A Walk-In Winter Wonder LandWritten by Alex under General | No Comments
Last year there was a lot of discussion over air curtains in shops in the winter time. If you’re not sure what an air curtain is, it’s the device used in shop and office doorways which heat the air so that you receive a welcoming warm reception as soon as you walk through the door.
The contention was that having these devices in shops meant that the retailers were simply firing hot air at winter which was both a waste of electricity and money. Campaigners said they should simply keep their doors closed and try and cut down on heating but how much energy does that really save?
Retailers like to keep their doors open, it shows that they are trading and want no obstacle to come between you and their stock. In the balmier months that’s fine but what about in winter, particularly Christmas which, for some companies makes up for the rest of the years trading figures?
Shut That Door!
Close The Door are a campaign group who try to encourage retailers to close their doors in order to keep costs down and reduce the carbon footprint that retail outlets leave. Their figures suggest that keeping the doors shut can reduce the heating bill by 50% which will reduce costs as well as CO2 emissions but retailers maintain that closing the doors will discourage customers from entering and therefore reduce footfall, this will naturally have an effect on turnover so the money saved in heating will be lost in profits.
Some retailers kept their doors shut and posted signs which told shoppers why they had taken that move.
But That’s Not the End of the Story By Any Means.
Some energy professionals pointed out that an air curtain was regarded as an efficient way of heating a retail space, if the curtain machinery is positioned to blow the air inwards it provides a warm welcome and heats the interior of the premises at the same time, the circulating breeze stopping a great deal of warm air from escaping. They are regarded as a useful tool in the energy manager’s toolbox and last year there were loans and grants available for their installation. The professionals conceded that of course the best solution to heat loss is a well insulated and draft excluded doorway, however, they were surprised to see figures that suggested saving of 50% against air curtains.
In order to be efficient the jet of air simply needs to reach the floor and cover the entire width of the entranceway. When an air curtain is properly installed it keeps the warm air in, prevents drafts and preserves the quality of the conditioned air. Counter-intuitive as it may seem, keeping the doors open in winter may indeed be an energy efficient option.