Rack Exhaust question - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 8 Old Yesterday, 07:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Rack Exhaust question

Hello,

I have a question about redirecting heat from a rack using an exhaust system.

I have just purchased a second hand (excellent condition) Middle Atlantic ERK3525 unit and want to add a cooling system. The Home Theater will be located in a finished basement. Right now all the ceilings and walls are open so I am currently wiring and running cables.

The basement is only using radiant heat and does not have a zone setup off the furnace, though that could be a possibility in the future.

My question is this....If I install an exhaust from the back of the rack and duct it back into the opposite side of the room away from the rack, will that add additional radiant heat to the room?

I was thinking that might be a way of adding additional heat to the living space without adding any additional means.

Just a thought
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post #2 of 8 Old Yesterday, 10:28 AM
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it will add heat, wouldn't label it radiant. How do you plan to cool the theater?
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post #3 of 8 Old Yesterday, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Jeff,

The basement does not get hot to begin with (Massachusetts) and it is all below grade. I haven't though much about cooling the HT room.

We installed a radiant heater that connects to the first floor zone which seems to provide just enough heat to use the space. Average temp is around 65 - 68 in the summer months

In addition, the walls will be finished with R-13 fiberglass and the ceiling will have R-19

In regards to the rack itself, I'm considering an intake fan on the bottom front rack with the exhaust fan on the top rear of the unit. Since the front of the rack is the only part to be exposed and the sides, top, and back hidden behind a partition wall another option would be to leave the top of the rack exposed and let the heat naturally disperse. There's also plenty of space to add rackmount fans in between components to increase air flow.

I would be challenging to exhaust straight out, because that would mean drilling through the concrete above grade and running the exhaust out and the last thing I need is another hole in my house if I can avoid it
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post #4 of 8 Old Yesterday, 12:27 PM
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You're going to have to deal with humidity, and probably heat as well, just due to people's bodies and the equipment. A mini-split would take care of both heating and cooling. Do you have a separate boiler for radiant? Or electric resistance? Electric resistance is nuts with the high power rates in New England. Much better off to do a mini-split.
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post #5 of 8 Old Yesterday, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
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The radiant heater is tied into the first floor zone. Basically, when you turn the heat on at the 1st floor, the radiant heater in the basement will emit heat.

definitely not going the electric route. Did that at the last house and paid for it big time during the winter....plus it always gave off an annoying hum.

Didn't take the humidity into account. Good observation. However I do have two dehumidifiers in the basement that run in the summer
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post #6 of 8 Old Yesterday, 12:56 PM
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Humidity won't be your main issue.. Body heat and the heat produced from the projector can make a room rather warm after a few hours... A small mini split should work well to keep the room cool and as an added benefit dehumidify it..

Back to your exhaust question....

I routed my racks intake to a 6" duct that goes into the laundry room (adjacent from my office where the rack is).. I will be honest that I am sure sure it was even worth it as my equipment runs VERY cool and I haven't noticed any heat buildup in the rack.. YMMV depending on your equipment and usage.. My equipment is over-sized so I am never pushing it and that is why I think it runs so cool..
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post #7 of 8 Old Yesterday, 02:27 PM
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A common misconception about home theaters built in basements is the lack of need for cooling. You go into an unfinished basement and it seems cool often needing heat. There is tremendous thermal mass effect of the foundation walls and concrete slab floor that keeps it cool. You build a theater with insulated walls/ceiling and a padded carpeted floor, add a space heater (projector) and your friends, you will want to open a window in the middle of winter.
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post #8 of 8 Old Yesterday, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
A common misconception about home theaters built in basements is the lack of need for cooling. You go into an unfinished basement and it seems cool often needing heat. There is tremendous thermal mass effect of the foundation walls and concrete slab floor that keeps it cool. You build a theater with insulated walls/ceiling and a padded carpeted floor, add a space heater (projector) and your friends, you will want to open a window in the middle of winter.

Excellent point
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