FabricAir textile diffusers vs. metal ducts - 4 key differences

20 of November '23

During construction or renovation projects, the air distribution system is at the forefront of ensuring indoor air quality (IAQ). For many decades, the construction industry predominantly used traditional metal HVAC ductwork.

Today, however, many architects, engineers and subcontractors are beginning to appreciate the benefits of textile air distribution systems. What are the differences between the two?

Elastyczne projektowanie - nawiewniki w bibliotece

Flexible design — diffusers in the library


1. Material determines longevity and performance

The most obvious difference between metal and textile solutions lies in the type of material. However, the more important one concerns the function of both solutions. On the Polish market, it is accepted to talk about textile solutions — textile ducts. In fact, these are diffusers, whose function is to disperse air linearly and evenly. Thanks to their design, they can be used as the final component of complex systems, or used to simplify the installation by replacing the duct and diffuser system with the diffuser itself.

Although it may seem that metal components are the most durable, textile solutions positively surprise with their longevity and in this aspect are not inferior to the competition. Importantly, they also reduce the load on the building structure and are more resistant to accidental impacts.

A less visible but very important difference is how both materials handle condensation and corrosion. For example, a high-humidity environment will sooner or later leave its mark on any metal surface. Unlike metal, FabricAir's textile solutions do not require insulation to protect them from moisture. FabricAir diffusers are usually sewn from permeable materials which allows air to penetrate the weave structure, preventing condensation and corrosion.

Nawiewniki tekstylne w przestrzeni publicznej

Textile diffusers in public spaces


2. Transportation and installation costs

Metal ducts are heavy and take up a lot of space in transportation. Installation requires specialized equipment, fasteners and trained personnel. As a result, the process can drag on for weeks.

FabricAir textile systems are packaged in small, cardboard boxes. They take up little space during transport. Installation does not require special tools or expert knowledge — the individual duct segments are fastened together with a zipper, according to clear documentation included in the package. Installation can be carried out by a small team, or even one person as a last resort. Installation of FabricAir textile diffusers is up to 5 times faster than with metal systems!

3. The overall cost

The turmoil in the raw materials market has significantly raised the cost of traditional HVAC systems. Meanwhile, textile air distribution systems are steadily gaining competitiveness.

FabricAir diffusers are a strictly engineered solution. Conservative estimates indicate that they can reduce costs by approx. 30% compared to metal systems. However, if we take into account all the costs associated with making an HVAC system, i.e. transportation prices, installation time and maintenance, the total savings can be as high as 70%. Depending on the scale of the project, the cost reduction can be very significant — without adversely affecting the performance of the HVAC system and while maintaining the highest indoor air quality.

Komfort termiczny dla widowni i idealny nawiew na tafle lodowiska

Thermal comfort for the auditorium and ideal air supply for the ice sheets


4. Applications and level of innovation

Thanks to continuous technological advances, the range of applications for textile diffusers continues to expand. Antibacterial properties, fire resistance and high permeability allow them to be used in sports complexes, food processing, production plants, laboratories, cinemas, warehouses and stores, among others.
Through their aesthetic qualities, a wide range of colors and designs, FabricAir textile diffusers blend well with the architecture of the building.

Another feature that facility owners appreciate is the precision of air distribution and lower pressure losses, which saves up to 40% of the operating costs of the ventilation system.

Textile air distribution systems today account for about 10% of the global HVAC market, but demand for them is growing every year. Whether a project requires a few meters or several hundred meters of installation, textile diffusers are the optimal solution for any facility. They provide time and money savings without compromising on quality.

Sufit podwieszany z anemostatami tekstylnymi

Suspended ceiling with textile anemostats



This is one of the latest innovations on the market. They are designed for use in supply and exhaust systems, for installation in rooms equipped with suspended ceilings. They consist of a textile plenum box, an aluminum frame and a perforated flow panel. Thanks to full insulation, anemostats prevent energy loss and eliminate the risk of condensation, so they can be used in both isothermal and refrigeration conditions. The main advantages of these elements are extremely easy installation, low weight and laminar airflow.

For more information, visit the company's {tag:Manufacturer} page on the A&B portal.

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