How to "CHILL" input air ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 06-07-2012, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Anyone have any suggestions on how to "chill" the air going into the projector. I've got a room where the projector is mounted close the ceiling where the hotter air resides. Additionally that particular room is not air conditioned and on the second floor of the house so in summer months the air is even hotter in the room.

Is there some small, compact, and quiet way of cooling just the immediate air that I could put near the airflow input of the projector to cool the projector and keep it from increasing it's variable speed fans. This has got to be easier than doing a whole hush box, especially since in winter months the projector i dead quiet.

Obviously there are "personal" air conditioners out there but they all use water to add to the air to create the effect of cooling. Since this increases the humidity thats a BAD BAD thing for the projector so that idea would be out.

Thoughts ? ? ?
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post #2 of 16 Old 06-08-2012, 06:15 AM
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I converted the rear of my tandum garage into a 11'x17' (187 sq. ft.) HT. I had installed a mini-split air conditioner. Its mounted on the wall next to the PJ and it works great. The fan and condenser sit outside on the ground next to the garage. This one ran about $2000, but was worth every penny. It was installed less than 10 months ago.

I was going to add a split for the a/c in the attic for about the same price, but it would have been a real hassle installing it.

I live in Menifee (north of Temecula, west of Hemet), which gets quite hot in the summer...but not Palm Springs hot.

I spent all last summer without it and never enjoyed a movie because of the heat, so I finally broke down.

...finally retired and spending time in my HT!!!

 

My equipment consists of:

 

Epson 9500 UB Projector; 110" JKP Affinity Screen; Panasonic BD30 Player, Toshiba HDA1 Player; Definitive Speakers (Center, Towers, Rear); Onkyo 608 A/V Receiver; Nevo Q50 Remote; TW HD Cable Box. 

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post #3 of 16 Old 06-17-2012, 10:07 AM
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+1 for a mini-split AC.

Do look for a unit that is rated for low noise and with a variable speed compressor and variable speed internal unit fan.

See this detailed thread on what I did for my HT equipment room cooling:

http://www.martinloganowners.com/forum/showthread.php?6287-Equipment-cooling-dedicated-AC

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post #4 of 16 Old 06-18-2012, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by JonFo View Post

+1 for a mini-split AC.
Do look for a unit that is rated for low noise and with a variable speed compressor and variable speed internal unit fan.
See this detailed thread on what I did for my HT equipment room cooling:
http://www.martinloganowners.com/forum/showthread.php?6287-Equipment-cooling-dedicated-AC
Congrats on the happy solution to your problem. I have looked at mini-splits off & on and wonder: can they be self-installed i.e. can the connection be made between the fancoil unit and condenser w/o special tools or guages? I suspect not, but have to ask anyway.

Another option for a smaller space (equipment closet) might be to get one of those floor-standing all-in-one units and just cut a hole thru the wall for the condensate/exhaust. Anyone here done that?
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post #5 of 16 Old 06-18-2012, 07:02 AM
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I bought and installed my mini-split myself. The unit I bought was off of eBay. The only wierd tool I needed was a flaring tool for the copper line set. The line set that came with it was 10' too long, I cut it off and re-flared the copper at the fittings. My wiring was also too long so I cut it (after clearly marking the different wires!). I mounted mine behind the projector and built a sofit around it. Not sure mine is as quiet as the high end set ups, but at $500 (or so) I will live with it. On low fan, I can barely hear it. Plus its a heat pump and in my basement HT, the heater has been run while I am down there still building it!

The units are all pre-charged with refridgerant so a screw driver, wrenches and the flaring too were all I needed after the holes were drilled and such.
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post #6 of 16 Old 06-19-2012, 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted by BroncoSport View Post

The units are all pre-charged with refridgerant so a screw driver, wrenches and the flaring too were all I needed after the holes were drilled and such.
Thanks a lot BroncoSport--I knew these came "pre-charged" but have never been clear about what a professional refrigeration tech would do above/beyond simply connecting the lines, if anything. I'd read somewhere that they might "burp" the lines or maybe top-off the refrigerant if any was lost in connection. You are happy I guess that yours is performing efficiently? What model/brand did you buy?

