Beat the Heat in Your Standout Designs Media Console

August 10, 2015

It is the height of summer and for many that means finding ways to beat the heat. Maybe it is a trip to the beach, an afternoon at the pool, or taking in a movie. Maybe it is simply retreating to a room with AC. In this post, we explore how to beat the heat generated by your AV gear inside your Standout Designs media console.

May We Vent a Little?

So you have this amazing receiver but your significant other insists that you hide it away. You want to keep the peace but you know that your receiver throws off A LOT of heat. Sticking it into any old cabinet just might mean its untimely demise due to heat trapped inside the cabinet. 

For a hint about the most basic strategy for combatting such heat build up, check out the top of your receiver. Just about any receiver out there will be replete with top air vents to allow heat to escape. 

Of course, we don't cut vents into the beautiful solid wood tops of our media consoles. Can you imagine the damage an accidental spill could do? We do, however, cut vents into lots of other parts.

No doubt you remember from middle school science class that heat rises. So, we add vents to the bottom of equipment enclosures to allowing cool air can to enter the space. Next, we cut vents into our adjustable wood shelves. As heat rises, it draws up the cooler air from below. Without those vents in the shelves, however, the heat would have a lot more difficulty rising. Finally, we add vents to our removable back panels. 

Location, Location, Location!

How you place your gear in your Standout media console can impact the effectiveness of this passive heat flow. There are a few things to consider. Lets start with that receiver. In many setups, the receiver is the biggest and the hottest running piece of equipment. It is also one you typically access a lot.

Often people will put their receiver on the bottom shelf, usually because the darn thing weighs so much (our shelves have no problem with components to 60 pounds). However, if you instead put that receiver on a vented shelf, leaving about 4 or 5 inches from the top of the enclosure, you might find that the heat escapes more easily. 

The recommendation about space above the receiver is really important and applies equally to placement of your shelves. Space is your friend. That's one reason our enclosures are so wide. The extra breathing room all around allows heat to better dissipate.

So remember: don't jam inside as much gear as you can physically fit. Instead, when positioning your shelves, leave space above the gear below. The more heat that a component generates the more space you should leave above it.

Also, as you plan where you will place your components inside your media console, take into consideration how much heat each component gives off in use and how frequently it is powered on. Opposites go great together inside an enclosure. So, pair that super hot-running receiver with something not as hot or frequently on.

Finally, keep all those vents unobstructed. For example, don't perfectly place that receiver on a shelf only to dump whoknowswhat below it, choking off the bottom air vents. Likewise, position the console a few inches away from the wall, so those back vents can allow the heat to escape the media console.

Hey, Cool Aid!

No, not this guy ...

This guy ...

In some cases, even after dutifully following the above recommendations, passive air flow just does not get the job done. So, we offer a super-quiet fan panel option to exhaust that hot air out of your Standout Media console. It's called the Whisper EX Fan Panel Kit. The fans automatically turn on when things warm up inside the console and off again once the heat has been exhausted and the temperature has returned to a more reasonable level.

Whisper EX panels are easy to install on Standout Designs media consoles, including Haven, Horizon, and Majestic consoles. You simply replace the wood vent cover with the fan panel and plug the AC adapter into the power source. The AC adapter can power one or two panels. Our "2-enclosure" configuration includes a power splitter so you don't take up another outlet plug.


Other ideas?

Of course we've not exhausted — pun intended — every possibility here. Feel free to share your ideas in the comments below.

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