First, it is important to understand the most basic goal and consideration, which is to simply increase airflow around heat producing components and within a closed system in general. 'Closed' refers to systems installed in cabinetry, closets and just somewhat enclosed spaces.
We recommend focusing on the individual heat-producing components first. 'Heat-producing' components typically include: amplifiers, receivers with built-in amplifiers, cable and satellite receivers, game players, video scalers, media servers, some DVD/Blu-ray players, media servers, rack mounted or stand-alone servers, network switches.
Cooling vs. Venting Products
We generally classify our products as 'cooling' and 'venting' products. None of our products actually 'cool', they instead protect equipment by circulating air. The 'cooling' products are intended to protect and circulate air around individual components.
The 'venting' products are for typically exhausting air in a cabinet, enclosure, closet, or even an entire room. This is considered protecting the system as a whole.
The best approach is to combine cooling and venting products. However in specific applications, one or the other approach may be used effectively. It is up to the installer to determine the best approach based on the application. We can provide as much assistance as possible, but with following the general guidelines providing effective protection is relatively easy.
Spacing. What we are generally offering in this section is to follow some basic principles related to cooling which cost you nothing. When designing and setting up a system, you should provide adequate spacing around heat producing components. Of course we support and encourage following manufacturer recommendations for spacing but we also understand that is it not always possible to leave 6" above an amplifier...
Keep it Clean. The second bit of advice is a nice clean install. Do not leave wiring messes with cluttered wiring which can result in air not flowing through the system as easily as it could otherwise.
Natural Airflow Pathways. In cabinetry and with installed shelving, make certain the shelving is open in the back to provide for a good natural flow of air. The best solution is to notch out the back of shelving which provides for easier running of wires as well as for increasing airflow.
More is Better. This is not really accurate when it comes to cooling equipment and systems. The fact is that systems and the components inside them inherently create heat and are designed to run at a fairly hot temperatures. The inside of components can be well over 100 degrees and different parts in a component simply run hot, are designed to run hot, are more efficient at higher temperatures. Of course there are the 'normal' temperatures but then most everything has a point that is simply too hot. Components are designed to naturally ventilate themselves so cooling products work best simply working with hte natural flow of air with components.
Blow Air In or Out. This can refer to both 'cooling' and 'venting'. When spot cooling components you NEVER want to blow into a component. The main reason follows the principles in the previous section but then also blowing air in can simply thrust duct into a component... Just don't do it! You should be moving air away from components and this is normally accomplished by using a spot or component cooler. For venting applications, we typically recommend exhausting hot air and from the top of area being venting (top of the cabinet, closet...). This simply utilizes the principle of heat rising which is definitely our friend when it comes to cooling and venting! An intake is acceptable when have challenges exhausting air and is especially important if an enclosure is sealed. If not intentionally sealed then quite a bit of air can enter from around a cabinet door, from under a closet door... We simply get a lot of questions about intake and if it is required to use a fan unit for intake which usually our answer is no. Even installing a passive grill for intake is debatable.