easily retrofitted to an existing structure, air curtains are highly versatile products with far-reaching benefits. They require very little maintenance and also extend the lifespan of your HVAC system.

    However, all air curtains aren’t created equal; there are several important factors to consider before you make your choice. The Mars Product Selector is a handy tool that can guide you through your selection process in just a few clicks. If you need more help or information to find an air curtain that best suits your business needs, contact us today.