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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm currently in the design phase of a dedicated HT in our unfinished basement. As part of my setup, I'm planning on having a separate equipment room/closet (or at least a rack backing up into a closet). One of the things I've learned here is to install an exhaust fan in your equipment location (unless you like your theater "tropical"). Exhaust fan...check.


Now that that's settled, it raises another question: where to put the exhaust? For bathrooms, code says: outside. For other rooms: hmmm...I don't know.


So for those who have installed ventilation fans (as part of equipment rooms or hushboxes), where did you route the fan exhaust? I hate to cut a hole in the side of my house if I don't have to.


Thanks!


Matt


p.s. Make that a QUIET exhaust fan. www.dimmers.net has some good prices on super quiet Panasonic exhaust fans for those that are still looking.
 

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I actually have the same question. I dont see a need to vent it to the outside since the components arent giving off any moisture (if they are I think there are other problems). I would think you'd be ok venting it into another room.


What's the area surrounding/behind your closet like?
 

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Caveat: I live in Colorado and in one of the most strict cities / counties for code enforcement.


I asked this same question when I permitted for my construction a month ago. They said that I couldn't vent into my furnace/storage area and that a vent fan must vent to the outside. I also am using this fan to satisfy the code requirement that a closed off room without a window must be able to change 0.35 cubic feet of the room's air per hour, and the room must have adequate artificial light.


Just a thought,


-Ryan
 

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Not an HVAC expert, but I truly doubt that you'd need to exhaust it outside of the building (instead you might consider drawing fresh air - aka 'combustion air' for gas appliances - into the building...). In my theater, I'm adding a HVAC return over the top of my equipment to pull the (hot) air out of the equipment room (along with other HVAC return vents near the ceiling that are equal in volume to the fresh air being blown into the room).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
misterkit - the basement is completely unfinished right now. I was thinking I'd run the exhaust to what will become an unfinished storage area about 20 feet away (who cares if it's hot in there, right?). Not into the furnace room though. Don't want to mess with the combustion stuff.


I agree that it didn't seem necessary to take the air out of the house, just out of the equipment closet. Plus I figured the closet would be open to the theater (via a through wall vent or around the rack) and would help turn over that air too. But who knows code sometimes.


Now that I read the "not an HVAC expert" line, I had a gigantic "DOH!" moment. My uncle is an HVAC contractor. He's coming down on Saturday to look at rerouting a pesky supply line running right across the middle of my "theater room" ceiling.


I'll ask him what our local regs say, and update the thread then.
 

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Great - use those FREE! experts you can trust whenever possible and keep the rest of us updated. One more thought (that you may already be aware of) is that theaters can become quiet toasty according to other folks on this forum, and pushing 'extra' fresh air into the theater AND being able to pull it out is a typical goal (and I hear that some 'regular' HVAC guys may not be used to the extra 'air' that theaters seem to need - by using 8" ducts instead of 6" - for example).
 

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Great, keep us posted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bearcat99 /forum/post/0


misterkit - the basement is completely unfinished right now. I was thinking I'd run the exhaust to what will become an unfinished storage area about 20 feet away (who cares if it's hot in there, right?). Not into the furnace room though. Don't want to mess with the combustion stuff.


I agree that it didn't seem necessary to take the air out of the house, just out of the equipment closet. Plus I figured the closet would be open to the theater (via a through wall vent or around the rack) and would help turn over that air too. But who knows code sometimes.


Now that I read the "not an HVAC expert" line, I had a gigantic "DOH!" moment. My uncle is an HVAC contractor. He's coming down on Saturday to look at rerouting a pesky supply line running right across the middle of my "theater room" ceiling.


I'll ask him what our local regs say, and update the thread then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, my uncle said I should dump the exhaust to my unfinished storage area. He also is more of a commercial HVAC guy and does residential on one-off jobs (for relatives mostly). So I'm still unsure of code requirements...but I'm going to send it over there. If I eventually need to exhaust it outside, I'll have easy access to 2 exterior walls that I can extend through if needed since that section will all be unfinished.


