Category Archives: Berner

Curtain Call for Flies, Berner Air Curtains

Curtain Call for Flies

Published in the June 2015 issue of Pest Control Technology Magazine

Berner air curtains offer chemical-free flying insect control. Here’s what you need to know about using them at your clients’ accounts.

  • June 30, 2015
  • Joe Banas

The air curtain is an ideal solution to the pest management industry’s ongoing response to commercial/industrial client requests for fewer chemicals and more environmentally sensitive methods of controlling flying insects in occupied spaces.

While insect light traps (ILT), glue boards and electrocuting devices will always be irreplaceable reactive approaches after flying insects infiltrate a space, the air curtain is a proactive method that prevents airborne pests from entering in the first place.

It’s this premise that’s driving many pest control management companies, franchises and chains to the trend of applying air curtains for chemical-free and effective flying insect prevention. Illustrating the pest management industry’s trend toward air curtains, the feature article, “Green Pest Management — A Day Without Pesticides” in the March 2014 issue of PCT mentions air curtains as a chemical-free solution to flying insect control. Author Kathy Heinsohn, Ph.D., BCE, a technical and training entomologist with American Pest, Fulton, Md., likens air curtain use to “thinking outside the box.”

What Are They?

Air curtains are not a new technology. For decades, air curtains (sometimes referred to as air doors) have been a source of saving energy, preventing flying insect ingress and improving employee air comfort at open doorways in industrial and agricultural applications.

Fly Control In The FieldPossibly one of the pest control industry’s leading air curtain advocates is Dan Clark, president of Flytech Supply, Moreno Valley, Calif., who has both retail/wholesale pest control clients. Clark sells air curtains to customers, typically combining them with ILT devices.Clark recalled one warehouse that was infested with thousands of flies. Fecal matter littered interior table and floor surfaces. Forty ILTs and an arsenal of electocuters were killing flies, but those products were overwhelmed by the steady supply of flies via unobstructed, high-traffic pedestrian doors. There was no solution other than air curtains, according to Clark. He sold the customer three air curtains, one 42-inch model and two 36-inch models, that protected the doorway to an outdoor dining area and the warehouse’s double glass door employee entry. The air curtain models, which were tested and certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), Washington, D.C., and the Air Movement and Control Association-International (AMCA), Arlington Heights, Ill., reduced fly infiltration to less than .01 percent and allowed Clark to reduce the ILTs from 40 to four for any remaining flies. The AMCA certification is particularly important, Clark says, because it assures the manufacturer’s equipment claims aren’t inflated, have been tested under lab conditions and performs to advertised specifications, which guarantees the air curtain’s efficacy.

Simply, an air curtain is a metal box with blowers, motors and an air discharge nozzle with directional louvers. What’s not simple is the effectiveness of the technology. Air curtain technology draws interior air from the facility and discharges it through field-adjustable (+/- 20-degree) linear nozzles that “seal” the doorway with a non-turbulent air stream that meets the floor approximately at the threshold of the door opening. Because an air curtain discharges air at velocities generally in the range from 1,000 to 3,000 feet/minute, it separates the indoor from the outdoor environment and prevents outside air, airborne dust and particularly flying insect infiltration. Air curtains are typically activated by a limit switch or a smart control that can be programmed for a variety of door opening and closing functions, as well as supplemental spot heating from optional on-board electric, steam or hot water coils.

In the last 10 years, air curtains have grown past industrial applications, mainly due to high-end finishes and fashionable commercial designs, such as the new in-ceiling mount models that appear like a ceiling grille over the doorway. Consequently, retailers, restaurateurs and hoteliers are adding the technology to their establishments. Restaurants, in particular, are adding them for flying insect protection at the back shipping door, front door and the drive-thru window.

Air curtains don’t require maintenance other than a periodic air filter change and check-up to assure the air flow is sufficiently sealing the doorway’s perimeter and properly reaching the threshold.

How PMPs Use Air Curtains.

Pest control companies that sell air curtains to their customers can either install them in-house for increased profit margins, or subcontract the installation. Some pest control companies have employees capable of hanging air curtains from ceilings or mounting them on walls, which typically requires only conventional tools and hardware, such as threaded rod and wall brackets. The electrical service should be run by licensed electricians or contractors.

Probably the greatest air curtain growth market for pest control companies is the food-service business. For example, the California Health and Safety Code has mandated air curtains for more than 15 years on back doors and receiving doors of all food-service establishments, which would include restaurants, convenience stores, hotels and other establishments that prepare and serve food. Other states are following California’s lead in this type of health code criteria.

USDA is another government agency that recommends air curtains for meat and poultry establishments in their guidebook (The Federal Register Volume 62, Number 164, Chapter 13, August 23, 1997).

Since flies don’t know the back door from the front door, food-service establishments with indoor fly infiltration histories should consider air curtains for customer entrances and drive-thru windows, as well as back-end shipping doors.

