Summer only comes once a year, but it isn’t the heat from outdoors that your home theater has to worry about. Everyone knows that electronic devices, be they TVs or Blu-ray players or even speakers should be left outside in the Sun — but what about inside? Heat buildup of amplifiers and even those can prove a problem — not just because they affect the performance of what you see and hear, but also because they can significantly impact negatively on the overall life of your electronics. As an example, people often put their audio system’s main unit (be it a stand-alone amplifier or a combo with a built-in disc drive) inside a cabinet that’s designed to keep the living room or bedroom’s decor from looking “techy.” But since heat rises, that means hot air is getting trapped inside and re-enveloping the components — and that doesn’t change just because there’s some holes in the back of the furniture for the cords to go through. And any air conditioning keeping the room (and people) cool won’t be a positive here either. So what to do?
The answer is to keep cool — for your electronics, not just yourself. If putting in a new home theater, you can’t do any better than to enlist the aid of professionals, like the folks at , who not only know what equipment is needed and the best way to install a home theater in your home, but also know how to make sure that the equipment stays within its optimal temperature range.
But for those who already have their “locked down” or want to take care of things for themselves, there’s a few things to do, besides making sure there’s open space all around the component, that will help to keep the electronics from being abused by the temperature. And they are….
CABINET COOLING FANS
A nice piece of furniture holding that new will look great in a room, especially since other electronics like disc players and cable boxes can be placed inside shelves where they remain unobtrusive (in some cases a front glass door can make the components seem even more hidden, while allowing the beams of an infra-red remote to still send signals to them). But to avoid trapping the heat inside, Cabinet cooling fans operate on the principle of forced air — they “push” the heat out from the area they are covering to the outside and so keep the component at about the same temperature as the rest of the room. As can be imagined, these fans are precision devices and so are not inexpensive. However there are many types available and prices vary from the manufacturers so it’s not a “buy this or nothing” situation.
SPOT COOLING FANS
These little fans possess a simple philosophy: they’re made to cover a small area and sit directly on top of the electronic that is putting out heat. An example of this would be to use one on top of an grill holes. The spot cooler is designed with an attached temperature problem that will “read” the temperature of the component and so not turn the fan on until it is needed — making for a more efficient use of electricity and the life of the spot cooling fan. Additionally, in most cases the power for the spot cooling fan can be plugged into the component it is protecting directly (through an AC outlet or a USB socket) — eliminating the need to run wires.
HIDDEN WALL FANS
Flat panel TVs have become so lightweight and thin that mounting them to walls is no issue at all. However one of the prices to pay for this thinness is that the heat from the electronics don’t have an easy exit path. A isn’t going to get as hot (nowhere as hot) as an iMac, for example, does — but if mounted to the wall then heat being trapped becomes an issue. The answer to this are hidden wall fans that fit “behind” the TV in the spaces necessary for the cabling and which take their power from the TVs USB ports (in most cases). Having the air traveling and not remaining stagnant makes the difference.
Keeping your cool is important, but keeping your home theater cool is even more so. Since each home theater is different than the next, it’s important to assess what is needed by looking at your setup and then deciding on the best way to keep the heat from getting its way. Your home theater will thank you.