Best way to vent heat from an enclosed equipment closet?
I'm looking for a solution to vent heat from a small closet into a larger conditioned space, possibly a thermostatically-controlled in-wall fan, or ceiling exhaust fan, etc. We have one small area of the house which is currently "unconditioned" in that it was built without any ducts/registers. It's roughly 4 feet by 8 feet and 9-feet tall. It does not have any external walls, but there's an opening on one side into a home theater (an underground space which always stays cool) and a door/wall facing a large basement play area on the other side.
There's a lot of audio/video equipment in there which generates a fair amount of heat. If I leave the door closed it will quickly get to ~82 degrees in there, even when the rest of the basement is ambient at 70.
I'd like to use something to push heat from the top of the closet space out into the main basement area, and passively drawing cool air from the theater into the resulting vacuum. Is that how you would recommend addressing the situation, and do you have any ideas on how to do it?
I am a homeowner and my opinion doesn't deserve to be as credible as the pros, but here goes: What would you say to something like a Panasonic bathroom fan? They advertise they are built to run continuously. In fact the latest model I bought, will constantly run at reduced speed and has a motion sensor to go up to full speed. For this model full speed is 80 cfm and the continuous running is switch selectable from 30 to 80 cfm.
I'm not in love with that complication, actually prefer the older model Panasonic which is also rated for continuous operation, no motion sensor and is very quiet.
It's not the only answer, but keep in mind other brands of such fans are usually not very quiet at all. In other words don't settle for Broan IMO, just because that's what Home Depot is selling these days. And if you aren't completely sure you need this ventilation, in my S.Texas climate 82F is barely above indoors during the day, probably won't hurt the equipment any.
Best of luck -- Pstu
Thanks, pstu. We have Panasonic fans elsewhere in the house and I do find them very quiet, so that's what I was thinking if I go the ceiling route. Instead of the continuous operation, though, I was thinking of using a thermostatically-controlled switch of some sort that will turn on when it hits 76 degrees, for example, and off when it gets down to 70 or so. Any recommendations there?
82 is not unbearable for people, but they've done tests on computer equipment and found that the failure rate of electronics is much much higher at 80 degrees than at 68. That's why they put such big loud fans on receivers and TiVos and such these days, to try and get the hot air out of them. My problem is all those fans are exhausting the heat into an enclosed space, so I in turn need to exhaust from the closet.
When on the Panasonic site today I noticed the motion-sensor fans. I did not realize they were made to run constantly. This is off-topic for this thread (since I'll be exhausting inside the house) but for a bathroom that only needs exhaust for, say 30 minutes in a 24-hour period, isn't it very inefficient to be sending conditioned (warm or cold) air out of the house all day and night?
Is there an opportunity to do natural ventilation? Like a fully louvered door?
You can install a fan, but the amount of heat (btu's) that it will remove may or may not be adequate. Look at all of the equipment in the room and note the watts that they are listed at and post back the total wattage of everything that consumes electricity in the room, including a lightbulb if it's left on constantly.
By posting the total wattage back you can get responses as to how much air would have to be mechanically moved through the room to keep it at the same temperature as the rooms around it.
Use the biggest hammer you like, pounding a square peg into a round hole does not equal a proper fit.
I would venture to say that since you have only 32 sq ft. to ventilate, a bathroom fan would be ample to exchange the air in the room as long as there the right size grille with on the door or cut into the side wall of the room or the bottom of the door has enough undercut on it to provide enough CFM's to move the proper air. The bath room fan would be the least expensive the probably the best way to ventilate the room as long as your comfortable with dumping the air into the adjoining room.
how about running a small flex duct into the room and cool it...would probably make your av equipment happy.. pretty inexpensive also. goodluck