Flytech (see related story on page 60) recommends air curtains on drive-thru windows, the latter which now constitutes more than 50 percent of the quick-serve restaurant business, according to the National Restaurant Association (NRA). Dan Clark of Flytech recalls a taco restaurant client located near an animal stockyard area where flies literally swarmed outside the restaurant and gained indoor access through the drive-thru window. A drive through unit air curtain, which is designed for the specific length and height of the service window, added to the flying insect prevention strategy.

Another trend is the use of air curtains at the food-service windows of open air sports stadiums and complexes. McKechnie Field, the Bradenton, Fla.-based spring training home of the Pittsburgh Pirates Major League Baseball team, recently installed more than 20 air curtains at the food-service point-of-sale windows to comply with local health codes and to promote visibility of interior-mounted menu boards. Another stadium, the new $18 million Pensacola Bay Front Stadium in Florida’s panhandle, is using eight air curtains to prevent flying insects in two separate 3,600-square-foot food-preparation and service concession areas. At this facility, which is the home of the Cincinnati Reds’ new AA Southern League affiliate, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, stadium officials also have discovered the stadium’s air curtains have discouraged seagulls from entering the food-service areas from nearby beaches.

Besides restaurants, air curtains are also a good flying insect prevention application for the shipping doorways of food-processing and food-manufacturing industries. These industries however, may require hazardous location (HL) models, because of their inherent presence of grain and flour dust, which in turn can ignite and cause explosions. The air curtain industry has responded to these applications with HL models featuring explosion-proof motors, spark-resistant fans, HL-rated electrical components and construction, and other precautions required by ANSI/NFPA-70 National Electrical Code (NEC) regulations.

Final Thoughts.

While a pest management company’s main goal is to prevent flying insects, clients likely will enjoy the added benefit from air curtains’ energy conservation. Air curtains separate indoor from outdoor environments, therefore there’s a significant energy savings depending upon the indoor and outdoor air temperature differential and the number of daily door cycles. An air curtain might be irreplaceable for a client in terms of pest control, but the energy savings will deliver a payback that will pay back the equipment cost in two years or less.

Environmental concerns with pesticides likely will continue to increase in the future. However, pest management firms can prepare now by offering their clients chemical-free fly control options, such as air curtains.


The author is a sales manager at Berner International. He is a 39-year veteran of the food-service industry and holds a degree in business administration from Penn State University. Berner International is a 58-year-old company and an innovator of air curtain technology that offers air curtain sales and application assistance. Learn more at

Berner International Air Entrance System

Berner Air Entance SystemKeep Your Doors Open

The free, unobstructed flow of traffic is an important factor in planning access to your facility. Berner International, is a pioneer in the development and manufacture of air curtains, offers an aesthetically pleasing solution for high traffic entrance ways – The Berner Air Entrance System. This innovative entrance system provides a recirculated air seal, through concealed ductwork, effectively creating a barrier between indoor and outdoor temperature conditions. Open access, safety, and energy efficiency are created out of thin air with the Berner Air Entrance System – the only air entrance system backed by the engineering expertise of Berner International.

Berner Air Entrance System Graphic

Berner Vinyl Strip Doors

Berner Strip Door Drawing Create an affordable environmental barrier

Berner International offers a wide range of vinyl strip door products. Our easily-installed, easily-maintained hardware is adaptable to practically any application. That is why customers turn to Berner when traffic demands an open door.

Reduce energy losses and improve your working environment with Berner vinyl strip doors. Everyone knows that open doors lose energy. Heated or cooled air escapes through each opening every time the door is open. This can be quite costly as energy costs continue to rise, not to mention the comfort levels of employees and customers.

Contact Berner International for your strip door needs. We will work closely with you to determine the best strip door for you.

There is a Berner Strip Door for your application:

  • Walk in coolers/freezers
  • Loading docks
  • Conveyor openings
  • Crane ways
  • Noise barriers
  • Interior partitions
  • Animal doorways
  • Clean rooms
  • Temperature control in freezers and coolers
  • Weather protection in shipping and receiving doors
  • Sound control around machinery and between rooms

Advantages and Benefits

  • Fewer accidents at doorways
  • Improves traffic flow
  • Comfortable working environment
  • Reduced coil icing
  • Extended shelf life for refrigerated products
  • Energy savings

Berner Industrial Strip Doors are approved for

  • Food Service Plants
  • Pharmaceutical Plants
  • Dairies
  • Bottling Plants

Product Details

  • Available in standard clear
  • USDA low-temp
  • Double ribbed strips— offering maximum durability under heavy use where forklifts are required.
  • Colored strips can be used to highlight entrance points. Enhanced safety.

Berner International Door Heaters

Berner Door Heater

Heating loss has always been a problem when shipping and receiving doors are frequently opened and closed. The infiltration of cold air makes it difficult to maintain a comfortable working environment.

Berner Direct Gas Fired Door Heater’s are the economical solution to this problem. A duct axial fan directs a high velocity stream of heated air towards the door opening. The hot air mixes with the incoming cold air providing a warm comfortable environment.

The door heater is activated through a limit switch. When the door is opened there is a brief pre-purge and safety function check. The fan starts, directing a high velocity stream of hot air that heats the incoming cold air.

Engineered for versatility the door heater can be mounted at any angle between horizontal and vertical to satisfy most applications. All heaters are factory assembled and shipped ready for connection to electric power and natural gas supplies.

