Ah, the air diffuser. What was once seen as an unsightly necessity is now embraced as a fundamental component of a building’s architecture. Choosing the right architectural air diffuser will undoubtedly have a strong influence on everything from temperature control to noise levels. These technical aspects require a closer look at its many complexities.
A common misconception that building material manufacturers have about architects is the idea that they go into a project knowing exactly what products they need, based on a set of predetermined standards. The reality is that with so many products on the market, architects need to be informed and are not afraid to ask questions and test the waters.
New products are not met with hesitation, but rather with a sense of curiosity and a desire to experiment. That said, in an age of information overload, it can sometimes be difficult for architects to know where to start. Choosing an air diffuser should not be a daunting task but an enjoyable one especially when going directly to the manufacturer.
This guide aims to give architects a solid starting point for their research and equip them with the tools they need to ask the right questions throughout their client’s project.
A key question to ask is: What shape should my client’s air diffuser be? It’s only natural that the image of a square aluminium air diffuser with obtuse detailing comes to mind, as these have been commonplace for years. Chances are you’ve seen this type of traditional air diffuser at some point; perhaps more times than you personally would have liked. It’s hard to get excited about air diffusers when they don’t look particularly appealing.
Fortunately, this is a thing of the past. With so many options on the market today, you shouldn’t have to worry about compromising between aesthetics and functionality. There are circular, rectangular and linear options that come in a variety of sizes. ACP has found a way to create air diffusers that blend seamlessly into the architecture, eliminating unsightly edges. Their fully customisable nature even allows complete control over the shape, size, slot thickness and slot angle. You can also paint over the air diffuser and add texture to match any unique ceiling design.
An air diffuser is built to serve a number of functions. It provides air distribution, conditioning and ventilation. In essence, all speakers should adequately serve two primary functions to provide optimal comfort:
Ensure even distribution of airflow. When properly executed, loudspeakers should never cause discomfort to the occupants of a building. The air that is produced should feel like an integral part of the environment. A diffuser should never forcefully blow air in a unidirectional manner. This should be seen as a major wake-up call. The size of the slot and the positioning of the openings play an important role in determining the direction of airflow and its distribution.
Keep noise to an absolute minimum. Regardless of the type of building, unwanted noise will always be a problem for occupants and must be treated with the utmost care.
This is especially true for environments where noise control is particularly important, for example libraries, bedrooms and conference rooms. All architects know that they need to carry out accurate noise assessments in the process of developing their design. Speakers are no exception. An improperly installed speaker will undoubtedly produce unnecessary levels of noise and vibration. These vibrations usually occur when the sounds collide and clash with the type of speaker material.
It may seem trivial but the important thing to consider is the level of support offered by the manufacturer. You’ll want a company that supports you across all communication channels. This helps you throughout the whole process, from choosing the ideal air diffuser to installation.
Consider the level of commitment a manufacturer is willing to take on. Comprehensive support will save you a lot of time, money and energy throughout the project lifecycle.
When asking for offers from manufacturers/resellers, keep the following in mind:
- Does it provide clear and detailed instructions on the installation process?
- Is there dedicated phone, chat or email support?
- Can I provide rapid on-site assistance if needed?
- Are you in contact with all parties involved (e.g. HVAC designers, installation engineers and architects)?
The turnaround time for a speaker can vary from a few days to weeks, depending on its size and complexity. The place of manufacture also plays a key role in ensuring fast deliveries. Choosing a speaker that is locally manufactured will ensure easy communication and fast turnaround time. Furthermore, choosing an agile production team will be beneficial in situations that require last-minute changes.
We hope that this guide has provided you with the essential information you need to take the first step in expanding your knowledge of air diffusers and will enable you to make informed decisions in the future. Innovation and design allows architects to explore new options in an industry that has otherwise remained unchanged for years. By applying better solutions to traditional products, ACP Air Conditioning Products aims to be the perfect partner for architects, designers and installers.