The cooling of AV receivers is extremely important. An AV receiver is the control center of a home theater. Auditory and visual signals are processed through it.
This powerful product requires appropriate cooling for maximum longevity and functionality, because otherwise the device will become too warm. In the worst case, the device overheats and can no longer be used.
As a consequence, the device is in danger of total loss, which is not only annoying, but also expensive. Because this case can be avoided. In order not to let this quite realistic case occur, some considerations should be made. The ventilation measures serve as a prophylaxis before the device is defective.
For a better understanding serve the background information. In addition to concrete tips with easy implementation, there is also a presentation of selected products from AC Infinity, which help to effectively protect the components of home theater systems from overheating in a demonstrable way.
The scope of this treatise is more than 3000 words: concrete products to contain heat development are found mainly at the beginning of the treatise. The understanding of the condition and all possible solutions can be found after the initial product presentation.
Cooling of an AV receiver
Presentation of selected products from AC Infinity
Products from AC Infinity for AV components
The manufacturer AC Infinity* offers a wide range of products for different home theater systems to counteract the current problem of temperature within these devices.
❶ AC Infinity MULTIFAN S5
The AC Infinity MULTIFAN S5 brand has been designed to solve the temperature problems in modems, receivers or routers, for example. The setting options of the device allow situational solutions. Four different options are available to the user for this purpose.
The fans can be used standing up or lying down. Furthermore, power is supplied via the USB interface, which is preferably located on the rear of the AV receiver.
Thanks to a 1.8 m long power cable, the fans can be used variably. In addition, each unit has another USB port, allowing multiple units to be connected via just one power source.
❷ AC Infinity AIRCOM T10
The fan system* in a sleek design has six different speed settings. The intelligent cooling system takes effect depending on previously set programming. The low height of 3.8 cm ensures application possibilities even in tight racks.
In addition, the robust housing can withstand a weight of 13 kg. Integrated silicone holders of the airborne PWM-controlled motors absorb vibrations.
This video from Audio Advisor discusses AC Infinity’s cooling system in the form of a review.
❸ AC Infinity AIRPLATE T7
The cooling system with a high-quality appearance is characterized by a low noise level. The control of the thermostat can be programmed individually. In addition, the power is supplied via a regular power connection. Particularly convenient is the possibility of connecting additional units to the device.
❹ AC Infinity cloudplate t7-n
The cloudplate t7-n can be used to cool technical components within a rack. The programmable thermostat controls the speed of the fans. Here, the noise level ranges from 10 to 36 decibels.
Bestsellers – Products from AC Infinity
Below is the top 10 best-selling AC Infinity products from Amazon. The operation of these components is based on two basic distinctions:
➀ On the one hand, the AV receiver can be placed on a cooling platform with fans, whose footprint is the same as the AVR. As a result, cooling takes place underneath the device.
➁ On the other hand, fans can cool the device from overheating by supplying air from the side. These can either be specifically installed in the rack or flexibly placed around the AV receiver as required.
Causes of overheating inside an AV receiver
Wrong impedance between AV receiver and speakers
Impedance refers to the AC resistance. If this is not in harmony between AV receiver and speakers, then problems can occur. Sometimes you can find a specification in ohms in the product description of AV receivers.
This represents the unit of measurement for the resistance, the impedance. The size of the impedance correlates with the required power. For example, speakers with a resistance of 5 ohms require an AVR with at least 5 ohms resistance, so that no loss of performance occurs.
High outdoor temperature e.g. in summerNot only can summer be an extreme situation for people, but also for electrical devices. In general, electronic devices should be provided with sufficient cooling. For example, lithium-ion batteries should not be exposed to too high a temperature.
These are installed in almost all common electrical devices. In summer, people should avoid the midday sun and, if possible, postpone physical exertion to the morning or evening. Similarly, midsummer temperatures put an additional strain on an AV receiver.
An AV receiver, which would be operated at midday in a badly air-conditioned room and also stands in the midday sun, represents no question a hypothetical negative example. Overheating is pre-programmed here.
Inadequate cooling system of the device itself
Some models have a higher operating temperature than others. You could also clearly say some devices have a better cooling system integrated. Product reviews of the affected model can provide information about this.
On the one hand, clogged vents can be caused by dust or impurities. On the other hand, the reasons may be the tightly enclosed furniture in which it is located. The latter is more common than the former.
For example, a rack that is too small can ensure that not enough air can get into the device through the openings provided for it.
Countermeasures for overheating inside an AV receiver
Free standing operation of the product
The best place to avoid temperature development and overheating is to operate the device freely.
Free ventilation openings
Ventilation openings must be kept free, otherwise they will not be able to do their job. They are designed for ventilation.
