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#1663873 - 04/21/04 06:36 AM Air Conditioning in vocal booth and control room?
david5858 Offline

Registered: 12/05/01
Posts: 17
I've heard from some HVAC people that it is possible to put a standard room air conditioner in an attic window and duct the cool air to another part of the building, thus leaving the noise of the A/C unit in the attic where it surely belongs and the cool air in your studio where it belongs for a fraction of the cost of a central air unit. You would route a small amount of the cool air to the air conditioers thermostat using a small duct line and then fine tune that until you get a comfortable studio temperature. Sounds good in theory yes, but several HVAC people have said it will work provided your duct work (whats coming in and whats going out) is of the correct size.
Does anyone know of anyone who has done this and what kind of results thev've had?
Or... has anyone heard of any successful alternatives to central air units?? (I just don't have the money these days)


#1663874 - 04/21/04 10:58 AM Re: Air Conditioning in vocal booth and control room?
miroslav Offline
Cosmic Cowboy
10k Club

Registered: 05/23/00
Posts: 14215
Loc: NY Hudson Valley, USA
I don't think you will get much cooling out of it if the duct is more than a few feet long. need to be able to exhaust/re-circulate the cool air...that is why all central units have a return air duct somewhere...and even the window units pull air back...
..otherwise, you can expect to have serious condensation when ever the AC is running a bit longer, and when it is a bit warmer.

Here are some proper alternatives to a full-tilt central air system that mihght work for you:

Split Air Conditioning systems

And check out this thread for more info:

Garage Studio Air Conditioning options
miroslav -

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

#1663875 - 04/21/04 12:03 PM Re: Air Conditioning in vocal booth and control room?
Bill@Welcome Home Studios Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/23/03
Posts: 9613
If you have forced air heating, adding full air conditioning is cheap.

The big deal is the duct work and the duct size.

I used a flexible, insulated duct, with many convolutions... 25 feet of duct to go less than 10 feet. This helps to defeat the system noise, blower noise, etc.

The duct should be oversized, because air velocity equates to noise.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

Steve Martin

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

#1663876 - 04/22/04 02:56 AM Re: Air Conditioning in vocal booth and control room?
Jazzman Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 08/15/01
Posts: 1424
Loc: Commerce Twp, MI,USA
Cool air falls and hot air rises.

If the AC unit is above the studio then ducting it through insulated flexible ductwork will do the trick to the ceiling space where the hotter air is. The insulated ducting will reduce condensation, and reduce noise.

Rember that noise will be reduced for every change in direction of the duct.

You must be certian that the air velocity comming out of the diffuser is a couple of hundred feet/min. to reduce air noise across the grill. Have an adjustible volume damper installed upstream of the register. Dampers create noise. The damper upstream will do the job of controlling the required air volume to the space, without creating the noise at the diffuser.

An in-line silencer can also be purchased and installed near the fan (for central type systems)to reduce unwanted fan noise, but the duct will need to be expanded at that point to reduce pressure drop across the silencer.

If you use metal ductwork, installing hard fiberglass insulation (glued to the inner walls)inside the duct will also reduce fan noise. A lot of comercial office buildings do this. Usually they place this insulating board in all changes of duct direction and at "Tee" connections.

Hope this helps a little.


#1663877 - 04/22/04 05:37 AM Re: Air Conditioning in vocal booth and control room?
Emperator Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 402
I once used a standard air conditioning unit. It was in the window of a large warehouse (14 feet tall) that was above the control room (8 feet tall). It didn't actually couple to the ceiling of the control room it just happened to be above the control room by a few inches. Anyway I adapted a duct I made out of 2" Rmax. Think the same width of the front of the airconditoning unit. Kind of a 2 level split design. The bottom 2/3rds that exhausts and balances out the room air and the top 1/3rd that sends out the cool air. Of course the main heat exhausting from the air conditionng unit out the back through the window to the outside.

Anyway I made it port air into the far end at the top of the room and exhaust out at the the end of the room by the airconditiong unit since that is how the layout of standard airconditing unit is built.
Using RMax I built it like a long rectangular tube sloping from the airconditioning unit front. Making it with a divider inside for the first few feet as it takes the room exhaust out to the bottom front of the air conditioning unit. The upper 1/3 with the cool air proceeds across the roof to the other end of the top of the roof. It's a little hard to explain but if you think about the layout of a standard air conditioning unit (looking at the front side) it will make sense. Just make sure that you don't couple the airconditioning unit itself with anything physical of the vocal booth. ie. walls, ceiling. The Rmax Duct work was about 20” wide (like the airconditioning unit). The RMax duct I used foil tape on all seams inside and out. Caulking where it touched across the ceiling.

Worked great in a very, very hot warehouse. Really didn't lose any cooling power. I ran the power chord from the air condition unit down into the room and use an on / off power switch. I had it set for full cool because all the controls were covered up by the RMax adaption to the front of the airconditioning unit (the tedious exact measurements part) .

Tedious in detail, but where there's a will there's a way. My cost at the time was minimal because a friend just gave me the air conditioning unit. So caulking, Rmax, foil tape, etc.

You could here it when it was on but it was not very loud at all. You could probably build folds into the duct that would have gotten it even quieter. It really wasn’t very loud just air movement sound not direct airconditioner noise.

Also since a vocal booth is small and well insulated it doesn't take much to cool. Using an average height of 8 ft. The formula I see advertised by air conditioning companies is sqare feet times 30 = necessary BTU's.

For example my current vocal booth is 6 x 9 = 54. 54 x 30 =1620.
As you can see it doesn’t take much for a vocal booth.

Maybe some modification of this concept will work for someone needing to do this on the cheap.