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Case Study: Negative Pressure

“Air curtains are not designed to resolve negative air pressure but can be designed to reduce the problems that negative air pressure creates”

The facility called upon the expertise of high-performance stainless steel air curtain manufacturer Powered Aire Inc., which knowing that an air curtain cannot stop this type of air movement, focused instead on tempering the cold air as it entered the hallway.

Air Curtain Rx

Like many medical facilities, this hospital in an urban U.S. city built a parking garage adjacent to its facility, and for added convenience to visitors and personnel constructed a walkway from one side to the other. However, the hallway pictured above led from the parking garage to an open atrium several stories high. While aesthetically impressive, this expansive space led to a stack effect and the resulting negative pressure caused cold air to rush in every time the doors to the parking garage opened.


  • A CED-3-132E air curtain with 1/2 hp motors that provides a gentle flow of air designed specifically for pedestrian openings, and outfitted with custom 60 kW electric heating coils.
  • A Hand/Off/Auto switch, that when in the Auto position enables activation of the air curtain when the door opens via a door switch. When the door closes, the fans continue to run for 15 minutes (adjustable). If the door re-opens within this time period the cycle resets.
  • A thermostat to maintain the temperature in the walkway even when the doors are closed. If the door stays closed for 15 minutes, the fans turn off but will re-engage when the temperature sensed by the thermostat drops below the set point. The heat the air curtain supplies mix with the colder air coming from the parking garage resulting in more evenly tempered and comfortable air that flows into the atrium.

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