I've been intrigued by mini-splits for a long time as a potential solution to my upper-level HT (spare bedroom in the original home plan) which is difficult to cool, but hate the idea of using a "pro" if I can do it myself--I live in the "extreme country" and need to do most everything around here. Electrical is easy for me, but refrigeration often requires specialized tools, equipment, and supplies (refrigerant).
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post #7 of 16 Old 06-21-2012, 04:45 AM
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BTW in continuing to research this issue I found there are a few (very few) "window units" which are meant for Casement or side-sliding windows which are 14.5" wide, thus suitable for in-wall placement between studs (thus not having to cut a stud and build a header). Might be a solution for an equipment closed if it's on an outside wall. Haier makes one and it's less than $400.
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post #8 of 16 Old 06-21-2012, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BroncoSport View Post

I bought and installed my mini-split myself. The unit I bought was off of eBay. The only wierd tool I needed was a flaring tool for the copper line set. The line set that came with it was 10' too long, I cut it off and re-flared the copper at the fittings. My wiring was also too long so I cut it (after clearly marking the different wires!). I mounted mine behind the projector and built a sofit around it. Not sure mine is as quiet as the high end set ups, but at $500 (or so) I will live with it. On low fan, I can barely hear it. Plus its a heat pump and in my basement HT, the heater has been run while I am down there still building it!
The units are all pre-charged with refridgerant so a screw driver, wrenches and the flaring too were all I needed after the holes were drilled and such.

Wouldn't cutting 10' off of the lineset change the required charge amount?

OP, you could also look into installing an extra air return in the ceiling next to the discharge side of the PJ. That will pull the exhaust heat into the HVAC system, to be cooled in summer and act as pre-heat in winter. Minisplits are nice, but maybe overkill just to keep a projector cool.

 

 

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post #9 of 16 Old 06-22-2012, 07:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabident View Post

OP, you could also look into installing an extra air return in the ceiling next to the discharge side of the PJ. That will pull the exhaust heat into the HVAC system, to be cooled in summer and act as pre-heat in winter.
Wow, good thinking rabident--for some reason that never occurred to me! I was thinking of having an extra discharge duct put-in, but a return air duct is a much better idea!

I agree too that a minisplit will be overkill for 95% of home equipment closets. In my case I need either to add a mini-split for the entire home theater, or have some extra A/C ducts put in.

As for the OP's question (and he's not been back AFAICT) with no cooling at all, and a 2nd floor room (in LA!?!?!) some serious cooling is needed, both supply(ies) and return air. If there's no possibility for extending the existing A/C to that space, then a minisplit IMO would be in order, owing to the noise of a freestanding or window unit. You want to get the compressor away from the space as with the minisplit design.
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post #10 of 16 Old 06-25-2012, 12:56 PM
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I too thought about a mini-split solution but ended up replacing my 18 year old furnace and ac with a new 2 zone Bryant Evolution system with the HT as the 2nd zone. It has been working great with a separate thermostat in the HT so I can control the temp independently. In my previous system I had installed a 4" exhaust near the PJ going to our air to air heat exchanger, but I think I will tee this into the return duct since now I run the variable speed furnace fan on low all the time anyway.
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post #11 of 16 Old 06-25-2012, 04:15 PM
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The mini-split I got (6 years ago or so) off eBay, was labled Bon Aire. Its a 9000 btu heat pump unit. Looking on eBay recently, I don't see "Bon Aire" units but several that look identical (including the remote), so I assume they are all China made / rebranded. Mine came with a 5 year warranty on the compressor (not that it matters when you store it in the basement for 6-7 years!).

In the installation manual it clearly states to cut the line set to the proper length. As far as it being "over charged", I don't think that the small amount that might be present from too short of a line set is going to hurt anything. After all the process to "blead" the lines of air isn't scientific either. The manual stated to open the valve with the correct nut loose and let it blead out for 6-7 seconds! Tighten the nut up and TAH DAH, done!

