Component Rack in Furnace Room, good idea? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 01-09-2013, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello,

First post for me.

I'm finishing my basement. The furnace room (Forced Hot Air Furnace and Hot Water Heater) will be enclosed in a 11' x 7'6" space. The walls surrounding the furnace will be insulated.

This "furnace room" is the optimal location for my components because it's centrally located in the basement and will provide me with a lot of wiggle room to mess around with wires. Plus, there's really no alternative location anywhere else in the basement.

My concern is that the furnace room will get very hot and damage the components.

Does anyone have experience with this? What temperature is safe for components? How hot can I expect my enclosure to get? What types of ventilation hardware (vents, fans, etc) can I get to alleviate my problem?
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post #2 of 20 Old 01-10-2013, 06:35 AM
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Speaking from my own experience, my basement rarely gets too hot. I think a lot depends on how much equipment you are looking to house in there. A couple of well placed fans to circulate the air should be fine. Unless you are putting a lot of things in there.
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post #3 of 20 Old 01-10-2013, 07:29 AM
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I have routers and switches built into the common wall between the stair case and the furnace. They haven't gotten too hot yet.
The problem you will have will be with the equipment being too hot for the room i think - not the furnace causing issues. This is because the room isn't that big and the air flow is probably not optimal.
My suggestion - hopefully it's winter and cold where you are - is to check the temp in there over a period of time and see how hot it is without the equipment before making any decisions. It probably is fine but doing this you will figure out if (without the equipment) the room is too hot already.
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post #4 of 20 Old 01-10-2013, 08:06 AM
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My furnace room is about the same size as yours, and is carved out of the theatre space. When I go into the furnace room I find it quite warmer than the rest of the basement.

The furnace room is staggered stud and insulated w Roxul. Inside is my gas furnace and gas HWT. Everything is externally fed and vented except for the HWT which gets its air from the house (I can only vent it, not feed it) Because of the HWT config I have a 5"x8"(ish) airway going into the furnace room (zig-zaged and lined with 2" Certainteed CB300). Even with this venting into the room, the furnace room is still warm.

Other point: I don't know how loud your furnace is, but if you put the rack in there forget isolating the sound even slightly.
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post #5 of 20 Old 01-10-2013, 08:12 AM
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Where I live code mandates that there is airflow at both the top and bottom between the furnace room and an adjacent room. That itself has kept it at the same temperature as the rest of the basement. I partly wish I had put my rack there instead just because there is so much room, and it has access to everywhere in case I need to run wires in the future.
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post #6 of 20 Old 01-10-2013, 08:13 AM
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Put a thermometer in the room, but I really doubt the furnace room will get too hot. If it does, find the leak and seal it! tongue.gif
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post #7 of 20 Old 01-10-2013, 08:29 AM
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I'm in the same boat, AV equipment, servers, and routers all in the furnace room. It's warmer than the rest of the basement, but not so much that I'm concerned about the equipment. If it does get too warm, you can get something like a bath fan and have it hooked up to a cooling thermostat. Vent that to another part of the basement.

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post #8 of 20 Old 01-10-2013, 05:19 PM
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I have my AV rack in my furnace room not much of a temperature difference. However whenever my furnace kicks on the EMI from the blower motor knocks out the picture to my TV. I'm using a HDMI extender over CAT6 with UTP cables, so def get shielded cables for everything.
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post #9 of 20 Old 01-10-2013, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megrog2 View Post

I have my AV rack in my furnace room not much of a temperature difference. However whenever my furnace kicks on the EMI from the blower motor knocks out the picture to my TV. I'm using a HDMI extender over CAT6 with UTP cables, so def get shielded cables for everything.

Or get a new blower motor

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post #10 of 20 Old 01-10-2013, 06:16 PM
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Or get a new blower motor
Blower motor is tip top, furnace is only a year old
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post #11 of 20 Old 01-11-2013, 10:06 AM
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I have had my component rack situated with the equipment facing the finished room & backing to the HVAC & sump room for several years. There has been absolutely no problem with this configuration, though, as has been mentioned, your furnace running will definitely raise the soundfloor in the finished room.
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post #12 of 20 Old 01-11-2013, 05:54 PM
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I would think that is fine as long as there is enough circulation through the room. That is what I plan to do. My storage area is approx 11x19 and has the hvac blower heater and hot water heater. There is an intake for the blower that takes up some air from the room itself and the room has a vent to one of the adjacent rooms and so there is plenty of circulation.

