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AC in Equipment room

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Well, HT is mostly finished, and we are watching movies. I have a 5 x 5 room for all the equipment, 10ft ceiling. We put an AC duct with return and a silent fan. I have the fan on an electronic gauge that will turn it on when room hits 80". A/C is tied to HT which is zoned separately from rest of the house.

The room is located in the back of the HT and has a door. I keep the eq room door open when the HT is not in use, but when we watch a movie, it has to be closed for noise and lights.

The room gets HOT, like in the 90's with the fan going. When I touch the equipment they are very very warm. All the equipment is located in a rack to that adds to the temp of the gear. There are 4 amps, plus associated gear in that room.

I've tossed around the idea of putting a mini-split unit in the room, something around 9-12k BTU.
Does anyone have any experience with these types of units?
Is 9K btu enough, should I go with the 12k?
I've looked at the Mit Mr Slim (Cool Only) series. On quiet mode the specs say they are < 20db... This is probably quieter than the fan that is running in there during the movie.

If you have an experience with this please let me know.


post #2 of 10
Before I would invest in a mini split, I would try up-sizing your current set up (bigger fan), Also lower the trigger temperature so it doesn't have to play catch up. Set it one degree above what you set your theater room at.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Ok, I'll try that.

I was wondering, since I have a "silent bathroom style" fan in the room, and an a/c duct and return. When the fan is on would it just pull air from the a/c duct instead of lower down where the equipment is?

Should I tape off the return for that room and shut down the a/c duct and just try the vent? Then it possibly would pull more air from lower around the equipment.

post #4 of 10
I'm confused what is the fan connected to? It should be either the supply or return not a third duct going god knows where.
post #5 of 10
1. What make and model of fan is installed?
2. What is the source of make-up air for the equipment room when the fan is running and the door is closed?
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Currently I have a NuTone QTXEN080 Ultra Silent 80CFM fan that is vented outside thru ductwork in the ceiling (There is a vent on the roof of the house). We had it put in when we built the house. It is vented just like in a bathroom. It does not go into an A/C duct.

We do not really have any place for air to coming in except under the door there is about an 1/2" gap from floor to bottom of the door.

The HT has a small 5 x 5 equipment room in the back. There are no windows in this room. We put the HT on a separate zone, and one of the ducts and return are located in the closet. The thermostat is out in the HT. This way we can control the temp in the HT separate from the rest of the house.

The NuTone is hooked up to our Omni IIe with an electric thermostat that monitors the closet. If it gets too hot it is automatically turned on.

Honestly, never thought about the make up air, too many things to think of during construction. I guess I could add additional venting in the bottom of the door...? This is why I'm starting to wonder if the fan is just pulling air from the A/C duct sitting about foot away and not really clearing the hot air out of the room.
post #7 of 10
So basically you are paying to cool down some air and send it to the equipment room, then you immediately pull it out of the room and send it through the roof. Brilliant.

Do you have room to attach an uninsulated metal flex duct to the AC supply and route it to the floor immediately under your rack?
You also mentioned you have a retun in the room, where is it located? I'd put the fan powering the return and send the supply to the floor. Close of the exhaust fan duct trough the ceiling. When you use the theater always turn the HVAC fan on even if you don't need cooling. That will circulate the air in the equipment room.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions.

I closed off the A/C return in the room.
I'll have to look into ducting the A/C vent to the bottom of the room, didnt think of that, nice idea.

I did try this evening closing off all the A/C openings and just let the exhaust fan pull air from the HT room, it was better but equipment stayed cooler than before, but not where I'd like it.

Def need to separate the return and vent otherwise it appear i'm only cooling upper cpl feet of the room. I told the contractor I needed extra cooling and venting that is what I got. Cannot always rely on them knowing whats up.

post #9 of 10
every cu ft of air you pull out the ceiling and send through the roof has to be replaced by hot humid Florida air that needs to sneak into your house through available drafts. I'd move the fan and pull the hot dry air out and send it back to the AC unit via the return.
Edited by BIGmouthinDC - 7/28/13 at 4:39am
post #10 of 10
You could always direct the exhaust fan into the return of your hvac system but don't send that air outside, remember that every single cubic inch of air you remove from a room needs to be replaced or you will not have air flow and will not have any effect on cooling at all. You may also want to dead vent the room, or simply open the ac vents both return and supply and run the fan on the ac system that should give you air flow through that room to help with cooling.
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