Standard Features

  • Electronic Flame Safeguard with LED Status Indicating Lights
  • Magnetic Starter
  • Control Transformer
  • Ignition Transformer
  • Sparktrode
  • Interrupted Pilot
  • Main Fuel Safety Valve
  • High & Low Gas Pressure Switches*
  • High Temperature Limit Switch
  • Remote Station for Floor Mounting with Status Indicating Lights and Summer/Off/Winter Selector Switch
  • Door Switch
  • Air Flow Switch
  • Rear Inlet Guard
  • Block & Vent Valves**
  • 12 Ga. Hot Rolled Steel Housing
  • Finish is Air-Dry Alkyd Enamel Applied over Phosphatized Steel
  • F.M. & I.R.I. Models Available

* I.R.I. units only, ** F.M. units only

Berner Air Curtains

Berner InternationalAt Berner, our mission is to help customers save energy and create healthy, comfortable environments by manufacturing the highest quality air curtains/air doors.

Berner air curtains effectively prevent heating or air conditioning from escaping through open doors, providing sizeable energy savings and personal comfort, along with insect control, when applied in commercial, industrial and food service settings.

At Berner we catalog over 406 different configurations of air curtains and have models designed for customer and service entryways that are perfect for grocery stores, offices, retail, convenience stores, and warehouses, just to name a few.  From a 3’ drive-thru window to a 30’ dock door, Berner air curtains are the answer.

An air door, also called an air curtain, employs a controlled stream of air aimed across an opening to create an air seal. This seal separates different environments, while allowing a smooth, unhindered flow of traffic and unobstructed vision through the opening. Because air doors/air curtains help to contain heated or air conditioned air, they provide sizeable energy savings and personal comfort when applied in industrial or commercial settings. Air curtains can also be used to stop the infiltration of flying insects.

Berner Air Curtains – Commercial Entrance Air Doors


Berner Air Doors

Commercial Entrance Air Doors are becoming widely used in building entrances to reduce energy consumption and provide comfort. In the winter, they retain warm inside air and prevent the influx of cold air. They can also supply additional heat in the door area using optional electric, steam, or hot water heaters. In the summer, air doors keep hot humid air out and prevent the escape of air conditioning. The working principle of Commercial Entrance air doors is to provide the most effective air screen possible without blowing so hard that it is objectionable to people passing through.

Air doors are ideal for application on high-traffic doorways in commercial establishments such as stores, restaurants, and banks, and in public buildings such as hospitals, terminals, and schools. In many cases, where a vestibule was installed or planned to reduce the inflow of outside air, an air door is a better approach. This is particularly true for high-traffic entrances where both doors are frequently open at the same time, defeating the purpose of the vestibule. A continuously operating air door allows the vestibule to be dispensed with, resulting in large savings-both in initial cost and operating cost-and increasing the usable floor area.

In addition to providing comfort through the elimination of cold drafts and the addition of heat to door areas, Commercial Entrance air doors have many other benefits. For example, they can decrease door maintenance costs since doors need to be opened and closed less often. In restaurants, they stop uncomfortable cold drafts at customers’ feet. Many schools purchase air doors to save energy and find that as an additional benefit they keep floors dry and safe and hallways warm during winter months. In buildings with high ceilings, the air door recirculates the warm stratified air that rises to the ceiling.

Commercial Entrance air doors are quiet and compact and pay for themselves in a very short time. Most units may be used all year round, and are adjustable for seasonal conditions using a multi-speed motor.

Berner Air Curtains: A Viable Alternative to Vestibules

Berner Air Curtains: An Alternative to Vestibules

Not all buildings have room for vestibules. Not all owners want a vestibule, and there are spaces where a vestibule is just not practical or takes away from the design intent.

As part of our response to the Design and Construction Community asking for information and data to support using an air curtain in place of or along with a vestibule, we did two things:

  1. We researched air curtain (a.k.a. “air door”) effectiveness via both CFD modeling and physical testing,
  2. We went to AMCA (Air Movement & Control Association) and asked AMCA to do its own research on air curtain effectiveness on behalf of all the air curtain manufacturers.

Here is the Berner infographic summarizing the results. Please click on the link below to view the full size PDF version.

Not Sure Which Berner Door You Need?

Question MarkNot sure which of Berner’s Air Doors will fit the application you have? Use Berner’s Site Application Survey. Answer the questions and let the experts at Berner Air Door help you to the right solution.

Three Basic Door Switches – Berner Air Curtains

Three common types of door switches used to turn on & off a Berner Air Curtain.

Berner Air Doors / Air Curtains

Berner Air Door

What is an Air Curtain / Air Door?

Berner Air Curtains / Air Doors

An air door, also called an air curtain, employs a controlled stream of air aimed across an opening to create an air seal. This seal separates different environments, while allowing a smooth, unhindered flow of traffic and unobstructed vision through the opening. Because air doors/air curtains help to contain heated or air conditioned air, they provide sizeable energy savings and personal comfort when applied in industrial or commercial settings. Air curtains can also be used to stop the infiltration of flying insects.