cabinet fan question

mobydick01

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 13, 2011
44
0
This is a stupid question, I'm sure.

Setup: Mac Pro, Mac Mini, and two 5-bay enclosures in an old TV cabinet/armoire in my basement. The basement has heat and A/C, but can get a warmer/colder than the rest of the house depending on the season. Right now all the doors to the TV cabinet are open, but I want to install some fans in the cabinet and close the doors.

Question: How should the airflow work in the cabinets? I mean, should the fans blow air into or out of the cabinet? Or should I have one fan blowing in and one blowing out?

Thanks...

P.S. - Looking at these... seem to be good value and not too unattractive.
 

waw74

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2008
3,205
207
http://www.coolerguys.com/cabinetfaq.html

Should I blow air in or exhaust air out of my cabinet?

If you have a large cabinet with a lot of components it’s good to do both; blow air in the lower part of the cabinet and exhaust air out the top part of the cabinet. If you only do one it’s preferable to exhaust the hot air out the upper back or top part of the cabinet, exhausting out the sides is Ok as well as long as it’s in the top part of the cabinet. For intake air generally the gap around the front cabinet door is enough to allow sufficient air in. If you do want to add intake holes the best location is the front bottom part of the cabinet. If you have shelves in the cabinet you need to make sure there is way for the air to move between the shelves; having a gap between the back of the shelve and the cabinet is OK, but it is preferable to add ventilation holes in the center of the shelves; usually a couple of 2-3 inch diameter holes is sufficient.v
 

ritmomundo

macrumors 68000
Jan 12, 2011
1,813
217
Los Angeles, CA
I bought some component fans from here for use in my cabinets, due to the overheating problem as well. These fans sit inside the cabinet under or over your electronics. This brand is a bit pricier than others, but my fans are still going strong after 6-7 years.
 

JoeBlow74

macrumors regular
Aug 2, 2012
218
8
This is a stupid question, I'm sure.

Setup: Mac Pro, Mac Mini, and two 5-bay enclosures in an old TV cabinet/armoire in my basement. The basement has heat and A/C, but can get a warmer/colder than the rest of the house depending on the season. Right now all the doors to the TV cabinet are open, but I want to install some fans in the cabinet and close the doors.

Question: How should the airflow work in the cabinets? I mean, should the fans blow air into or out of the cabinet? Or should I have one fan blowing in and one blowing out?

Thanks...

P.S. - Looking at these... seem to be good value and not too unattractive.

Cabinet fans should suck hot air out of the cabinet for proper cooling. If you blow air in the cabinet, you are adding heat to an already hot space. I suggest that you just make some vent holes in the cabinet on all sides and forget the fans. You need to make a lot of holes to allow proper cooling. They do not have to be big, just a lot of them. My new Salamandar Synergy quad has the extended backs with slits along with wire mesh doors. I have everything inside the cabinet, including my fat PS3, and all my componants stay cool. I was thinking about adding the thermostatically controlled exhaust fans, but the guy told me thay are loud and I would not like them. I am glad I chose not to get the fans.
 

IlikeMacsSoMuch

macrumors 6502
Dec 30, 2009
346
2
Blainville, Province of Quebec
Cabinet fans should suck hot air out of the cabinet for proper cooling. If you blow air in the cabinet, you are adding heat to an already hot space. I suggest that you just make some vent holes in the cabinet on all sides and forget the fans. You need to make a lot of holes to allow proper cooling. They do not have to be big, just a lot of them. My new Salamandar Synergy quad has the extended backs with slits along with wire mesh doors. I have everything inside the cabinet, including my fat PS3, and all my componants stay cool. I was thinking about adding the thermostatically controlled exhaust fans, but the guy told me thay are loud and I would not like them. I am glad I chose not to get the fans.

You gotta be careful here, if all you do is getting the air out, no fresher air will come in.

A cabinet needs some fans to bring fresher air in and some fans to get the hot air out. It creates an air flow that will keep the equipment cooler.

As for noise, there are bigger fans with lower rpm that will get the job done. A thermostat would help but I prefer keeping the fan running, so the temps always stay low.

This is not my set up because my machines are located on top of my AC air vent, so no need!
 

waw74

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2008
3,205
207
You gotta be careful here, if all you do is getting the air out, no fresher air will come in.

A cabinet needs some fans to bring fresher air in and some fans to get the hot air out. It creates an air flow that will keep the equipment cooler.
From the article i posted.
For intake air generally the gap around the front cabinet door is enough to allow sufficient air in. If you do want to add intake holes the best location is the front bottom part of the cabinet.
the fan doesn't make air. it's pulling air out of the cabinet, that air has to come from somewhere, as air is removed, new air will find a way in to replace it. otherwise, you will create a vaccum chamber and your cabinet might emplode :eek: as particle board really isn't up to that challenge.

It works pretty much the same way that you don't have to have someone blow on the top of your drink when you're using a straw.
 

IlikeMacsSoMuch

macrumors 6502
Dec 30, 2009
346
2
Blainville, Province of Quebec
From the article i posted.


the fan doesn't make air. it's pulling air out of the cabinet, that air has to come from somewhere, as air is removed, new air will find a way in to replace it. otherwise, you will create a vaccum chamber and your cabinet might emplode :eek: as particle board really isn't up to that challenge.

It works pretty much the same way that you don't have to have someone blow on the top of your drink when you're using a straw.
Agreed but a fan blowing cool air inside will increase the air flow, a lot of computer tower are made that way.

The cabinet might implode? Sh..t man put the rotor back on the shopper!

----------




This is a stupid question, I'm sure.

Setup: Mac Pro, Mac Mini, and two 5-bay enclosures in an old TV cabinet/armoire in my basement. The basement has heat and A/C, but can get a warmer/colder than the rest of the house depending on the season. Right now all the doors to the TV cabinet are open, but I want to install some fans in the cabinet and close the doors.

Question: How should the airflow work in the cabinets? I mean, should the fans blow air into or out of the cabinet? Or should I have one fan blowing in and one blowing out?

Thanks...

P.S. - Looking at these... seem to be good value and not too unattractive.


There is no stupid question ( well I'm pretty sure there are but yours isn't one of those)
 

NorCalLights

macrumors 6502a
Apr 24, 2006
591
75
From the article i posted.
Also from the article you posted:

Should I blow air in or exhaust air out of my cabinet?

If you have a large cabinet with a lot of components it’s good to do both; blow air in the lower part of the cabinet and exhaust air out the top part of the cabinet.
This is what I do in my TV stand (TiVo, AppleTV, Airport Extreme, gigabit switch, Slingbox, Skype phone base station... probably some things I'm forgetting). It used to be over 100°F in there on a summer day, but now it's down around 80°F