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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any ideas on what I can do that will not mean completly re-doing the AC system in my house? What I have now is two 12 x 8 (I think) registers toward the seating area and one 12 x 12 cold-air-return towad the front of the room. The room is above the garage, it is a new home (1.5 years) and has good insulation in the attic, but as of yet, no whole-house fan or attic fan (gable fan). The main cold-air-return is just outside the theater door.


When we want to watch something, I have been turnung the AC on and maunally turning the fan on, so that it constantly runs. I watched two movies the other night and since the door was closed, it still got warm. I have the projector venting into the room, so I know I need to change that too. The AC stopped coming on after a while, since the rest of the house was nice and cool.


Any ideas on how much it would cost to zone my system or add a very small AC unit for just the theater?


Thanks for the help. Glad I don't have any chocolate in there, as it would have melted!
 

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Good airflow in your attic will help some also. Even if you don't have an attic fan (not a whole house fan, but an attic fan), having adequate low vents (usually soffit) and high vents (ridge, whirly's, or box vents) will make a significant difference in the ability to cool an upstairs room. Also, keeping the garage conditioned will help significantly. Since the hot air from the garage.


If the air in your attic is still, you probably lack adequate ventilation.


This assumes, of course, you won't drop the $1500.00 on a zoned system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
ebr, I have been in awe of your theater for quite some time now. I will take what you say and push it on my wife as if it was written in the Bible, well maybe not that extreme.


Patrick C, the only problem I have with ventilating my attic is that I don't have a gable anywhere, just four eyebrow style vents along with all the soffit vents. I have never seen an attic fan made to go into an eyebrow style vent before. I have electrical up there that I can tap off of, I just need to find out how to mount something properly. Any ideas?
 

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Gee...now I'm blushing.


It might interest you to know, then that I've sold that house and moved to NC.


Crazy, I know, but this also means that I get to rebuild the room. House is just being designed now so it will be another long process but, hopefully, by this time next year, I'll be watching the big screen in my new (again) room.


Good luck with your heat problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow, you sold your house? And you didn't pack the theater up and take it with you? Man. That must be rough, going back to a small screen?

So, now you get to start with a fresh canvas, fix all the little things that may have bugged you about the first theater....

Did you leave the theater intact for the new owners, or did you take everything with you? I would assume you left everything, except maybe the chairs and some of the equipment?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by ebr
Gee...now I'm blushing.


It might interest you to know, then that I've sold that house and moved to NC.

Man, they're coming out of the woodwork...Wherebouts?
 

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I packed up most of the important parts (except for the room itself, which, actually is the most important part).


I left the screen and projector but replaced the speakers and all the audio and video equipment with much less expensive alternatives. The buyer couldn't really tell the difference (especially because I never let them see/hear the real setup).


I tried to sell the house without any of the equipment but I found that every buyer that came through loved the theater and wouldn't consider purchasing without it being functional. So, I came up with the idea of keeping it functional, but still being able to take my "good" stuff with me.


And, yes, I will do a lot of things differently this time. But I'm sure I still won't get it perfect :).
 

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Scott,

I agree ,separate baffle with thermostat in your theater. Mine is on the upper floor and the PJs make a lot of heat but if you have ever been in a crowded conference room so do people! Even in good old Michigan ,I have the AC on in my theater more than the heat. But at least when the tub in the kids bathroom runs over there is no water in the PJs since I'm above. :)

Art
 

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FWIW, I decided to go with a dedicated AC system for HVAC duties as well. This is aside from the fact that my room happens to be in the basement. I'm finishing the whole basement at once (appx. 2100 sq ft) and my thought process was this: I'm sending $$$$$ on the whole project. What's an extra little bit of "insurance" to make sure the room's never too hot worth to me?


I'm taking the digital cam from work home tonight to take update pics. We're waiting on the drywaller to come so the ductwork, etc... is all still exposed.


