Ventilating media closet - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-09-2013, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
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I have in my original plans to put a return air duct in the media closet but the people who installed the air ducts didn't put one in and asked me to call him first. I talked to him today and he said that when you suck the hot air out of the room it puts strain on the A/C unit and what he recommended was to install an 80 CFM bathroom style exhaust fan vented through the roof. He said he can put the fan on a wall switch or add a temp controller to come on when the temp gets a certain temp it will turn on.

In the closet I am going to install a Chatsworth 8ft rack where I will run all my A/V components for the whole house like the network router & switch, Denon receiver, 2 or 3 cable boxes, HDMI Switch, xbox 360, ps3, power cleaner, and a future 11.3 AVR to power the media room.

Pro's:
Less strain on the A/C system per the technician?
Other builders use the fans that exhaust through the attic for media closets and not through return air.

Concerns:
Too loud to leave on during a movie in media room?
Potentially use unnecessary power if left on (using an on/off switch)?


The closet door will likely remain open when not in media room so plenty of cool fresh air. I might even put a perforated door up instead of the normal door to make sure air gets in.

I am looking for advice on which route you'd take and why.

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post #2 of 8 Old 01-09-2013, 04:08 PM
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How about the bathroom exhaust fan vented out the roof idea, but utilizing an inline, attic located fan, thus removing most of the fan noise?
this is a version from Broan.

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post #3 of 8 Old 01-10-2013, 09:04 AM
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If you exhaust to the outside, you need to think about the source of makeup air for the closet. Do you want to have an outside air intake for the closet? I personally think your best bet is to draw air from the room, through the closet, and exhaust back into the A/C return.
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-10-2013, 10:03 AM
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LeBon is correct. The only time you want to vent air to the outside is usually from a bathroom or from a kitchen range. That air you vent outside will have to be made up from somewhere. If you are in a cold climate or a hot moist climate, that new incoming air will have to be conditioned.

It honestly sounds like he is trying to pull one over on you. If it was in your plans, it should have been done. Now he is just making up excuses to cover his butt. Additionally, with all that equipment in that room, I think you may need more than 80 cfm.

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post #5 of 8 Old 01-10-2013, 10:40 AM
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Those 80 CFM fans can be quite noisy. You could always put a vent at the bottom of the closet and one near the top, and place a fan near the vent hole, and blow the hot air through the top vent.
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-10-2013, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
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The frame is up but no Sheetrock or shingles are up yet so either one is an easy fix even if he did miss it. With the vent setup I could always cut a vent hole in the door so it can pull more conditioned air from the room if it gets too warm.

What he said is they use Broan 80 cfm ultra quiet fans hooked up to a thermal controller so you can set it to come on at whatever temp you want it to. His logic made some sense to me but I just dont see how pulling the warm air through a return air could be "that" bad for the AC like he mentioned. The ducts must travel 45+ feet anyways back to the unit where it will average out with the cold air coming from that side of the house right? He said they have other large builders they contract for and they all use the vent setup.

I asked him for a price quote for the Broan setup but will see how much they want before I cancel the return air duct.
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post #7 of 8 Old 01-11-2013, 02:56 AM
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thanks BllDo and LeBon for pointing out my ignorance. Now that you mention it, the houses I have seen use that type of exhaust system for their baths also usually had an outside air intake/exchange on the HVAC system.

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post #8 of 8 Old 01-11-2013, 07:50 AM
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Basically you just want to cool and extra small area. Depending on where your output of cool air is into the room, you could see if it would be possible to put a 4" diameter pipe at the end of that ducting, and have it come back towards your closet. Then have the return air vent go back into your main room instead back into the system. It might still keep the efficiency of the system intact without placing extra strain.
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