I just did a search on eBay ("mini split 9000") and see several under $650 shipped. FYI

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post #12 of 16 Old 06-26-2012, 05:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BroncoSport View Post

In the installation manual it clearly states to cut the line set to the proper length. As far as it being "over charged", I don't think that the small amount that might be present from too short of a line set is going to hurt anything. After all the process to "blead" the lines of air isn't scientific either. The manual stated to open the valve with the correct nut loose and let it blead out for 6-7 seconds! Tighten the nut up and TAH DAH, done!
Thanks for coming-back and telling about this. Do you remember if you could actually SEE when the bleeding stopped being air and started being refrigerant? I suppose not.

I don't know about the possible effects of "too much refrigerant" or "small amount of air in the line" for these mini-splits, but maybe someone will come-in here and educate us.

For my part, I will try rabident's "return air duct in the equipment closet" idea first, as AFAICT this is a $100 kit from Home Depot. If that doesn't work another $100bucks would put another supply register to my HT. Then cool air will flow from the supply ducts and thru the front of my equipment rack (where my PJ sits) and up & out the new return duct. This is what my equipment rack looks like (there is a closet behind it, accessible from another corridor). Note too that when we watch a movie, the door to the HT is closed meaning that poor little supply duct (in front of my equipment) is pushing-against a roomful of still air at present:

450

Oh, I do usually open the closet door behind the equipment rack (not, or barely, visible in the pic) so I guess there would be some natural supply-to-return flow at present. Just not enough by my reckoning.
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post #13 of 16 Old 06-26-2012, 05:28 AM
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i'll add a big plus 1 to the split a/c... one of the best days of my life was when i was able to get rid of those horrible window shakers i used before.... mine are mitsubishi mr. slims, and are installed in 4 different areas of my house...

can't comment on the install though, i had it done for me...

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post #14 of 16 Old 06-26-2012, 07:34 AM
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one of the best days of my life was when i was able to get rid of those horrible window shakers i used before....
Yeah if I owned a house with no central A/C I'd be all-over these myself, though 2nd or 3rd story installs must be tricky for sure (the packaged tubing limiting the distance you can place the outdoor unit).

Getting the compressor noise away from the fan unit has got to be a huge upgrade from a Window Shaker! smile.gif
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post #15 of 16 Old 07-01-2012, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by rabident View Post

OP, you could also look into installing an extra air return in the ceiling next to the discharge side of the PJ. That will pull the exhaust heat into the HVAC system, to be cooled in summer and act as pre-heat in winter. Minisplits are nice, but maybe overkill just to keep a projector cool.
On the subject of adding registers/grilles, I found an easy DIY solution called Speedi-Vent available at Home Depot (online anyway). Multiple sizes from 4x8 on up, starting around $90 bucks. These kits include everything you need except tools (insulated duct, collars, tape, boot, grill, etc). Here's one of about a dozen available:

http://www.homedepot.com/buy/building-materials-heating-venting-cooling-hvac-parts-accessories/speedi-vent-speedi-vent-4-in-x-12-in-x-7-in-hvac-install-kit-includes-speedi-boot-collar-grille-flexible-duct-accessories-136824.html

If it ever cools-down where I live, I will crawl-up in the attic above my equipment closet and install one of these for Return air. If that alone does not work, I'll try another discharge duct in the HT itself.
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post #16 of 16 Old 07-01-2012, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laserfan View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

one of the best days of my life was when i was able to get rid of those horrible window shakers i used before....
Yeah if I owned a house with no central A/C I'd be all-over these myself, though 2nd or 3rd story installs must be tricky for sure (the packaged tubing limiting the distance you can place the outdoor unit).

Getting the compressor noise away from the fan unit has got to be a huge upgrade from a Window Shaker! smile.gif

yea, i'm glad i didn't try to do it... smile.gif

i "think" the linesets that came with them would reach a 3rd story, as long as the compressors were located close to straight underneath it... 3 of mine run up to the 2nd story, which in my house is pretty close to where the 3rd story would be on a "more modern" house... i would say the longest run is approximately 35 feet, counting the travel along the ground and then up the wall... i'll take a pic later on of how rhey did it...

oh yea, HUGE upgrade... i got real tired of having spent a bunch of money and effort to get "good sound" in my room and having it completely drowned out by the compressor... plus these actually cool the whole house, rather than just small areas around the noisemaker... smile.gif plus in effect, they give me 4 separate zones, so i can get it good and cold in the theater room without having to cool the rest of the house when i don't want/need to...

- chris

 

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