No permanent use of all power amplifiers
Temperature development can also be related to the number of power amplifiers, so that a lot of heat is produced when many power amplifiers are in use.
Regular measurement of temperature
Measuring the temperature makes it possible to make objective statements about the level of temperature.
What happens if the device gets too hot?
For this case, a circuit breaker is built into the multifunctional devices to prevent damage to the internal components. Certain circumstances can activate this circuit breaker. This happens, for example, in the event of various defects or if there is a risk of overheating.
Either a red glowing LED light provides information about this or a word appears on the display, which implies the activated protective circuit of the device.
Due to the fact that this feature is mainly integrated in newer models, there is a possibility that such a device is missing in older models. It is recommended to take a look at the user manual here. Capacitors can dry out, which is fatal because it is a key element of the AV receiver.
Capacitors serve to store or also compensate electrical charge. In times of too low voltage, these components represent a kind of emergency generator, which provides the requested voltage, should it not be available at that moment.
The enemy of capacitors is above all the sun, which is why a shady place is preferable. Of great importance is the question whether the device has only become too hot once, or whether it is permanently too hot. At times of maximum load, a device can have a higher temperature than during the average application time.
What should be done if the device has become too hot?
If the super-GAU has occurred, the following should be done: If there is a warranty claim, the best thing to do is to contact the manufacturer. If the device was bought in a retail store, you can also contact the retailer.
Under certain circumstances, there may be a defect other than overheating. It is also possible that only the most heat-resistant components were destroyed. Thus, the device could be put back into operation after replacing them.
Difference between active and passive cooling
What is active cooling?
An active cooling system transports the heat energy away by means of a fan or a pump. The most common variants of active cooling are fans.
What is passive cooling?
Passive cooling dissipates heat energy via components designed for this purpose. Cooling fins or radiators realize this technically.
Solution strategy for cooling an AV receiver
The following overview serves to show cooling options. The possibilities of cooling depend on the individual place of use of the AV receiver. The following illustration goes into the possibilities in great detail and completely.
Improvement of ventilation by external ventilation systems as an example of a ready-made solution.
What is a roller fan?
The ventilation slots of a roller fan ensure that air is blown out of the air outlet. Fans inside the unit generate the circulation of the air. In the second step, the air escapes from the rectangular outlet.
What is an axial fan?
“Axial” means something like “along the axis” or “axial”. This adjective refers to the course of the axis of rotation to the air flow. This form of fan is widely used. The air moving through it resembles that of the airflow of airplanes.
What is a notebook cooler?
Notebook coolers can provide a remedy for the temperature problem of an AV receiver. By design, these fans are used to cool notebooks or laptops. These coolers are located under the device to be cooled, classically a notebook. This is simply placed on top of the cooler.
In the fan are several fans, which can ensure effective cooling with up to 2000 revolutions per minute. What works for laptops and notebooks can in principle also be used for game consoles or AV receivers. For example, this form could be used at maximum capacity times of the AV receiver.
What is a USB table fan?
Also a temporary solution can be a USB fan or also called USB table fan. A USB table fan is characterized by its flexible usability. Batteries and power socket are obsolete because of the power supply via the USB interface. An attached protective grille in front of the fan ensures appropriate safety.
USB table fans are also available in full metal constructions, which ensure a certain robustness of the fan. Often it can be freely adjusted in its inclination. Recommendation: Such a utensil is of course not a permanent solution. Especially on warm days, a USB table fan can be a temporary solution.
Tips for a good fan
High RPM: The higher the RPM, the more effective the fan. This is because the effectiveness of cooling depends heavily on the circulation of the airflow. An air flow rate is a measure of the airflow generated by a fan. In general, the specification in cubic meters per hour is used in the European region.
What does decibel mean?
Decibel refers to a unit of measurement from acoustics. “Decibel” stands for one tenth. The more decibels, the higher the volume. Objects or events from everyday life serve as reference points on the decibel scale. For example, normal conversation takes place at 60 decibels, whereas a hair dryer is already at 90 dB.
In contrast, an airplane turbine produces a volume of 130 dB. Whispering is at something like 30 dB. The less dB a fan has, the more the home theater can be enjoyed.
Also, the seating position in relation to the AV receiver must be considered. Sitting far away from the AV receiver opens up the possibility of using more powerful fans with more revolutions, etc.
Installation of ventilation systems
Directing airflow into the AV receiver
Air currents, which are blown directly into the device, can sensitively disturb the AV receiver’s ventilation. As a result, this modification can tend to have the opposite effect, and the temperature of the device will rise even more. As a result, these methods can sensitively disturb the internal thermals.
Under certain circumstances, this procedure can lead to the creation of “hotspots”. These are points within the unit where excessive heat can accumulate. It is therefore always better to blow a stream of air over the device rather than into it.
