Projector doubles as space heater. Anything I can do?
June 7, 2014 9:52 AM   Subscribe

My new projector, an Epson EX5220 blows super-hot air right where I am standing when I do presentations. Anything I can do?

My ancient BENQ MP510 projector died recently. I bought a new projector, an Epson EX5220, on sale at a local Staples here in Toronto. The new projector is way better than the old one, and great in every way except for this hot air problem.

I mostly use the projector to do presentations when I do training courses, in a variety of different rooms. Usually, this means just getting whatever table is available in the room, and plopping the projector onto it.

Compared to the old projector: The new projector gets really hot, and blows out really hot air. Worse, it blows the air out the front of the projector, which often is right where I need to be standing (picture a setup sort of like this. ). The old projector blew air out the side, which was a lot easier to avoid. This is kind of a problem: I get pretty warm as it is, standing in front of a room full of people, walking around, etc, etc. Having something blowing super-hot air on my when I'm trying to be calm and cool does not help.

I wonder if there's anything I can do? A few q's:

- Is there some magic or ingenious way I can re-direct the hot air from the projector so it does not blow right at me?

- As projectors get better, do they also run hotter? That is: If I swap this projector for another one, will the other one also likely run super-hot?

- Are there ways others have dealt with this problem?

Maybe there's some way I can arrange things so I never have to stand where the hot air is blowing. But that seems like sort of the natural place for me to be, at least a good part of the time.
posted by ManInSuit to Technology (6 answers total)
Based on a picture of the Epson EX5220 the exhaust is a certain distance from the lens, couldn't you place something a little ways in front of the exhaust to block the forward movement of hot air? Any pyramidal or wedge shaped object heavy enough not to blow away would divert the hot air up or to the sides instead of forward.

LED projectors should run cooler.
posted by pseudonick at 10:57 AM on June 7, 2014

The manual for your projector states "Do not block the slots and openings in the projector case. They provide ventilation and prevent the projector from overheating. ... Do not cover the projector with a blanket, curtain, or tablecloth. If you are setting up the projector near a wall, leave at least 7.9 inches (20 cm) of space between the wall and the air exhaust vent."

You really don't want to restrict the airflow because overheating can cause a delay in your presentation before you can cooldown the projector enough to restart it generally. That being said, I wouldn't see a problem with setting up a redirect on the vent that is simply just a little propped up piece of wood that comes off at a 45 degree angle to the front of the projector. That should send the airflow sideways.

Make two small right triangles out of wood with two of the sides about the same size as the width of the exhaust vent. Join the hypotenuses with a flat piece of wood that is the same length as the height of the exhaust vent.

Set this on its side (triangle as the base) in front of the exhaust vent redirecting the air to the side. You can weight the triangle its sitting on with something thin and heavy if necessary. Just make sure it's not right up against the projector because it will slow down the airflow coming out some.
posted by Roger Dodger at 11:01 AM on June 7, 2014

If there is an eco mode you can try to switch to it. The fan may run slower, the exhaust may be cooler but the bulb will be dimmer.
posted by jmsta at 11:24 AM on June 7, 2014

Make a small deflector out of cardboard and gaff/duct tape, with little tabs that you can attach Velcro fasteners. Leave enough room at the joints to allow for folding flat when not in use, so you can slip it in your regular projector case.
posted by a halcyon day at 11:32 AM on June 7, 2014

Another option you might try is to buy a short length of collapsible dryer ducting at a hardware store and then tape that onto the projector vent with gaffer tape. Then you can aim the other end of the duct wherever you want (might have to tape it down to keep it from moving though). It won't look pretty, but since it's collapsible, you might not even have to take it off when you pack it up. Just make sure the duct is wider around than the vent, otherwise you may shorten the life of the projector bulb as it won't be able to cool effectively.
posted by Aleyn at 12:04 PM on June 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

As mentioned, quick and dirty would be a deflector, ideally set some distance away.
A menu holder might be a convenient portable base, maybe attached to a larger object (book, plate, etc.) to keep it upright in the balmy projector breeze.

Not as quick, dirtier:
Depending on where the fan is (and whether you want to reduce the resale value of the projector to $20), you might just let the air out somewhere else.
So.. pop a bunch of holes in the side and cover the front (lovely illustration)
The choice to not have the grill wrap around the corner is probably mostly an aesthetic decision; see this other model.

You could use a battery powered fan to augment any of these options. Heck, you might be able to even use one that runs off the USB A port on the projector.
posted by Jack Karaoke at 11:48 PM on June 7, 2014

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