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Old Yesterday, 06:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Equipment cooling solutions for homes without A/C?

So I'm up North and honestly don't know anybody in the area with A/C. Some of us have gas forced air, some have electric baseboard heat, and some have wood stoves. As I type this, it's 32 degrees outside right now this crisp August morning.

So here's where I'm a bit concerned. What's the best way to cool an equipment room or closet in a home that has no A/C at all?
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Old Yesterday, 06:58 AM
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Exhaust the air in the room to either another part of the house where adding warm air doesn't matter or exhaust it outside like a bathroom exhaust fan. Keeping it inside is preferred because it doesn't involve pulling replacement air in from the outside which has to be either warmed or cooled. You can use either silent bathroom exhaust fans or inline fans like Fantech to power the venting. Either can be controlled by a simple attic fan line voltage thermostat($20-25) placed in the equipment area.
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Old Yesterday, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montucky View Post
So I'm up North and honestly don't know anybody in the area with A/C. Some of us have gas forced air, some have electric baseboard heat, and some have wood stoves. As I type this, it's 32 degrees outside right now this crisp August morning.

So here's where I'm a bit concerned. What's the best way to cool an equipment room or closet in a home that has no A/C at all?

Wow!

That's pretty chilly, especially for August

Expanding on BIG's recommendation, I will add what I implemented in my HT build. You can find pics and details HERE and HERE.

The fan I used moves over 450cfm of air and as it's name implies, is whisper quiet. It does double duty since it not only removes the warm air from the equipment, but also exchanges the HT air with another portion of the basement.

Hope this helps!



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Old Yesterday, 08:08 AM
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You could put a small A/C on it. In the homebrewing world, guys will take a small A/C or the guts of a dorm fridge to make a larger cooled fermentation chamber.

But Big's advice is probably better. Just recirculating 80°F air is better than not.
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Old Yesterday, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by NickTheGreat View Post
You could put a small A/C on it. In the homebrewing world, guys will take a small A/C or the guts of a dorm fridge to make a larger cooled fermentation chamber.

But Big's advice is probably better. Just recirculating 80°F air is better than not.
Even if your house doesn't have A/C, a portable A/C unit would be pretty cheap and you could probably find a way to vent it outside somehow, but that is on the extreme end. Otherwise a dead vent would be a common cooling option which theaters use, or an exhaust fan
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Old Yesterday, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rms8 View Post
Wow!

That's pretty chilly, especially for August

Expanding on BIG's recommendation, I will add what I implemented in my HT build. You can find pics and details HERE and HERE.

The fan I used moves over 450cfm of air and as it's name implies, is whisper quiet. It does double duty since it not only removes the warm air from the equipment, but also exchanges the HT air with another portion of the basement.

Hope this helps!
Woh! The way you did it in your build seems like it would work great. Nice work, btw!

So it would seem that getting that hot air moved out of the room is primary, but I guess I don't need to go too bonkers with something like an A/C unit. I like the way you did yours for sure. I'm planning on putting my equipment rack in my utility room, which is right behind the HT room. The utility room is pretty big at about maybe 18' x 12' and it stays pretty cool year round, but it also houses the furnace, the water heater, I'm putting in an upright freezer this week, and ultimately the equipment rack, so I figure it will end up hotter than it does currently.

After reading the advice from Big and everybody else here, I believe I will try and run some ducting to the edge of the house through the joists and hook it up with the fans and thermostat that Big talked about. That, or I could even just maybe tie it in with the current HVAC ducts and just circulate that heat to the rest of the house since it stays so darn cool anyway. (I really need to invest in a wood stove or a larger furnace!)

Thanks for the help, everyone! This is why I love AVS!
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Old Today, 04:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montucky View Post
After reading the advice from Big and everybody else here, I believe I will try and run some ducting to the edge of the house through the joists and hook it up with the fans and thermostat that Big talked about. That, or I could even just maybe tie it in with the current HVAC ducts and just circulate that heat to the rest of the house since it stays so darn cool anyway. (I really need to invest in a wood stove or a larger furnace!)

Thanks for the help, everyone! This is why I love AVS!

Actually, you can just dump the heat somewhere else. We're not talking a LOT of heat here. You just want to circulate the air in the room and exchange it with air of a lower delta. I wouldn't go to the trouble of cutting a hole in the house to exhaust the warmer air. That slightly warmer can really help out in the colder months. In the warmer months the extra heat would just dissipate into the are of the basement you are dumping it. Again, we're not talking about a ton of heat build up here, so dissipating it back into the basement is really a non issue (unless you have a very, very small basement).

By the time the warmer air travels to the exhaust vent in my install, you can't even tell the difference.


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Old Today, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Montucky View Post
Woh! The way you did it in your build seems like it would work great. Nice work, btw!

So it would seem that getting that hot air moved out of the room is primary, but I guess I don't need to go too bonkers with something like an A/C unit. I like the way you did yours for sure. I'm planning on putting my equipment rack in my utility room, which is right behind the HT room. The utility room is pretty big at about maybe 18' x 12' and it stays pretty cool year round, but it also houses the furnace, the water heater, I'm putting in an upright freezer this week, and ultimately the equipment rack, so I figure it will end up hotter than it does currently.

