Darkroom Cooling

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Jesse, Jun 29, 2004.

  1. Jesse

    Jesse Member

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    I am in the process of building a darkroom in a storage room that measures 5x8.. The room has no windows and only one door and no central air ducting running to it ..The short side is the enlarger bench with the long side being the wet side. Everything will be in easy reach once its finished..I would like to keep the room at about 65-68 degrees F so i dont have to use a tempering bath .Would like any ideas and suggestions that you may have on how to do this .I also dont have any running water in this room so 5 gallon containers of distilled water will be stored there and washing will be done in another room ..
     
  2. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    If you absolutely can't run a duct to the room or find a way to suck air from a cooled room nearby you may have to consider a window unit cobbled into a wall. I've done it before and you need to find the smallest btu unit you can find, which may still be too big. An oversized unit will not run long enough to dry the air and will make the darkroom damp and rust your enlarger and anything else not stainless. Having an air exchange other than the ac will help reduce the problem.
    Good luck and have fun!
     
  3. kwmullet

    kwmullet Subscriber

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    My suggestion is that it become an operational imparitive to get that room ventilated before you do more than an hour or so worth of work in there. I jumped the gun before I got my darkroom ventilated, and I would get awful hangovers for the entire next day. I'm presuming that was from mild CO2 poisoning.

    Is the space on the other side of the door air-conditioned? Is one of your walls an exterior wall? If so, I recommend you get a quote on a contractor cutting and framing a window for you, then putting up plywood where the screen would go, and mount one of these light-tight louvers in both the door and the plywood-on-the-window, but the window unit would be one with a fan built-in. Then, you'll have to find a way to power the fan. I mounted a wall switch on the plywood and ran it to an electrical outlet on the outside of the house on mine.

    Here's a link to what I bought:
    http://www.adorama.com/DKF1212.html?sid=1088603989722404

    I don't know how much it would cost to have a window put where none existed before, but I suspect it might not be as much as you think. Maybe a cheaper alternative would be to just get the louver w/fan and have someone install it directly into the wall. That'd certainly look neater, and you could mount the associated switch right on the wall next to it.

    My only problem with my setup is that my incoming air is through an A/C duct, and it isn't as filtered as I'd like. I think I'll have to put a big coffee filter or something just inside the grill and hope that doesn't cut down my airflow too much.

    -KwM-
     
  4. Shesh

    Shesh Member

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    I would be concerned more with ventilation than with the A/C. You can build in passive air circulation where you draw the air out of the room via an exhaust fan attached to the aluminium exhaust ducts designed for use with these fans. This way, you do not need a window, but just a hole big enough to lead the pipe out and attach to the typical louvered vents (around 4" diameter). On the other end of the room, you can put in another pipe of equal diameter, which would let the air in from within the house. This will ensure that the room temperature is fairly close to the temperature in the room from which you are drawing the air in. Just make sure you get the correct exhaust fan for the size of your room (in cu.sq units - lxbxh) such that all the air in the room is replaced in a reasonable amount of time. It helps if the fan is close to the wet area. Since the fan draws the air out, the chances of blowing in dust from the intake is pretty much eliminated. see the book called "Build Your Own Home Darkroom" for more information.

    I have a setup similar to this except that since the darkroom is in the basement and has a window which goes under the deck, I boarded the window and attached the exhaust fan to that.