Air Curtains vs. Revolving Doors

A Practical Approach to Reducing Air Infiltration and Facilitating Pedestrian Traffic at Entranceways

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  • March 07, 2019
  • by Powered Aire

Let’s face it. Movable things wear out in time; like revolving doors installed in the heyday of downtown department stores. Sooner or later something’s gotta give. Estimates for replacing a revolving door can range anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000 or more - a costly building update in economic times where budgetary belt-tightening has become the norm.

Air Curtains by Powered Aire Inc. Offer Advantages Over Revolving Doors

  • An air curtain by Powered Aire Inc. can be purchased at a fraction of the cost of a new revolving door, with a typical payback period in terms of energy savings at only two years or less at front entrances.
  • Revolving doors can be hard to push, and once the momentum gets going, hard to stop. Some people push harder than others, necessitating a hasty exit for the slower-goers. An air curtain installed over a swing or sliding door provides hands-free and stress-free entry and exit.
  • Revolving doors can slow pedestrian traffic as people wait until a compartment becomes free that they can enter. An air curtain automatically activates as soon as the door begins to open and helps facilitate a normal flow of pedestrian traffic.
  • For some people with physical handicaps, a revolving door is not an entryway they can use. The Americans with Disabilities Act states that: “Revolving doors or turnstiles shall not be the only means of passage at an accessible entrance or along an accessible route. An accessible gate or door shall be provided adjacent to the turnstile or revolving door…” This means that a standard door must be available next to a revolving door, adding more to the cost. Why not put an air curtain over a swing or sliding door instead?
  • A collapsible revolving door (pictured below) that allows people to pass through on either side may be an easy way for people to enter and exit a building during busy metropolitan pedestrian traffic times, but it’s not the most energy efficient way. The entrance is effectively doorless during this time which can result in substantial loss of heat or air conditioning. Air curtains discharge an invisible yet highly effective stream of air down the full width and length of the opening to prevent the infiltration of outside air and loss of inside conditioned air that is likely occurring at the door opening in this photo.

Revolving Doors and Liability

“[She] suffered a broken hip and said that the doors “were moving very rapidly, too fast.”


“...One common factor was apparent. No daily inspections or safety evaluations were made by the management of the facilities where the revolving doors were installed.”


“...the automatic revolving door she was passing through stopped and started suddenly, knocking [her] to the floor, and then struck her again when the automatic mechanism reactivated.


“...obsolete or incorrect installation can lead to fatal accidents. In this report, a 19-month-old boy is described whose right arm was caught between the elements of an automatic revolving door….


The Popularity Test

Study details preference on college campus

A 2006 study focused on revolving door usage on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus and in part examined the use of swing doors versus revolving doors. The study found that 64% of students surveyed preferred to use swing doors because they are quicker, easier to use and not as cramped as a revolving door. Also noted was a fear of getting stuck in a revolving door.

Did you know that air curtains are an approved replacement for vestibules at entryways?

Vestibule Exception Models

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