How to regulate the temperature in your computer room or data center to ensure the equipment continues operating at optimal levels
The computer room is a critical space in most offices because it houses many of the essential electronics. Whether your business has a designated computer lab where employees use computers, a server room, or a data center that stores much of the company’s vital information, this room is necessary to your day-to-day operations.
However, computers and other electronics generate heat as they operate. This warmth isn’t a big deal when there are only one or two devices in a room, but it can quickly become an issue when you have dozens of computers or servers in a confined space.
Taking steps to create a cool computer room is important to prevent overheating and other issues. For starters, this equipment could increase your overall cooling costs because the heat can travel throughout the building. You could also end up with damaged devices if they overheat.
Here’s a look at seven tips you can follow to create a cool computer room in your workplace.
- Computers generate significant heat
- This heat can damage equipment and increase cooling bills
- Designing a cool computer room can reduce damage and costs
1. Install temperature sensors
Before you even begin setting up a computer lab in your workplace, you must have a method of controlling the temperature in the room. Precise environmental controls with sensors that measure the room’s temperature and humidity are a good start because they can automate the climate inside the space.
These sensors will continually monitor the room’s temperature and humidity and activate your climate control system whenever it’s needed. The result is a cool computer room that you don’t have to keep an eye on around the clock.
2. Develop an airflow plan
No matter the plan you have in place, your computers are going to generate heat. You can reduce the effect this heat has on the rest of the space and the office as a whole by developing an airflow plan.
Your airflow plan will disperse any heat your computers generate around the room, helping prevent hot spots from forming. A hot spot could cause warm air to sit in specific places in the room, causing nearby equipment to overheat.
3. Spread things out
Part of your airflow plan should involve putting as much space between devices as possible. If you have multiple computers stacked on top of each other, there’s nowhere for the hot air to move, which could lead to overheating.
Naturally, the space inside your computer room is probably limited. Still, by spreading things out as much as possible and using the entire area, you can limit some of the heat your devices generate and, hopefully, keep the temperature down.
4. Buy some fans
Another aspect of your airflow plan could involve purchasing large fans and placing them in strategic locations around the room. These fans will keep the air circulating, reducing the chance of any hot spots developing.
While fans won’t drop the temperature inside the computer lab, they will create more uniform heating and cooling throughout the space. Remember, though, that you’ll have to combine these fans with solid ventilation and climate control systems to achieve the best results.
5. Consider liquid cooling
There are liquid cooling systems you can install inside your computer cases that will take the place of internal fans. These systems work much like a radiator in a car, distributing the heat these units generate more evenly and helping to keep each computer cool.
However, it’s important to remember that, although liquid cooling is superior to air cooling for individual computers, the hot air still has to go somewhere. The somewhere in this situation is outside the computer, which means a liquid cooling system doesn’t act as a whole-room cooling method. In addition, you’ll have to install liquid cooling systems inside each computer case, adding expense and hassle to the entire process.
6. Choose the right room
Some spaces in your office will work better as computer labs than others, so selecting the ideal room for this type of setup can work wonders. For example, choosing a room without windows gives you more control over the interior climate because you don’t have to worry about external elements heating the space. A basement is usually naturally cooler, too, making it a worthwhile location.
Still, even if you have no choice but to use a top-floor room with windows, there are some steps you can take to minimize how the sun heats things.
One such method involves installing thermal curtains, which use several layers of fabric to block heat and light from the space. These curtains will save you money on your cooling bills, too, even without factoring in the heat from your computer lab.
Installing a reflective window film is another option because it blocks light while still allowing you to see outside. Reflective film is a good choice if people will be working inside the computer lab because it doesn’t shut them off from the outside world but can still keep the space cooler.
7. Upgrade your HVAC
Installing a high-efficiency HVAC system can work wonders for the temperature of your computer lab and the office as a whole. If your energy costs are too expensive, upgrading your cooling unit could be a solution.
Alternatively, installing a portable cooling unit in the computer lab could put less stress on your HVAC system. This solution will also ensure the rest of the building doesn’t get too cold as you attempt to reduce the temperature in your lab.
Finding the ideal solution
There’s no catch-all solution to maintaining a cool computer room, as you might combine a few ideas to develop a plan to meet your needs. Building a specialized data center or renovating an existing space to operate as one ensures an optimal setup for all of your equipment.
Universal Electrical Services can provide computer lab and data center solutions in South Florida. We assist as you create the perfect space for your data center, and we also work with some of the region’s best HVAC contractors if you decide to upgrade. Contact Universal Electrical Services today for your free quote.