What can I do to use this heating vent under my 7" record collection?
October 27, 2013 10:31 AM   Subscribe

We live in a house with central heating. There are floor vents all around the place. It sounds awesome, but we haven't been willing to turn the heat on just yet because one of the vents is right under one of my record shelves. How can we have a hot room but not melt my hot tunes?

This is how it looks here and here.

We can't really move the records because there's nowhere else in the room to put them and I'd like them in the room with the turntable. Is there something we could put on the underside of the shelves to deflect the heat back into the room? Should we just shut off that one particular vent? Help me MeFi! I really don't want to do something stupid and destroy my 7"s.
posted by kendrak to Home & Garden (14 answers total)
This is what immediately came to mind: Extend A Vent Register Deflector.

You might be able to put something insulating along the top of it if it still got too hot.
posted by HermitDog at 10:36 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Close the vent. Even if you managed to fit a deflector to the vent (which would require moving the lowest shelf up), you'd still subject the vinyl to a fair bit of heat. Check once you close the vent and turn on the heat that it is fully closed!
posted by ssg at 10:37 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Just shut off that one vent. You'll have to (temporarily) move the shelving to get to the vent, but there should be a little thing to turn the vents completely off. If you don't think the vent's shut all the way, you can either buy a vent cover, or just stuff some cardboard or something over the vent for extra air-blocking.
posted by csox at 10:38 AM on October 27, 2013

Best answer: Agreeing with most that you need to shut off that one vent entirely, and not just try to deflect the heat from it. Even deflecting it will subject the vinyl to heat, as ssg says. I would also put something insulating over the closed vent as well, to try to block any residual warmth that might be there from the heating system.
posted by gudrun at 10:57 AM on October 27, 2013

I would raise the shelf a bit (perhaps by putting it up on some bricks or blocks) and then either close the vent or deflect it with something like these air deflectors.
posted by needs more cowbell at 10:59 AM on October 27, 2013

I've used register deflectors and they don't work well. They don't stay put, and even when they're place just right they don't deflect all the heat. Best to just close it off.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:11 PM on October 27, 2013

sheet of 1.5'/2' (what will fit) rigid insulation cut to fit on the shelf under the records. "Giftwrap" and staple it in with cloth of some sort for appearance sake. That should take care of the shelf itself getting to warm. Tape a flat piece of cardboard under the shelf unit above the sticking out a few inches to deflect the heat from flowing directly up.

At least that's what I'd do.
posted by edgeways at 1:40 PM on October 27, 2013

Just closing the vent isn't going to be enough, you need to seal the vent better than the register baffles provide. You can buy an aluminum self adhesive metal tape that is heat proof and easy to use. Either tape the bottom of the register or tape over the hole with the tape and then cover the register with something like a bathmat, throw rug or piece of plywood to impede radiant transfer. Place a tub of margarine on the bottom shelf when the heat is blowing; if the margarine melts you'll know that's not sufficient precaution.
posted by Mitheral at 1:44 PM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

One other idea not yet mentioned is to use something like the extend-a-vent to channel the hot air up behind the shelving so it blows into the room over the top of the shelving unit. But sealing it up per Mitheral's method is probably easiest as long as you have plenty of heat from the other vents.
posted by beagle at 2:28 PM on October 27, 2013

Even a closed vent will let some heat through, so close the vent, use a deflector, and use some bubblewrap and mylar to insulate the bottom of the shelf.
posted by theora55 at 5:17 PM on October 27, 2013

With the setup you have now, you're going to have to put the shelving up on some sort of blocks to insulate the bottom of the shelf as well as fit the deflector under there.

Is there anyway you could get a different set of shelves with a higher foot, and then don't put records on the bottom shelf?

The whole setup is really sub-optimal. My BIL has an extensive record collection, and shelving set up like this would make him furious.
posted by BlueHorse at 10:51 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

You might also be able to solve the problem at the source. My home has individual ducts coming from the furnace leading to each room of the house. On each duct is a balancing damper, which is used to equalize the volume of air flowing to each room (rooms further away/on higher stories have more duct to travel through, thus need more pressure). If your system is similar, you may be able to simply close that damper at the furnace. This may then require rebalancing the rest of the rooms (which should probably be done regardless of how you close off this vent).
posted by JJtheJetPlane at 7:22 AM on October 28, 2013

Of course any action that involves reducing/eliminating heat to the room may not exactly fit your definition of a "solution". Depending on the size of the room/frequency of use, a small space heater may be an option.
posted by JJtheJetPlane at 7:25 AM on October 28, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks everybody! We'll just close off the vent. I might be able to move the shelves over to the side, but I don't think that will provide enough clearance.

Another thought we had was something to insulate the bottom shelf, but that probably won't be effective.

(And yeah... I know the records aren't perfectly aligned. I've been swamped with a huge filing project. I will clean that up this week.)
posted by kendrak at 11:57 AM on October 28, 2013

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