I'd go for a small dedicated unit. While I paid to have mine installed, ductwork and all (spring-fall is very busy for me at work) and it came to more than $1500, it was well worth it IMO. What's best is you can't hear a thing when it's running! No "whoosh" or air noise of any kind. BTW, Scott: I've admired your theater as well. Your pics and updates have really helped me out as I'm lagging behind you quite a ways and have watched yours develop. Congrats!


-Chris
 

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Scott,

The ability to zone also depends on "where" the rest of the house runs attach to the main run. In my house (2-story + basement), the runs for various rooms come down the outside walls (yep!) and attach to the main run in the middle of the basement wherever was most convenient. This makes it almost impossible to retro-fit a zoned system between floors without using a LOT of dampers.


My guess is that your problem is related to air-flow. Try this. Turn on the HVAC Fan. Close the Theatre door and place a sheet of paper over the return vent. It should stick to the register. Now, open the door. If the paper falls down, you may have too few returns in the system. The air is finding an easier path by going through your doorway. Does it get too warm only if the door is closed? Basically, if everything is OK when the Theatre door is open, you have enough supply, just not enough return. Is there any way you can add another return?


A rule of thumb is that you need 50% more returns than inlets to get proper air-flow. And the size of the registers themselves are not what is important, but rather the size of the duct. If your 8"x12" registers are fed by two 6" ducts, each vent is 28.25 sq. inches (A=pi*r^2) for a total of 56.5" sq. inches of inlet, regardless of the size of your registers. That means that you should have at least 85 sq. inches of returns. Is the 12"x12" return actually connected by 12"x12" ductwork?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Chris. I will take all suggestions to my wife and see what she says. We are obviously getting into the hot season now, and since we are in a really hot area, multiple 100+ degree days in a row, this will be something we will look seriously at. In the winter it was fine! I just closed off the heating vents almost all the way, so that it was on the chilly side before going into the theater, and then let the projector and bodies heat up the room.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Jim, I think you are on to something. I know that paper sticks when the door is closed, I don't know about it when the door is open. I will try that tonight. From what I remember, the inlets are 8" ducts and the return is an 8", but I will have to check on that. Maybe when it cools down a little. It is supposed to hit 95 tomorrow, 91 on Friday when I am off.
 

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I also have a separate A/C unit and my problem is the opposite. It gets really cold because my thermostat doesn't work. I am going to replace with a remote control one soon.


I got to see ebr's room before he sold it. I hope the buyer a.)paid a premium for the HT and B.)they have an appreciation for the work that went in.


I look forward to seeing ebr's latest creation.


ebr, did you leave all the equipment or take it?


Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Greg (Texas Aggie), you must have been scanning the postings because EBR already answered that question! He sold it with second-rate equipment, taking the first-rate stuff with him. Good idea.
 

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I believe that placing the theater on it's own zone is the best bet in the long run. You're not heating/cooling the theater when it's not in use nor freezing out the house while you're using the theater.


The link below will show you a typical zone controller for an existing HVAC system. On the surface, it would seem that once you get a zone controller, a damper or two and a second thermostat you'd be off and running. I don't suggest that approach. Have a professional do it so you don't run into expensive problems because of the changes you've made to the air flow volume through the condensor coils, etc.

http://www.smarthome.com/3038.html
 

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Dennis,


I'd like to hear your opinion on a separate unit vs. a zoned system. I found, in my case, since I was adding the room to the house in the first place, it was just about the same price and much easier to put in a small additional unit instead of trying to zone off of the existing upstairs system.


Are there any particular advantages/disadvantages to a zoned system I may not be thinking about? This time around, I'm desiging the room into the house as its being built so I can probably go either way.


My preference is the dedicated unit because it worked so well for me in the last room but I'm always open to other ideas.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by ebr
North of Charlotte -- Mailing address is Mooresville but I'm not really in the city limits.


You in the area?
I'm East of you, near the other Mooresville...Well, actually, "Morrisville" ;)


I'm near Raleigh
 
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