A Guide to Strip Curtains and Their Importance in Commercial Refrigeration


Strip curtains, also known as strip doors, are a vital part of any modern commercial refrigeration system. These vinyl sheets have a variety of applications - from keeping the cold air from escaping walk-in coolers and freezers, delineating spaces between sections of your walk-in to providing a barrier against outside dust and weather conditions. They also allow you to have an open entrance to a cold area within your establishment. This also looks inviting to the customer. Other kinds of strip curtains are specifically constructed to provide better airflow in areas where the environment can become thick, such as commercial kitchens. Best suited for high-volume business applications, cold room curtains are usually transparent and made of PVC. Mesh curtains are made from various materials that promote the easy passage of air.

Applications of Walk-In Curtains

Energy Savings: Strip curtains can be installed wherever a temperature gradient is required. These function as excellent walk-in cooler curtains, freezer strips, and cold-room curtains. By separating the cooler or freezer from outside temperature, they allow you to keep the entrance open longer without the worry of heat entering the cold chambers. This comes in handy especially when you have perishables and other cold-temperature products delivered and have to keep the unit’s doors open for extended periods of time. All this amounts to energy savings. By keeping the cold air inside and maintaining the low temperature, the cooler or freezer doesn’t have to work harder to sustain the cooling, providing you with savings in terms of compressor longevity and a smaller electric bill. 

Restriction of Air Contaminants: Open doors leave the cold room susceptible to air pollution and contaminants, especially if your freezer, cooler, or combination box is an outdoor unit. Walk-in cooler strip curtains prevent dust, pollution, and other air contaminants like car fumes and smoke from entering the unit. This not only helps in keeping the inside of your refrigeration unit free of undesirable particle matter but also keeps cold rooms without doors separated from the outside world. 

Keeping the Workspace Comfortable: Strip doors keep any changes in the weather, such as humidity, temperature fluctuations, rain, and snow from entering your premises. This allows the staff working inside to stay comfortable while doing their job and leads to an overall increase in productivity. They also allow natural light to illuminate the interior of your temperature-controlled workspace and decrease reliance on artificial lighting. In the case of mesh curtains, they maintain proper ventilation across the two sides of the doorway, keeping the air inside the workspace from becoming too thick.

Barrier in Large Entrances: Establishments such as warehouses, food manufacturing facilities, and cold-storage businesses have large, open entrances that leave them vulnerable to pests, birds, insects, and wild animals. Walk-in cooler door curtains act as a barrier to such undesirables and prevent them from entering your commercial workspace. This not only protects your food products from coming into close contact with contaminants but also shields your employees from such nuisances without having to sacrifice the utility of having open doors and natural light. 

Reduction of Ambient Noise: Cold room curtains prevent outside noise caused by traffic, loading docks, and heavy equipment from disrupting workstations. This also makes the interior more appealing to customers by isolating the shopping area from street noise. Research has shown that freezer curtains can reduce ambient noise by up to 17 decibels in high-volume industrial applications. 

Types of Strip Doors and Their Construction

walk in cooler door curtains

PVC Strip Curtains: The most commonly used strip curtains are made of PVC. The type of PVC used largely depends on the application of these barriers. Polar Reinforced PVC freezer curtains are used in freezer applications or situations where temperatures can fall as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit. Likewise, Standard Grade PVC cooler curtains are implemented in commercial sites where temperatures are unlikely to fall below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Another grade of PVC strip curtains, Ribbed PVC is used in high traffic areas to reduce visible marks and scratches on the curtains. This makes sure that these doors remain visually transparent and the integrity of the strips is not compromised. 

Mesh Strip Curtains: Mesh Strip Curtains are used in commercial applications where a barrier is required, without compromising airflow. These curtains are particularly useful for in-house applications, such as separating the kitchen areas and back rooms from the rest of the premises. These curtains have weighted ends to prevent them from blowing freely, while the mesh provides access to fresh air to enter and exit the room. This helps keep the atmosphere inside the kitchen from becoming too smoky or humid and also allows for fresh air to replenish the hot air inside while cleaning.

walk-in cooler
Strip doors are exceptionally versatile in their application. These can be used in supermarkets, restaurants, food processing warehouses, cold rooms, industrial kitchens, butcher shops, and temperature-controlled transport vehicles. One of the best examples of their versatility is the ability to change out strips in case of damage. If a strip is ripped during the course of daily use, you have the ability to change it without having to replace the entire section of the curtain. Depending on the kind of mount, replacement strips can be ordered, saving on maintenance expenses. Commonly, strips are mounted on the strip-bar using two kinds of techniques:  

Looped Strips: This kind of strip features a sealed hoop at each end, which is mounted to a bar at the top of the doorway. The way these strips are collectively mounted to the bar, rather than individually, makes it easy to clean the doorway by taking down the entire mount. Replacing a strip requires sliding the hoop out of the bar and installing the new strip in its place.

Punched Hole Strips: These strips are mounted to the doorway by means of punched holes at the end of each strip. They require a hook at the top of the mounting mechanism to stay in place. This makes maintenance and replacement as simple as taking the strip out of the hook or mount and putting a new one in.  

Strip Curtains are an essential component of commercial refrigeration systems. These barriers not only provide a physical separation between your cold rooms and the rest of the house but also aid in energy saving, prevent contamination of food products, enhance visibility and reduce noise between workspaces. Because these curtains are made of individual strips, they are hassle-free to clean and replace. Strips can be ordered online for a remarkably trouble-free maintenance experience. 

Posted by Damon Shrauner on