Can automatic doors help reduce energy consumption?

February 23, 2018

Look along any high street and you will see the open door philosophy in action. Retailers like to leave their doors open because they believe that an open, barrier-free entrance is more likely to attract customers inside. But what an open door might make a shop in sales, it will also cost them in energy – as stores have to increase energy usage to maintain a comfortable temperature, and that energy is constantly being lost through the open doors.

 A recent study carried out on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs investigated the potential energy and financial savings that shops can benefit from when they install automatic doors and whether they had any effect on customer behaviour. A pharmacy in Amsterdam was chosen as the location of the study, testing first energy consumption with a traditional manual door and then with an automatic door with an air curtain.

Energy consumption savings: 43%

The study assessed the energy consumption based on the utility company’s fixed gas and electricity meters and several interim meters. After installing the new automatic door it was found that they saved roughly 43% of their energy consumption for heating. Why? Because the automatic door only opens when it needs to, the air curtain prevents unwanted air blowing inside and features such as insulated glass and tight door seals amount to a very energy efficient sliding door.  

 Customer behaviour: unaffected

During the study no effect on customer behaviour was observed. The number of visitors was not found to be significantly lower with the new automatic entrance, and there was no impact on sales. Beyond this, the new entrance system was positively received by customers and staff alike, and the shopping experience and working environment was greatly improved by reductions in exhaust fumes, draughts and noise coming in from the street.

 The study successfully highlights the benefits a retailer can enjoy with an automatic door: the possibility to reduce energy consumption and save money without losing any custom. Perhaps it’s time the open door philosophy was  replaced by the sliding door philosophy.

Learn more about automatic doors at