The main difference between home amps and car amps are their source of power.
Long story short, car amps are stronger than regular amps because they obtain unlimited current in a limited amount of time through the car battery.
Another difference between the two is the type of electricity they need. One uses direct current (DC) while the other uses alternating current (AC).
Direct current is easy to explain. Direct current is electrons going in one direction the whole time.
Alternating current is the opposite. Its electrons changes directions per second.
Car amps have a different process than home amps. Car amps have to change DC to AC.
Even though home amps don't have to convert currents, it has a different problem. Electricity from home outlets are harder to predict.
Think of it like this, if you're pounding the table to make a beat, you'll be making one beat.
What you want to do is make one beat. But what takes you away from making one beat is another person pounding the table making another beat at the other end.
The dilemma of a home amp is managing one beat while another beat is going on.
One reason your home amp gets hot and shuts down is because of the mismatching of an amp and speaker's power.
You have to match the load of a speaker to an amp to a tee or else it'll overheat.
Overheating happens for many different reasons. This article is provided to deal with those situations.
Overheating Amp Solutions
1. Volume Control
Volume control is the easiest preventative measure here.
Volume is electricity that's converted, and electricity is energy for speakers or electronics for that matter.
Too much energy for humans means too many calories. And too many calories means extra fat is coming and we all know extra fat keeps you extra warm.
A lot of energy in the world produces heat.
There's no exception for electricity. It only makes sense that too much electricity will overheat your amp. Regardless if you have a car amp or home amp, electricity will pass through it if it wants to produce sound.
In other words, keep the volume levels at an appropriate level. Speakers aren't meant to work at their maximum for a long period.
2. Fan Installation
This solution is harder than it sounds.
Of course a fan will cool it down (somewhat), the key here is the fan installation.
This page is a great example for fan installation. It provides step-by-step instructions to install a fan with pictures and easy-to-read instructions.
But keep in mind, this specific page is meant for car amps. What you want to take away from this page for home amps are the concepts.
The variables like the tools, fan, and template aren't going to be exactly the same. You have to figure out what works for your setup.
A great starting point is finding out which fan fits your speaker. This is where you need to determine where your fan template will go.
One pre-cautionary tip is to remove the power before installing the fan. You don't want electrocution therapy.
3. Check Amp Surroundings
A speaker circuit has a lot of components in it. And all of them are conducive to heat. Think about it...
If you open up a speaker you'll see wires, the amp, tweeters, woofers, and more. What makes it even hotter is the space.
Everything is enclosed.
This is what we mean by amp surroundings. If you know how to work your way around a speaker circuit, feel free to move components around. For beginners, don't touch anything!
What anybody can do is look out for dust. Dust makes its surroundings hotter.
You should also place your speaker in an open area.
4. Liquid Cooling System
Placing liquid in an electrical system is counterintuitive.
But there is one thermodynamic law which stumps this:
Heat moves from warmer objects to cooler objects.
Remember those early classes in school where it was freezing?
Well, you can thank the metal attached to the desks. The metal attracts the heat from everything around it.
This is a big part of how car engines cool itself.
The catch is there's no specific system you can purchase for home amps.
You have to get creative and think of a system. If we look at a car cooling system we can get some ideas.
A car circulates water and mixes it with antifreeze. When the water is circulating and mixing, it simultaneously cools the engine. The heat from the engine transfers to the water reinforcing the thermodynamic law above.
One idea that's definitely counterintuitive is placing your home speaker outside under a patio.
We prefer sticking an outdoor speaker out there but everybody has a different situation.
Even if you place your speaker outside with a cover, the condensation will seep in if kept out long enough.
But condensation is bad at a low threshold, so do this for an hour or two depending on the conditions outside.
Another idea besides placing it outside and keeping it in an open area is to turn the air conditioner (we know these aren't the best ideas).
Combine this with an open area and there is your "liquid cooling system."
Keep in mind these are suggestions because there isn't any liquid cooling system we know of.
The main takeaway is to have a cool surrounding around your amp. Just be careful of condensation seeping in.
5. Proper Installation
Proper installation doesn't mean installing fans.
Remember, one way to bypass all of this is to buy a speaker with a high-quality amplifier.
High-quality amps are designed not to overheat. But besides purchasing a high-quality amp, proper installation is the foundation.
The conundrum is for the lay people who purchase a speaker with the intention to play it right away.
Most people don't want to do installation when they purchase their product.
In the rare case your amp doesn't have a heat sink, install one.
Think of a heat sink as the soldiers upfront defending against overheating.
To find out if you have one, check near the power transistors. Heat sinks are located near components that generate heat.
For those who aren't technical, go to a repair shop to get the heat sink installed.
6. Proper Habits
The number one habit you can build to prevent overheating is to keep it clean.
Dust is a huge culprit.
There are 2 effects if you let dust build-up.
Numero uno is dust build-up clogs airways up. This prevents the heat from escaping (remember the thermodynamic law?)
The second part that sucks from dust is airflow restriction. It's already hot in a speaker's enclosure because of all the electricity and components bunched up together.
What happens if you don't allow for airflow?
It can't cool itself naturally.
Using your breath to clean out the dust isn't a good idea because your saliva will bring unwanted moisture.
Another habit you want to instill is using a proper load. A mismatch between impedance and loading causes damage to the amp.
After all that, remember to not move the amp around when it's working. Everything in the amp is sensitive when it's hot.