How do you keep your A/V receiver cool? Suggestions?

Feb 19, 2009
The Woods of NY
So i've been on a A/V kick recently and gave my "home theater" a make over. I upgraded all 4 surround sound speakers and center to Definitive Technology Pro Cinema 800. I already have a Klipsch Sub-12 that hits hard, and low, but i was missing the mid range, and treble. The KLH's just could not play what i was looking for.
But my question is since i also upgraded the receiver to a newer Denon, it seems to run slightly warmer - not hot, in comparison to the pioneer receiver that was there. The Pioneer was from 2007 i believe, and pushed out about 110 watts a channel but has no HDMI. So now the pioneer is in the spare room setup and sounds fantastic with high quality speakers, and if i knew i only needed to upgrade speakers i would of done that, and kept the Pioneer as the main unit lol.
But i'm extremely happy with the Denon, and Definitive Technology setup, i'm just worried about heat. I know heat and electronics usually do not mix, and this Denon Receiver is doing alot more work then the Pioneer receiver. So i bought a USB powered laptop cooler, and have the cooler hooked up to the TV via USB so the fans come on and off with power of TV. The nice thing about the TV USB is that the power is cut after 15 mins, so even if you power the unit it off say after watching a long movie, the receiver is still being cooled down for 15 mins. I placed the laptop cooler on top of receiver to pull heat away from unit. I have no heat issues and the top is alot cooler.

Question... Is there a better way to keep the receiver cool? Can i cool the receiver too much? The reason im worried about heat is i know a few people who lost receivers, not from age, but from heat that usually kills a channel or two and causes the unit to go into protection mode, or worse yet HDMI input/output issues.

Thanks for your input :-D

Denon with laptop cooler on top.

Old KLH Speakers


spare room setup with old Pioneer receiver.
Keep it in open do not cover this is no class A amp it's not that warm let alone hot. Psst Labs than we might be talking different story you could heat a room with it.
They make cooling fans specifically designed for A/V components, but other than looking 'cooler', I doubt it's going to be that much better than your laptop cooler.

With that said, unless your receiver gets super hot and you have it sitting inside some closed off media cabinet with poor airflow with other components sitting on top of it, you should be fine even without an active cooler.

Are your new speakers lower impedance (actual, not on paper) and/or lower sensitivity? If so, they'll make your receiver run hotter because they'll ask for more power from it. I've noticed this when going from 8 Ohm to 4 Ohm speakers with low sensitivity.
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Years ago, Dish Network had a couple HD-DVR receivers that ran notoriously hot. I used a laptop cooler on it and it was able to drop the receiver's internal temperatures well in excess of 25% (the receivers had diagnostic menus with temperature readings from multiple sensors). I'm sure a laptop cooler will work fine.

Does your receiver have any built-in fans already ? Do you know if it has a designed-in airflow ? If it has nothing built-in, it will just follow "heat rises" and the top will be vented. In that case, put the cooler underneath. If the airflow is intended to go in one side and out the other, you might have to look at alternatives.
When I first hooked up my Yamaha which has twice the power as the Pioneer I was using I did notice more heat so I removed the glass door to my cabinet and that seemed to be enough. The bonus to that was the remotes I was using back then seemed to work better.
I have a 1977 Marantz 2330B that gets pretty darn hot after an hour of can smell it. It has plenty of space around it. In 2 years, zero issues.
My Pioneer Elite VSX-47TX receiver runs warm but not hot when pushed, every couple of years or when I remember I'll pull the top cover and blow out the dust that builds up inside. This receiver is old, need to upgrade. :)
Just have plenty of room on top, around, and in back. I keep the cabinet doors open when in use. The Xbox below is a good example of what not to do with the Blu-ray on top lol
In the summer time I have a small 6" type fan that I set behind my receivers and my home computer to push air to help with cooling. I've never had a issue. I do dust them off routinely. Airflow is critical.