Green technology and cost savings are the main focus areas in today’s commercial construction market. Traditional metal ductwork systems, which required multiple components to achieve proper airflow, have been replaced by fabric ducts.
Also known as textile ducts or duct socks, fabric ducts are made of flame-retardant, lightweight, and durable materials that offer cost-effectiveness, energy efficiency, and superior performance. This blog covers the various advantages of using duct socks in modern HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) systems.

What Are HVAC Fabric Ducts?

ASHRAE Investor logoFabric ducts or duct socks use air-permeable fabrics to distribute cooled or heated air in a controlled manner. The most common are round ductworks made of premium polyester-based materials that are perforated with tiny slots or holes.
This design facilitates uniform air distribution across the length of the duct. Nozzles or vents then direct the air into the intended area. Fabric ducting provides a more efficient and complete air dispersion system that performs in ways that traditional metal ductwork systems cannot.

Benefits of Duct Socks

Introduced a few decades ago, fabric ducts are becoming an increasingly common sight in school gymnasiums, fitness centers, and other applications where exposed ductwork is common.
Duct socks can be customized to meet the requirements of each space and offer the following benefits over conventional galvanized ductwork:

1. Low Installation And Maintenance Costs

  • The installation of metal ductwork often requires additional securing and bracing of all the seal joints. On the contrary, fabric duct installation is much easier, requiring fewer resources and labor.
    As the fabric duct material is lighter than metal, it is also easier to ship. As a result, the cost of shipping, handling, and installation is significantly reduced. Furthermore, fabric ducts require minimal maintenance and provide increased efficiency of air delivery, reducing operating costs.

2. Improved Air Quality

  • Fabric ducts improve air quality through more effective and even air distribution. They do not produce dust, rust, or particles and help reduce airborne contaminants, mildew, and mold. This makes them perfect for application in clean environments.

3. Aesthetically Pleasing

  • Duct socks are available in a variety of colors and designs that can be customized to match any scheme or pattern the customer desires. This makes them an attractive alternative to standard galvanized ductwork.
  • Available from 6 inches to 84 inches in diameter, duct socks are custom-cut for whatever length the project needs. As fabric ducts can match any interior design, they provide a more aesthetically pleasing environment.

4. Lower Energy Consumption

  • Fabric ductwork distributes air more efficiently as it can operate at considerably reduced static pressure requirements. This leads to reduced utility costs and lower energy consumption.
  • Furthermore, duct socks meet flame spread test and smoke development requirements and are UL (Underwriters’ Laboratories) classified.

5. Suitable For Various Industries

  • Duct socks are suitable for a variety of applications in several industries. As they are easy to clean, do not form condensation, and can be made with antimicrobial fabrics, fabric ducts are ideal for use in the food processing industry.
  • Due to their energy efficiency and low noise levels, they are widely used in healthcare facilities. They are an excellent choice for various other industries, including sports facilities, commercial buildings, and manufacturing facilities.

Level Up Your Next HVAC Project With Fabric Ducts

Prihoda North America offers customizable airflow solutions to meet the requirements of even the most demanding applications. You can request a quote or find your local rep today at Prihoda if you’re planning to use fabric ducts in your facility.
If you haven’t worked with us on earlier projects, now is the time to begin! Our experts will be glad to help determine the best solution for your specific requirements.

Common Questions About Duct Socks

How do duct socks promote a healthy environment?

The material used for fabric ducts is washable and easy to clean. The permeability of the material and the exposed application keep the duct sock free of mold growth and condensation. Furthermore, duct socks do not shed particles and do not rust or corrode.

Do fabric ducts come in different shapes?

Yes, duct socks are available in different geometric shapes, like segments, circles, semi-circles, and rectangular or triangular cross-sections.

How to choose the correct material for the fabric duct?

Several factors must be taken into account for the proper selection of the fabric duct’s material. These include the system purpose (for conditioning, ventilation, or heating), the type of facility, the temperature of the air to be supplied, and other existing special conditions (high temperature, aggressive environment, clean facility, moisture, and more).

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