As a building manager or owner, you know that selecting the right heavy-duty commercial door closer depends on many different factors including customer preference, manufacturer options and building specs.
Other factors to consider include:
- Size and weight of the door;
- Location of the door;
- Opening and closing rate;
- Mounting location;
- Backswing requirements.
Heavy Duty Commercial Door Closer Considerations
Deciding on a heavy-duty commercial door closer depends on a variety of factors. It starts with understanding the various types, and the benefits that they have to offer. Then, matching the door to the type of door closer that you’re using is the key.
Building Code Considerations: Each area can have slightly different building codes depending on the location of the building. Federal, state, and even local building codes can have an impact on determining the commercial door closer required.
The Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA) and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) provide extensive standards for door closers. The full list can be found here.
Aesthetic Considerations: A commercial door closer might be chosen for its appearance, as some are more attractive than others. The majority of door closer units are adjustable, allowing operators to set a specific closing rate and opening resistance. Types of commercial door closers include:
Overhead Door Closers: Overhead door closers are the most common, and they’re widely used throughout commercial properties. There are three common types of overhead door closers including:
Regular Arm: The regular arm, or standard arm, closer is a pull-side application, meaning it is located on the exterior of the door. In these applications, there are two arms, one attached to the frame and another to a spring-loaded box on the pull-side of the door. This is the most power-efficient option available.
Top Jamb: Top jamb door closers, like regular arm closers, have arms that project out from the door perpendicularly. Yet, the biggest difference is that the spring-loaded box is mounted on the face of the doorframe.
Parallel Arm: With a parallel arm application, there are two arms that sit on top of the door when it is closed. They are attached to the door via a spring-loaded box, which sits at the top of the push-side of the door and powers the closing action.
Other Types of Door Closers: Although overhead closers are the most common, there are other types that aren’t mounted at the top of the door. Examples include:
Concealed: Concealed closers are fitted into recesses in the door and frame.
Surface-mounted: These types of door closers are fitted to the door frame, with a bar along the back of the door.
Floor-Spring: Floor-spring closers are typically used on glass storefront doors. They are mounted in the floor, and are concealed.
Making the Right Choice
As a building manager or owner, choosing the correct heavy-duty commercial door closer can be overwhelming. It’s essential to first consider building codes and traffic requirements before considering the aesthetic options. The wrong type can lead to the closer needing replacement in a short period of time and could also lead to fines.
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