Data Centers Need Focused, Efficient Cooling

May 2, 2019

More businesses rely on technology to compete in the global economy.

Even if you’re local, a strong set of workstations or a server that can handle all of your files can make logistics, marketing, and business planning a lot faster and smarter. After all, knowledge is power.

All of that power requires maintenance, and air quality is at the top of the checklist. Clean, cool, dry air is necessary for peak performance, and a few of these details can help you understand how an HVAC professional can deliver the air quality you need.

Ambient Room Temperature Control

Keeping data centers, equipment rooms, and workstation areas cool is easier when you can focus on a specific room.

Companies with server rooms or high-powered computers don’t need to cool the entire building to 60 degrees. Instead, proper sealing, insulation, and cool air delivery can drop and maintain temperatures at lower costs.

If your tech room isn’t properly sealed, you’re being ruined at three points:

  • First, cold air can escape before it has a chance to chill the equipment at a reliable rate. The room takes longer to reach a set temperature.
  • Second, warm air can enter the room. This leads to the same slow cooling as the first point, but during the hotter months your systems will also overheat at a faster rate.
  • Third, the first two points represent more work for your air conditioning system. Work AC work means more electricity wasted to reach the same temperature.

Your business can either install a dedicated cooling solution for a major data center or create room-by-room temperature control to allow fine-tuned, energy-efficient temperature control. No matter your choice, make sure that the rooms are properly sealed to get the most out of your cooling.

Targeted System Cooling

Wisconsin, Indiana, and other northern states have fewer hot weather conditions to worry about. Compared to Florida, Georgia, or Texas, they won’t lead to extreme heat conditions that linger through the night.

You still need to worry about the heat generated by your equipment. Desktop computers are enough to heat a small room to comfortable levels, but a server can heat a room enough to nearly destroy itself.

High-performance servers that host popular websites, managed Software as a Server (SaaS) systems, or other massive tasks may need a targeted cooling system. This either involves a fully-enclosed, cooled unit or some sort of pipe or connector that directs cooling to the right place.

Some data centers have low-powered air pipes or hoses connected that wash servers with cool air from the top. Others may prefer a side-mounted series of intake and exhaust fans that displaces ambient room air with the heated server air.

There are multiple ways that an HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) technician could approach the issue. The most important decision is that the cooling does the best job possible within your budget.

Humidity And Air Quality Management

Cooling isn’t the only issue to worry about. Even if you live in a lower humidity area, a poorly-ventilated data center can become a locker room of steamy server air.

As warmer outside air is mixed with cooled data center air, condensation can collect and become a humidity risk. Even worse, rainy days and standing water in the area could keep your tech systems in a moist and risky environment.

Rust, corrosion, and short circuiting are the major risks, and you can manage them easily with a dehumidifier installation. HVAC technicians can install dehumidifiers to remove humidity at multiple stages depending on how damp and how critical your server situation becomes.

Main building dehumidifiers can dry the entire business, which is helpful for paperwork, perishable goods, and other materials. You can check humidity levels in the data center to see if that’s enough, or you could install another set of dehumidifiers as needed.

Once again, a sealed room is vital. Rooms with gaps and cracks can allow humid air or even direct leaks from rain water into the building, which slows down the dehumidifier and leads to more electrical costs.

If you need help figuring out which cooling and ventilation system would suit your business the most, contact a professional HVAC technician today to schedule a consultation.