Just about everyone loves the smell of hot buttered popcorn on movie nights. The smell might be a bit less enjoyable, though, if your last movie night was several days ago. Owning a home theater is great fun, but maintaining one isn’t always easy. That’s especially the case when it comes to keeping your home theater smelling nice because smells are always difficult to control in an enclosed environment.
A great home theater is a major investment, and you want to do everything you can to ensure that it remains a great place to spend your time. A major part of that is making sure that you always like the way the environment smells, and that’s going to require a bit of effort.
The right strategy for keeping unwanted smells out of your home theater can vary a little depending on the theater’s layout and the specific challenges you face. Once you’ve done the initial work, though, maintenance becomes much easier. Here’s how to keep your home theater smelling nice in six easy steps.
Improve the Air Circulation
Improving the air circulation in your home theater is the most important thing that you can do to keep the environment smelling as good as it can; you need to push the stale air out and replace it with fresh air as efficiently as possible. This is often a major issue because your home theater is probably situated centrally in your home in order to control ambient light. If your home has central air conditioning, ensure maximum airflow by replacing the filters regularly. It’s also important to clean the coils periodically.
If your home doesn’t already have central air conditioning, it might be impractical or impossible for you to add the necessary ductwork. In that case, you can improve the air circulation in your home theater by placing fans at opposite ends of the room. Use one fan for intake and another for exhaust.
Get an Air Purifier
Does your home theater already have good air circulation? In that case, you’re ready to move on to the next tip. One of the best ways to improve the smell in any enclosed space is by using an air purifier. Skip the inexpensive ionizers in your local big box stores, though, because they don’t really work. They also contribute to potentially harmful indoor ozone levels. What you really need is an air purifier that cleans the air by filtering it.
A filter-based air purifier uses a fan to force the surrounding air through a series of filters that remove increasingly fine particles to reduce allergens and control odors. The filter stages usually consist of a coarse filter that removes dust and hair and a HEPA filter that removes smaller particles such as pet dander and pollen. It’s also common for an air purifier to include an activated charcoal stage that absorbs airborne odor-causing molecules. A good air purifier can greatly improve the way a small space smells. It’s even possible to find a whole-home air purifier that connects directly to your air conditioning system.
Don’t Allow Smoking
You’re already very aware of the fact that smoking in any enclosed space is going to make that space smell pretty bad after a while. Even if you’re a smoker yourself, it’s highly likely that you don’t smoke in your home theater and don’t allow others to do so either. Even if people in your film viewing group go outside to smoke, though, they’re still going to smell like cigarettes when they come back inside. Eventually, that smell is going to permeate your home theater’s furniture. Once that happens, you won’t be able to do much about it.
Consider adding some vape juice or disposable vapes to your home theater’s snack selection. If you encourage people to vape or use other alternative nicotine products instead of smoking, it’ll go a long way toward keeping your expensive home theater furniture smelling nice.
Place Activated Charcoal Under the Seats
Earlier in this article, we mentioned the fact that using an air filter with an activated charcoal stage is a great way to improve the smell in an enclosed space. High-quality air filters aren’t cheap, though, and it’s possible that an air filter isn’t in the budget for you right now. If that’s the case, try placing bags of activated charcoal under your home theater’s seats instead. They’re inexpensive, and they’re available at your local home improvement store.
Activated charcoal has a high surface area and is extremely porous. As air passes through the bag, the charcoal absorbs molecules that cause undesirable odors. Note that in order for the charcoal to do its job, your home theater needs to have decent air circulation. You’ll also need to place the bags in direct sunlight about once every two months in order to keep them working their best. Activated charcoal needs to be replaced after one to two years.
Control the Room’s Humidity Level
As we mentioned above, poor air circulation is one of the reasons why it can be difficult to control foul odors in a home theater. Improving the air circulation is one of the most effective ways to ensure that your home theater smells nice. If your home theater doesn’t have ducts, though, you’ll also need to control the other problem that poor air circulation causes: excess humidity.
In an enclosed space, unchecked humidity leads to mold growth and musty odors. It’s much easier and cheaper to prevent those problems from occurring than it is to fix them after they’ve already happened – so you need to do everything possible to control the room’s moisture level.
Installing a dehumidifier is the easiest way to control the humidity in an enclosed environment. A dehumidifier is essentially a reverse air conditioner that blows hot air instead of cold air. The problem with using a dehumidifier in a home theater, though, is that it’s noisy and increases the room’s temperature. For a solution that’s silent and doesn’t make the room hot, try using desiccant products instead. Home desiccant products are sold in canisters and hanging bags, and you can find them in your local home improvement stores. The desiccant absorbs moisture from the air, and water falls to a collection area at the bottom of the container. When the collection area is full, you pour the water down the drain and replace the desiccant.
Vacuum Thoroughly and Regularly
Whenever there’s a gathering of people in a small space, dust and crumbs are bound to accumulate – especially if people are eating in that space. Those things are always going to be some of the biggest sources of unwanted smells in any theater. That’s why a cleaning crew vacuums the floor and upholstery in a traditional theater every day. If you allow guests to eat in your home theater, you’ll need to do the same after every movie night. Consider buying a battery-powered stick vacuum and putting the charging cradle in your home theater to make the cleaning process as quick and painless as it can be.