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What Is an Air Sock?

Article Details
  • Written By: C.B. Fox
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 18 April 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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An air sock is a fabric tube that is used in ventilation systems. These tubes are made from synthetic fibers and can deliver cool air to a room without causing a draft. Air socks need to be suspended from a ceiling and are common in a number of different businesses and industries, including fitness centers and companies which work with food products. The expense of installing an air sock system is often less than that of installing traditional metal ducts.

Conditioned air is distributed throughout a room through the fabric of an air sock. The fabric is slightly permeable, which eliminates the need for vents that lead into the room. Some air socks have a number of small holes along their length through which air can escape. Others make use of specialized fabrics and weaves to release cool air through the entire surface.

Synthetic fabrics, such as polyester, are used to make air socks. These fabrics can be set through the use of heat or chemicals so that the weave remains stable for a long time. Once the fabric has been set, it can distribute cool air through a building for years. The materials in an air sock come in a wide range of quality, so a business looking to purchase this kind of system should consider multiple options before deciding on the best balance between price and durability.

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Air socks are flexible and lightweight, which makes them relatively easy to install. They are installed along the ceiling of a building and require ample space. The air sock can be suspended from any type of ceiling and can be fitted to any room. The need for substantial ceiling space makes an air sock impractical for home use. Commercial buildings are often constructed with high ceilings that can accommodate this type of ventilation.

When properly installed, an air sock is relatively quiet when conditioned air is being blown through it. The fabric will deflate, however, if there is not enough pressure within it. This can cause the air sock to flap, which can be noisy. Repair or reinstallation is needed if the air sock does not operate quietly.

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