It isn’t a secret and it’s not rocket science. Keeping your walk-in cooler running requires energy; keeping your warehouse temperature stable requires energy. Every opening to the outside world is like a dripping faucet. Pull open the walk-in door and that drip becomes a steady stream. Bye, bye energy. Hello infiltration. Hello rising costs.
Enter the strip door. These flexible PVC strips that hang in doorways aren’t designed to get in your way. Strip doors are a proven method for helping minimize infiltration (the unintentional or accidental introduction of outside air). Conservative estimates put strip doors effectiveness rate at 65%. They’re so effective that they can help buildings seeking LEED certification earn credits, particularly in the “Optimize Energy Performance” category.
Because of conservative nature of strip doors, they’re even called out by name in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. All walk-in coolers or freezers manufactured on or after January 1, 2009 must have “strip doors, spring hinged doors, or other method of minimizing infiltration when doors are open.” It’s no longer an unwritten rule; it’s the law.
While these strip door shout-outs are important (and pretty cool) they don’t really get down to the essence of energy savings; in other words, the savings part. If you want to see how much money a simple strip door can save you, you’ll have to go through some calculations:
1.) The approximate heat/temperature loss from your open doorway
2.) How much energy generated the lost heated/conditioned air
3.) How much money was spent on the lost energy
4.) How much money could have been saved with a strip doors’ infiltration minimizing influence
While these types of calculations are things architects and engineers think about all the time, the average walk-in cooler user or warehouse visitor doesn’t. That is what TMI’s Energy Loss Calculator is for: getting the big picture down to putting money back in your pocket.