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  1. #1
    I have a basement Home Theater that's kept reasonably cool for the most part (even during the peak summer months), and I use a portable dehumdifier to keep the relative humidity in the 40-50% range. The house's upper 2 floors have central air conditioning/ducts already, but unfortunately the previous owners did not run any of its ductwork to the basement (which I understand is typical in 1970's homes like mine that have only semi-finished basements). I finished my home theater last year, so the basement is now half-finished (theater side) with mechanical/boiler/workbench on other side. The central air A/C unit itself is just outside of the unfinished half of the basement, and all coolant lines etc. go up the side of the house 3 floors to the attic, to the air handler/distribution.

    The home theater came out great, but there are few occasions where I would just like to spot-cool the theater and lower the humidity even further (especially on those really hot/humid days when guests are over in the summer).

    What I would like to do is find the best, most cost-effective solution, whether it's somehow running additional ductwork into the basement, using a 'portable' air conditioner, or even a 'swamp cooler' if that might make sense. The discomfort felt in the home theater is compounded when more than perhaps 3 people are in there, exhaling their collective CO2 on those really warm and muggy days here in the Boston area.

    The space (theater) to be cooled and dehumidified is only about a 12'w x 18'd x 7'h space. This is not a 'wet' basement; very little moisture down there overall.

    This solution would only be used when several guests are in the theater, and when it's pretty darn hot, so its use would be infrequent. Ideally that space would have its own separate zone for cooling, regardless of the solution (added ductwork for existing central a/c system, or a portable unit). Another factor would be the noise generated----ac's are of course fairly loud where a theater is concerned, so the quieter the better!

    I've heard of Mitsubishi's Mr. Slim unit (MS09TW, specifically, at 8,000 btu should suffice nicely for my space), but all-told (after I received a quote for electrical and plumbing involved to install the thing) it came to about $3k! Ideally, I'd find some solution one way or another within my $1,000 budget.

    Thank you and I look forward to any responses!

    James

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Tampa, Florida
    Posts
    1,634
    Mini-splits are about the only thing I'd recommend for a space like that. Mitsu appears to be the high-end of such systems (short of Liebert) and costs appropriately. That said, most mini-split systems are relatively quiet. I know the Mitsus are very quiet (acceptable for all but the highest-end home theater/listening room). With that type of budget, I'm not sure you'll be able to get anything that'd make you happy. The portable AC boxes are loud, adding ductwork to the existing AC will only make a difference when the thermostat upstairs thinks its too warm, which won't be the case as everyone will be inside the theater room. Also, the AC system might not have enough spare capacity to handle that space. I'd still say Mini split over everything else.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Richmond
    Posts
    480
    Mini Split sounds like a good solution to me. You might also want to consider a wall mounted self-contaaned unit like those from Bard.
    http://www.bardhvac.com

    The smallest model is rated at 1 ton so it might be to big but still an idea
    Here is a spec sheet for the 1 ton unit

    http://www.bardhvac.com/digcat/techd..._(2004_01).pdf

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    6,966

    Hmm

    how about zoning off the first floor and redirecting that air into the theater when the crowds their,so with the stat calling for cooling the 2nd and basement would be cooled.the addition of supply ducts to the basement is the question..hows about 4" PVC piping insulated tapped off the supply duct from the first floor,bring it down into the theater and run it along the wall where it meets the ceiling...paint it flat black or box it in with tee offs and short nipples to discharge that air.
    "when in doubt...jump it out" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1qEZHhJubY

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    1,996
    For your budget, I'd look into seeing if I could get a small sleeved wall mount ac and put it through a basement window. Maybe in the unfinished side and duct it into the theater.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    174

    zone it

    use zoning dampers with supply air bypass and its own Tstat...its the only way to fly!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,323

    Question Choices

    Originally posted by back2boston
    IThe home theater came out great, but there are few occasions where I would just like to spot-cool the theater and lower the humidity even further (especially on those really hot/humid days when guests are over in the summer).

    What I would like to do is find the best, most cost-effective solution, whether it's somehow running additional ductwork into the basement, using a 'portable' air conditioner, or even a 'swamp cooler' if that might make sense.

    The space (theater) to be cooled and dehumidified is only about a 12'w x 18'd x 7'h space.

    Ideally, I'd find some solution one way or another within my $1,000 budget.
    James
    Did you essentially answer your own query?

    Seems like at < $1,000, Small Portable A/C may be the only viable option for 216 Sq Ft .+. Adequate for the limited amount of operating time necessary as you described.
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    697
    Overall, it's probably cheaper and cooler to forget the home theater and go to a real one!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,324
    With your buget, a window shaker, or thru the wall.
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    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

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