After reading the advice from Big and everybody else here, I believe I will try and run some ducting to the edge of the house through the joists and hook it up with the fans and thermostat that Big talked about. That, or I could even just maybe tie it in with the current HVAC ducts and just circulate that heat to the rest of the house since it stays so darn cool anyway. (I really need to invest in a wood stove or a larger furnace!)

Thanks for the help, everyone! This is why I love AVS!
Just a thought, if your furnace/water heater is in the same room (and I'm assuming you're using gas here), putting negative pressure on the room can cause the pilot light to get sucked backwards "into" the house by air being pulled down the flue. Obviously the pilot isn't getting anywhere near anything that can cause a fire hazard, but it can pull carbon monoxide and other exhaust gasses into your house and/or snuff the pilot light if there are enough CFM.

I would talk to a heating person in your area before putting negative pressure in that room with an exhaust fan just to be safe..
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Old Today, 05:23 AM
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Yes sucking air out of a room that has exhaust stacks is not a good idea. Actually very dangerous. There are also requirements to vent the room itself to provide fresh air unless it is over a certain size. Usually just holes (grills) in the wall to connect it with a larger basement volume. there is a formula for the size of the openings based on total BTUs of the equipment.
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Old Today, 06:21 AM
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Just a thought, if your furnace/water heater is in the same room (and I'm assuming you're using gas here), putting negative pressure on the room can cause the pilot light to get sucked backwards "into" the house by air being pulled down the flue. Obviously the pilot isn't getting anywhere near anything that can cause a fire hazard, but it can pull carbon monoxide and other exhaust gasses into your house and/or snuff the pilot light if there are enough CFM.

I would talk to a heating person in your area before putting negative pressure in that room with an exhaust fan just to be safe..
VERY good point !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But is his utility room closed off (4 solid walls with a closed in ceiling) ?
Maybe a rough drawing of how the basement/walls are arranged?


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Old Today, 07:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
Yes sucking air out of a room that has exhaust stacks is not a good idea. Actually very dangerous. There are also requirements to vent the room itself to provide fresh air unless it is over a certain size. Usually just holes (grills) in the wall to connect it with a larger basement volume. there is a formula for the size of the openings based on total BTUs of the equipment.
Oh man. Good to know! Perhaps like you said, I should just connect it from one room to another. Maybe the whole negative air pressure issue is exactly why there are no existing vents in that room, return air or otherwise. The furnace and water heater both run off of propane.

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VERY good point !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But is his utility room closed off (4 solid walls with a closed in ceiling) ?
Maybe a rough drawing of how the basement/walls are arranged?
The room's not sealed up entirely or quite finished. Basically, you have 2 outside walls that are concrete (it's a walk-out basement FWIW), and the 2 interior walls are just framed in with sheetrock on the rooms outside it, but not yet sheetrocked inside the room. It has no ceiling just yet, but I will be installing a suspended/drop ceiling when it comes time to finish everything. Hopefully with that sort of ceiling and maybe popping a vent in one or more of the panels, I can get enough airflow to keep the room ventilated enough without causing an air pressure issue.

Glad I asked you guys before dealing with some of these potential issues! I completely understand the importance of proper ventilation/cooling in a room that will be shared with A/V equipment, so I want to just make sure I get it right. I'm no HVAC expert, that's for sure, so that's why I had to inquire. Amazing how much thought and planning has to go into a (properly built) HT!
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Old Today, 07:57 AM
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Here is a copy of our local finished basement building code:

"Combustion air. Furnace rooms with fuel-fired appliances must be provided with two permanent openings to adjacent spaces: one within 12 inches of the top and one within 12 inches from the bottom of the adjoining wall. Each opening must have a minimum free area equal to 1 square inch per 1,000 Btu per hour input rating of all appliances in the furnace room, but not less than 100 square inches. The openings are not required if a louvered door is provided or the furnace room area is greater than 50 cubic feet per 1,000 Btu per hour input rating of all appliances installed in the room."
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Old Today, 08:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Here is a copy of our local finished basement building code:

"Combustion air. Furnace rooms with fuel-fired appliances must be provided with two permanent openings to adjacent spaces: one within 12 inches of the top and one within 12 inches from the bottom of the adjoining wall. Each opening must have a minimum free area equal to 1 square inch per 1,000 Btu per hour input rating of all appliances in the furnace room, but not less than 100 square inches. The openings are not required if a louvered door is provided or the furnace room area is greater than 50 cubic feet per 1,000 Btu per hour input rating of all appliances installed in the room."
Great information! Thank you for posting that. I ran the calculations with my furnace, water heater, and room dimensions, and it ends up that I will apparently need some extra ventilation per those specs if I'm doing my math right. Important stuff to know! Especially since we're dealing with LP appliances. Even WITHOUT any electronic equipment, I evidently needed the added ventilation. Amazing the builder didn't do anything about that, but not surprising judging by the way pretty much all of the homes in the area are built. Pretty much zero code enforcement 'round these parts. It's freaking awful. Almost to the point of being comical. I've done so much work trying to bring my house up to code since I bought it that it's scary. It's getting there, though!
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