Without prompting, though, he recommended a line-voltage thermostat set to 80 degrees controlling the exhaust fan (e.g. the thermostat becomes a temperature switch that kicks on the exhaust fan only when needed). I've seen a number of folks here that installed a "temperature switch" controlling their exhaust fan. I wasn't sure what they used as a for that. Now I think I know.


APJ - I think I would classify my uncle as a "regular" HVAC guy. He said I probably wouldn't need much air in the basement since the temperature generally remains constant. Luckily he is pretty flexible and will set me up (HVAC-wise) with whatever I tell him I need. I also think I can source my Linacoustic through him...
 

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Ryan:

The Broomsticks people are smoking something. Outside venting is required to exhaust from high moisture areas (bathrooms) and high VOC areas (kitchens). Exhausting excess heat from a cabinet is a non-issue (for those in Broomsticks that really know the code). What you are doing is no different than putting an HVAC return near the projector with an in-line boost fan (which is allowed). You'd just need to put your HVAC fan setting to "On" (not "Auto") when using the room. Don't do this in the Independent Republic of Boulder, however. A fart busts their proposed Air Quality Standards. Geeze.
 

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My equipment rack is in a closet adjacent to my theater. The equipment is not accessible from inside the theater, but I still put in a vent fan over the rack. I used a temperature-controlled attic fan switch, which is mounted near the rack. When the temp hits a certain point in the closet, the fan kicks on, and vents the hot air through a flexible duct that dumps out into my mechanical room across the basement. I had no issues with code or inspections with this setup.


jj
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine /forum/post/0


Ryan:

The Broomsticks people are smoking something. Outside venting is required to exhaust from high moisture areas (bathrooms) and high VOC areas (kitchens). Exhausting excess heat from a cabinet is a non-issue (for those in Broomsticks that really know the code). What you are doing is no different than putting an HVAC return near the projector with an in-line boost fan (which is allowed). You'd just need to put your HVAC fan setting to "On" (not "Auto") when using the room. Don't do this in the Independent Republic of Boulder, however. A fart busts their proposed Air Quality Standards. Geeze.

I don't have the code # up front of me, but really the issue in my case is the requirement to provide adequate outside ventilation and artificial light in an inside room which does not include a window. This ventilation requirement requires 0.35 air changes of the room per hour. I think that the only restriction on venting to my unfinished furnace/storage room was due to this particular code requirement.


As for the Boulder folks, I hear you. I work there and live adjacent to Boulder County. I think some of their ideas about code have leaked into my municipality. :-/


-Ryan
 

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Hmmmm, Seems to me that we are not required to vent the exhaust from our PC's fan anywhere but into the room.

That is exactly your case.

You don't have an 'ventilation fan' per se, so call it something else.

"Why not Mr. Inspector guy, that's NOT a ventilation fan, its just ......"


Paul
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine /forum/post/0


A fart busts their proposed Air Quality Standards. Geeze.

LOL! I love that one...


So what about coat closets, linen closets, broom closet, etc.? Add $5,000 to the HVAC budget if you build in CO. Where's the common sense these days!



Better to ask for forgiveness than permission, that would be my plan. Plead ignorance or insanity, seems to work out fine for the criminals.


Good luck with your code issues! Sorry to hijack your thread and not add anything productive.

Chip
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Chip - don't worry about "hijacking the thread." I think I got the answer I needed. Part of the fun of AVS anyways are the side topics (re: the "Show us your rack" thread). Except some of the arguments...I'm sometime reminded of the George Carlin skit regarding how loudly you call someone an a$$$hole (it's directly proportional to how far away you are from them, of course).
 

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I would vote for a small return that goes back to your HVAC system. No need for external vent, no build up of negative pressure, etc. It would suck out the hot air gathered at the top of the closet, and draw in cool air from below the door.
 

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Dennis - thanks for the pointer, I'll give that a look.
 
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