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  1. #1

    Help me cool my home theater room

    Hello,

    I apologize for the extreme ignorance of HVAC

    I have a spare bedroom on the second floor of my home that I have converted into a home theater room. The room is somewhat small for a theater room but it's usually just me or me and my fiance in the room. We don't entertain alot of guest in there often. The room is about 15x11.

    My problem is that with all the electronic equipment [front projector, amplifier] the room gets stuffy pretty quick. In doing some research I've learned that one of my problems could be that I don't have a return in the room [in fact I don't have a known return in any of the rooms]. The room in question has one supply vent that seemingly blows enough air. The HVAC system obviously has to have a return in the house. How do I go about adding a return to this room to increase flow? I have an easy to access attic. Is it as simple as cutting a hole in the drywall and adding duct work to the return duct? Will this return have enough suction to increase airflow in my room?

    Any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Atlanta(metro)
    Posts
    52
    The answer is going to be call an HVAC professional to check out the situation and to do load calculations to size duct work properly

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    Posts
    1,051
    Where is the return for that floor? If you try watching movies with the door open does it make a difference? You may have added to much load for just that room and will not be able to get enough air unless you zone the system and change the ductwork design. It may be a place where you need to add a P-tac unit or a mini split just for that room.
    Its a good Life!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Just North of Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    97
    My son goes to his room and turns on his HDTV, surround sound system, and his PC. With the door closed the room get toasty. With the door open it is a little warm but not too bad. I'm working on getting a new HVAC system installed and some ducting issues resolved to hopefully reduce my electric bills as well as help with rebalanced the house.

    You may have to have your system evaluated to make sure your getting enough cooling/heating to the room (rebalanced).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Central, FL
    Posts
    871
    I had a simular problem in my movie theater,it was inclosed 600sq ft nothing worked with mine. I had to do a load calc by the time I was done I added a unit just for that room. I would recommend a load calc especially for a theater room. When you have projection + the popcorn machine audio system and all firends over the load calc will help you determine all that heat load. My dad said I was being cheap so I remodel the whole theater room, he loves watching his Clint Eastwood movies in there.
    WARNING:IF YOU DON'T KNOW THEN DON'T DO, SO THOSE WHO KNOW WHAT YOU DIDN'T KNOW DON'T END UP UNDOING WHAT YOU DID SO IT COULD GET DONE RIGHT!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Just North of Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    97
    I agree with AcDOCnTRAINIG. You may need one of those spit system AC's to assist with the additional heat load.

    Just my 2 cents .....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    1,253
    A small mini-split added to that room should fix the problem without having to re-do the whole house system. Load calc will tell you what size it needs to be.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Cedar Grove, Wi-Sheboygan
    Posts
    1,582
    Do you have a ceiling fan in this room at all?? If not you may want to consider installing one will help with circulating the air in the room to help move all that hot air around that is being generated by the componets, which will throw alot of heat, add a couple of people into the mix and you have more heat than the room can handle. If you can get a cold air return in your upstairs that would be centrally located so it pulls air from all the rooms equally that will help tremdously with circulating the air in the entire upstairs. Not knowing where your furnace is located, but if it's in your attic it shouldn't be too hard to add the cold air return for the upstairs. If your furnace is in your basement and you happen to have a chimmney that is no longer being used that would be a option for you to use as a cold air return which is what I did for my upstairs when I replaced my hot water tank to a direct vent, I then capped off the chimmney in the attic and knocked a hole in the chimmney on the landing area upstairs and keeps the upstairs nice and evenly heated and the air circulated as I run my fan all the time on my furnace. Butby just installing a ceiling fan will help move the air and you might want to cut the bottom of your door another 1" if there draging or near the floor already to give the room alittle more air movement when the door is closed.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Round Rock
    Posts
    3,520
    Leave the door open when you're watching movies. If it is comfortable, then adding a return will probably be the answer. If not, then you have your answer and must do something else. Everybody has made good suggestions. Adding a mini-split, a Ptac unit (it will probably be noisy), adding air to the room. Something we have done before for this situation is buying a commercial grade exhaust 400 CFM or so fan and installing it by where the heat is concentrated, (if it is concentrated) and controlling it thermostatically. Then venting it to the return, by the return or a place in the house where blowing heat won't matter much, such as a high ceiling, then it will dissipate. You don't want to vent it to the outside, because you will be blowing 1 ton or more of air that you have already paid to condition to the birds. You will probably have to add a duct for makeup air to prevent all your A/C from being sucked out if it is close to the supply register.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    SA
    Posts
    127
    I think adding a mini split is your best bet. Ceiling fans do help move air and make a room seem cooler but the motor in the fan adds to the overall heat load. May want to look into solar screens if you have a lot of heat coming in the window.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by bmathews View Post
    Leave the door open when you're watching movies. If it is comfortable, then adding a return will probably be the answer. If not, then you have your answer and must do something else. Everybody has made good suggestions. Adding a mini-split, a Ptac unit (it will probably be noisy), adding air to the room. Something we have done before for this situation is buying a commercial grade exhaust 400 CFM or so fan and installing it by where the heat is concentrated, (if it is concentrated) and controlling it thermostatically. Then venting it to the return, by the return or a place in the house where blowing heat won't matter much, such as a high ceiling, then it will dissipate. You don't want to vent it to the outside, because you will be blowing 1 ton or more of air that you have already paid to condition to the birds. You will probably have to add a duct for makeup air to prevent all your A/C from being sucked out if it is close to the supply register.
    I'm finally revisiting this issue.

    I have planned on adding an exhaust near the equipment. I don't want the exhaust fan right there in the room with me though as it would be too loud. At this point I need to determine if I want to exhaust into the return system [or if that is even a good idea] or simply pump the exhaust into another room in the house.

    I have a bathroom next to this theater room that I could simply run some flex tubing from theater exhuast point to bathroom closet, in the bathroom closet I would add a fan to suck the air [possibly a high speed bathroom exhuast fan could be reversed]. I could then turn this fan on whenever my theater room became uncomfortable.

    I understand this is not the proper way to handle the situation and that I should contact a professional. I'm only going to be here for another year and don't want to invest in significant HVAC modifications.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    courtland, va
    Posts
    8
    have an hvac contractor run a load on your house or room. electronic equipment puts out alot of heat and my guess your original equipment wasn't sized for that. a mini split unit would most likely be the cheapest way to go, but if your equipment has alot of age on it it might be a good time to replace/upgrade. if you do i suggest zonieng that room if it is not used often.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    7,405
    Quote Originally Posted by Scubasteve2365 View Post
    I'm finally revisiting this issue.

    I have planned on adding an exhaust near the equipment. I don't want the exhaust fan right there in the room with me though as it would be too loud. At this point I need to determine if I want to exhaust into the return system [or if that is even a good idea] or simply pump the exhaust into another room in the house.

    I have a bathroom next to this theater room that I could simply run some flex tubing from theater exhuast point to bathroom closet, in the bathroom closet I would add a fan to suck the air [possibly a high speed bathroom exhuast fan could be reversed]. I could then turn this fan on whenever my theater room became uncomfortable.

    I understand this is not the proper way to handle the situation and that I should contact a professional. I'm only going to be here for another year and don't want to invest in significant HVAC modifications.
    Then live with it for a year.

    Leave the problem for the next guy huh? How about thinking this through and quit being so cheap about it. I bet you weren't cheap with everything else were you?

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