As far as the noise is concerned. I am going to make a small equipment room in between the storage area and the ht room which will be soundproofed.

I might suggest putting all of the equipment behind a soundproofed door or something so the heat and noise are both kept out.
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post #13 of 20 Old 07-06-2013, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megrog2 View Post

Blower motor is tip top, furnace is only a year old

how close is your rack to the furnace?
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post #14 of 20 Old 07-06-2013, 07:42 PM
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My furnace room is smaller than yours and that's exactly where I put my rack. I was more concerned with dust than heat.

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post #15 of 20 Old 07-06-2013, 08:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bass addict View Post

My furnace room is smaller than yours and that's exactly where I put my rack. I was more concerned with dust than heat.
The only way you are going to get a lot of dust in your basement, is if you have large holes around your foundation, which would allow it to enter the basement, or large leaks around windows or doors upstairs, or leave the windows and doors open upstairs, then you will draw dust in from outside.
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post #16 of 20 Old 07-07-2013, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

The only way you are going to get a lot of dust in your basement, is if you have large holes around your foundation, which would allow it to enter the basement, or large leaks around windows or doors upstairs, or leave the windows and doors open upstairs, then you will draw dust in from outside.

Then I must have a combination of all of the above as I am always cleaning dust off of everything.

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post #17 of 20 Old 07-07-2013, 12:09 PM
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Oil or gas furnace?

Gas OK, Oil not OK as an equipment room IMO. Oil furnaces can emit soot over their life, especially if there is a malfunction such as a "puffback".

Note too that code requires a furnace room to have a supply of fresh air. I think forced combustion furnaces with dedicated outside air intakes may be exempt. So check that before adding more or sealing air vents to the furnace room.

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post #18 of 20 Old 07-07-2013, 01:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bass addict View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

The only way you are going to get a lot of dust in your basement, is if you have large holes around your foundation, which would allow it to enter the basement, or large leaks around windows or doors upstairs, or leave the windows and doors open upstairs, then you will draw dust in from outside.

Then I must have a combination of all of the above as I am always cleaning dust off of everything.
Every house is going to have dust in it. Some more than others, depending on how old the home is, and how well sealed it was made, when it was built. You want a home to breathe, not be so tight, that the air because sick and working against you.
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post #19 of 20 Old 07-07-2013, 02:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

Oil or gas furnace?

Gas OK, Oil not OK as an equipment room IMO. Oil furnaces can emit soot over their life, especially if there is a malfunction such as a "puffback".

Note too that code requires a furnace room to have a supply of fresh air. I think forced combustion furnaces with dedicated outside air intakes may be exempt. So check that before adding more or sealing air vents to the furnace room.
If you are getting puffback from a oil burning furnace or boiler, you need to have the equipment checked out. Oil burning equipment if maintained properly, will work just as good as LP or NG appliances. Electric coil furnaces seem to attract more dust particulate than Gas or Oil burning appliances.

There is no exemption on units with dedicated air intakes. You still have to bring in some kind of outside air to turn over the air inside the structure. You cannot just keep allowing the old air in the structure to stay in there, without exchanging with outside air.
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post #20 of 20 Old 07-07-2013, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

If you are getting puffback from a oil burning furnace or boiler, you need to have the equipment checked out. Oil burning equipment if maintained properly, will work just as good as LP or NG appliances. Electric coil furnaces seem to attract more dust particulate than Gas or Oil burning appliances.

There is no exemption on units with dedicated air intakes. You still have to bring in some kind of outside air to turn over the air inside the structure. You cannot just keep allowing the old air in the structure to stay in there, without exchanging with outside air.

While oil burner puffbacks are not common, (though some are mild and go unnoticed), is it worth the risk to ruin all your ht gear?

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