Directing airflow around the AV receiver
One way to do this is to blow a stream of air around the device.
Suck hot air out of the device
Another option is to put a special ventilation device on the unit. This allows it to suck hot air out of the device. Especially if the AV receiver is located inside a rack, a cabinet or something similar, this method is a good choice.
Improvement of ventilation without external ventilation systems
Measures with little effort
Away from the listed ventilation systems, there are very good tricks with practical benefits that are almost free. For example, the be-all and end-all for preventing overheating is functioning ventilation. This means that the ventilation openings must be free. These are the device’s internal mechanism of dissipating warm air to the environment.
A simple way to avoid overheating is to place the AV receiver on small wooden slats, left and right under the unit, so that the distance between the unit and the floor is large enough for the air to escape better.
Position in the room
It is also important to make sure that an AV receiver can dissipate enough warm air. It is also advisable that the device has sufficient air on all sides. If the device can stand freely in the room, it can better dissipate the heat to the surrounding space. This is because congested heat can inevitably raise the temperature.
Outside temperature as an influencing factor
The outside temperature is also an influencing factor on the temperature of the AV receiver. This is the case for all electrical devices. Conversely, this means that AV receivers and the like tend to overheat less in winter. If there is a choice between a home theater in the attic or basement, the latter should be preferred for temperature reasons.
Measures with increased effort
Modifying the furniture
Making an opening in the floor under the AV receiver can allow additional air into the unit. This allows the receiver to draw in even more air, which reduces the temperature. For housing AV receivers, there are so-called racks.
What is a rack?
A rack, as a place of accommodation for elements of a stereo system, can also cause a temperature buildup. In this case, it is recommended to install openings in the rack. Even better is to use a rack without a back panel.
When it comes to openings, not less is more, but as much as possible is the minimum. Each additional opening lowers the probability of overheating.
For those who value exclusive design coupled with high functionality, AC-Infinity’s component cooling systems are highly recommended. This innovative technology is dedicated to combating overheating problems with AV components in home theaters.
These devices do not directly interfere with internal air circulation, and rather cool the AV receiver by providing a steady flow of air around the unit by circulating heat to the outside.
What is a lowboard?
The holding device in the form of a rack is not one of the preferred places for a 4K AV receiver. Usually, the home theater equipment is located in a more or less closed lowboard, in which many components can be stored. Here, you should at least pay attention to a half-open cabinet front when buying, so that the accumulated heat can escape.
How much space should a receiver have in the rack or lowboard?
Most often it is the case that the lowboard or TV wall is purchased first, and then equipment is added little by little. Better is the variant to adapt the purchase of the piece of furniture to the presence of the technical components. If you go this route, you don’t have to try to fit an AV receiver into the designated compartment with a few millimeters of tolerance.
What might work for books, which take up all the space inside a compartment, is far too tight for the AVR. There should be at least 10 cm to each side to be on the safe side, if not even 15 cm or 20 cm. However, the values given in an instruction manual are not always practicable to implement.
What should be considered when buying?
Already at the time of purchase, pay attention to the sufficient ventilation. The optimal device contains a perforated tube plate to draw in sufficient cold air. In addition, the later place of use plays an important role. It is best if there is enough space around the receiver so that the heat produced can escape optimally.
Opening the AV receiver (Not recommended)
It is recommended not to unscrew the AV receiver if possible, because this can void the warranty. Due to the fact that such a procedure can destroy more than help, opening the device should be the very last option.
Experts can theoretically replace the existing base with a perforated tube plate. However, this is a difficult operation, which can certainly cause more harm than good.
When buying, one has decided on a certain device. Such brute measures damage the look of the device. In addition, the device loses its warranty claim and a private sale of it can be forgotten.
Additional cooling of AV receivers
An optimal cooling does not have to cost much. In some circumstances, it can even be completely free of charge and can be realized with little effort. Because even minor modifications can reduce the likelihood of overheating.
The basic prerequisite for sufficient cooling of a receiver is its more or less free position in the rack or on the sideboard. A very good measure is to operate the device free-standing on two wooden slats.
The tendency is that the cooler the device runs, the longer it can be used. You have to decide whether to use ready-made solutions or to build your own. Depending on how professionally the AV receiver is operated, a mix of options is also possible.
First, free measures can already lower the temperature, thus eliminating the extra costs due to additional technology. Second can be an option to include free measures and additional technology. Thirdly, one installs external ventilation systems, which are more or less expensive depending on their nature.
Furthermore, Sony’s AV receiver model stands out within the comparison overview of 10 good AV receivers due to the special focus on hardware for cooling. This article is continuously updated.