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Types of Booths

First, get to know the basic types of paint booth. Spray booths are defined by the type of airflow they use to collect overspray. These are the three main types you'll encounter:

Fully enclosed booths do a much more thorough job of collecting all traces of your coatings, and so they're useful if your materials are potentially hazardous or extremely flammable. In most situations, though, the primary reason to turn to the more costly crossflow and downdraft booths is because you need completely dust-free air in your working environment.

Air makeup units
In addition to the airflow pattern, the need for an air makeup unit is another major distinguishing factor in choosing a booth. Air makeup units are only needed if your booth will vent to the outside of your building: if you use an open front booth that exhausts filtered air into the room, you don't need one.

The problem with booths that vent to the outside is that they're taking thousands of cubic feet of air per minute out of your building. That air has to be replaced somehow, and without an air makeup unit, it comes in any way it can: through walls, windows, roofline, and any other tiny opening it can find.  Especially in cold or hot weather, the main result of this is skyrocketing energy costs. It's equivalent to leaving doors and windows wide open with the heat running.

Air makeup units address the problem by creating a new inlet of air. They draw air from outside and pipe it directly to your intake filters. They can even included heaters to bring cold external air up to room temperature. While they're very expensive – as much as the booth itself – the savings in energy costs are significant and can add up over time.