Entertainment Cabinet Cooling

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Forum topic by Ivan posted 07-06-2010 05:31 PM 1697 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Ivan 's profile


185 posts in 2795 days

07-06-2010 05:31 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I am designing a built in cabinet and the issue of how to keep the entertainment center cool without having to keep the doors open is puzzling me.

I see that some have used computer fans and that they can even be set up with a relay or thermostat to turn on and off automatically.

I would like to keep the doors closed and just have a IR ‘eye’ in the face frame to operate the cable.

Idea on how to maintain air flow??


-- "Do it right the first time, you'll just kick yourself later..."

7 replies so far

View gerrym526's profile


266 posts in 3227 days

#1 posted 07-06-2010 07:42 PM


Depending on how warm you think the components will be, you can use normal air convection (movement) to cool them.
By desigining the cabinetry so that there is a 1) vent at the bottom of the cabinet, 2) a cut-out on the backside of each shelf for air current, and 3) louvres cut in the top of the cabinet normal air flow will cool the components-i.e hot air from the components rises, pulling cool air from the bottom.
Don’t think fans will be necessary unless you’re running really big power amps that throw off lots of heat.

-- Gerry

View Ivan 's profile


185 posts in 2795 days

#2 posted 07-06-2010 08:09 PM


Thanks for the feedback, I plan on using vents in the bottom to allow cool air to flow, but wasn’t sure if I need to take extra air movement requirements into account. I would like to plan for fans and not need them than have to retrofit the unit afterwards.


-- "Do it right the first time, you'll just kick yourself later..."

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 2487 days

#3 posted 07-06-2010 08:44 PM

On my entertainment centers and computer desks, I put holes and cutouts inside the cabinetry to allow cabling, and often either leave the backs off of component bays, or drill large holes in the backs to allow plenty of air movement. I’ve never had a call back due to heat issues.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View PurpLev's profile


8523 posts in 3067 days

#4 posted 07-06-2010 08:56 PM

I used to install home theater equipment, and we used 4”-6” fans to drive new cool air into the cabinet, and a thermostat (low voltage unit) to automatically start them up when the temp in the cabinet was at a certain level.

what I did was basically have a 4”-6” hole in the back of the cabinet dividers to let air move freely between the cabinet internal parts, and have a 4”-6” hole (Depending on the fan size) on the side panel (usually low back corner to make it out of sight as much as possible) or back panel where the fan/s would be installed onto to pull cooler air in. while keeping some vents on the back side (upper portion) or top with some grill to let the hot air escape out.

Personally – I don’t like having the equipment in the room at all. I have it all in a tall closet in an open rack where hot air just escapes upwards freely, and I don’t have to ‘lose’ the real estate of placing a cabinet in the room, also audio cables are easier to route and keep under control.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 2703 days

#5 posted 07-07-2010 01:16 AM

Ivan, As most have already said, as long as you can create a “chimmey” affect , where fresh air can enter and the hot air excape and not stay trapped, then you shouldn’t have a problem and I wouldn’t worry about fans.

-- John @

View Ivan 's profile


185 posts in 2795 days

#6 posted 07-07-2010 03:25 PM

Thanks for the help, I’ll design in a ‘chimney’.


-- "Do it right the first time, you'll just kick yourself later..."

View CaptainSkully's profile


1407 posts in 2977 days

#7 posted 07-07-2010 03:37 PM

Our new receiver is unbelievably hot (whether that’s normal or not remains to be seen). I’d put in some active cooling so nothing gets fried. Prairie dogs use the “chimney effect” very effectively.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

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