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Do Air Curtains Keep Flies Out?

Admin on July 24, 2023

To provide a thorough analysis of using air curtains to keep flies out of a building interior, we want to look at: 

  • how an air curtain is designed to perform
  • how air flow works to provide separation between interior and exterior
  • the way air curtains are used for fly protection
  • why air curtains are better than pesticides for fly control

Later we will share the various studies performed that clearly establish the effectiveness of air curtains and look at NSF/ANSI Standard 37 which establishes standards for food and foodservice establishments.

Flies are Responsible for Disease Spread

There are multiple studies that demonstrate the damaging effects of the housefly and blowfly. Penn State researchers determined that flies carry hundreds of different species of bacteria, many of which are harmful to humans. Other Penn State studies affirm that at least 65 diseases harmful to humans are directly attributed to flies. This means every commercial and residential structure must work at keeping flies and other flying pests out of building interiors for sanitation and health.

How Do Air Curtains Work to Keep Flies Out?

In lay terms air curtains are engineered and designed to create a flow of air that covers the opening completely. Engineers determine the speed and force of the air so that it is adequate to produce a protection of air flow adequate to cover the entire open space - either a door or a pass-thru window or even a simple opening between two inside spaces so that each individual space can hold a different temperature. When sourced properly an air curtain buyer is assured of adequate flow for complete protection.

Restaurants and food prep
PHOTO CAPTION: Restaurants and food prep and manufacturing centers are not the only industries that absolutely, positively must keep flies out of their building interiors.

This air flow has been engineered to be strong enough that flying insects cannot pass through it but people, equipment and goods are free to pass. And, because it is only air that is used people can see through to both sides and don't risk an accident that would be more likely with a door or a strip curtain where you cannot see through to the other side.

Goldencom note: Title for illustration: Thermal Separation Keeps Flies Out & Conditioned Air In (Please remove the current title Benefits ....)

Air curtain
PHOTO CAPTION: Computational Fluid Dynamics is a software that visualizes how air flows. In these images, the building on the left shows the green which is the air of a different temperature coming inside when there is no air curtain stopping its migration. The building image on the right shows that there is no color change inside the building because the air curtain is on and stopping the flow of air. This keeps the inside air that has been heated or cooled protected from outside changes.

Why Use Air Curtains for Flies

Air curtains were originally used for fly control and they perform exceedingly well. They developed a wide reputation for excellent performance keeping flies out. This is particularly relevant in restaurants and food serving environments where food odors can attract all types of flying insects and having them in food prep areas can be devastating. Flying insects can carry pathogens and viruses and give the impression to guests that things could be "unclean". Air curtains are ideal and the best protection in this setting. In manufacturing settings there can be actions being performed that would be adversely impacted with any flying insects. Air doors are ideal for error-free protection even when dock doors are very wide and very tall. Air curtains are engineered to provide full-opening protection no matter what size the opening and in a wide variety of applications.

Air curtains are perfect for flies because:

  • There is no barrier=nothing to cause accidents or minimize visibility for equipment and foot traffic
  • There are no chemicals that can affect the health of building occupants
  • Air curtains save more money than they use in utility costs (they pay for themselves quickly in what they save in the utility bill)
  • They are easy to install and work 24/7/365 on automatic settings
  • They can include heat for colder climates thus helping keep expensive heated air inside

Why are Air Curtains for Fly Control Better than Pesticides

Several decades ago there was very little understanding about the long-term effects from the chemicals. Today it is widely understood that pesticides are linked to Alzheimers, ADHD, cancer, and even birth defects. And, there is likely more to be discovered about pesticides and their effect on human and animal health.

Using an air curtain is the most green and sustainable solution for pest control. Using only the air as a mechanism to stop flying pests, air curtains avoid the use of chemicals or destructive means of keeping every type of flying pest out. And with the energy savings they offer they actually contribute to making the building more sustainable. Air curtains can also contribute to the achievement of LEED credits when that is an objective.

Do Air Curtains Keep Flies Out with Any Opening Size?

The most important consideration in the selection of an air curtain is the size of the opening (width and height) and the protection needed from climatic conditions or the other commercial benefit you are using the air curtain for.

When an air curtain is sourced properly it will absolutely cover the entire opening and provide full opening-wide protection and excellent fly protection along with the thermal comfort that eases your utility spend. Air curtains are engineered for the opening and the commercial benefit they are serving. An air door product selection tool allows for the easy selection for your opening size and the application setting.

Do Air Curtains Keep Mosquitos Out?

Mosquitos are as big of an issue and equally annoying as flies. One test demonstrated that air curtains demonstrate a 95%-100% effectiveness at keeping out flies and mosquitos. And mosquitos are equally damaging to a brand when encountered in a foodservice setting.

Studies Show Proven Protection from Air Curtains for Flies and Other Commercial Needs

Following are just a few of the numerous studies analyzing and establishing the viability of air curtains in a myriad of settings.

ANSI/ NSF 37 Certification Establishes Performance and Sanitation Standards

Air curtains are certification tested for ANSI/ NSF 37 which establishes the minimum sanitation and performance standards

Closing Thoughts

It is important to remember that choosing an air curtain is important because air curtain providers produce different products; some air curtains are more highly engineered units and can include features for advanced sanitation. Using Mars Product Selector is beneficial to guide you through your selection process and give you confidence in choosing the right unit. If you need more help or information, contact us today.