Proper cooling techniques ensure your equipment is safe, protecting valuable data and keeping your employees online.
- The server room is a vital component of many offices
- Keeping this room cool is essential
- Various cooling techniques exist
- Get professional assistance while installing cooling equipment
The work environment is likely entering a transitional period: 74% of professionals and 76% of entrepreneurs believe remote work will become standard in the coming years, according to Forbes.
Forbes also suggests that about 97% of employees who worked from home during the pandemic don’t want to return to the office full-time, and 61% of workers would prefer working remotely permanently. These statistics suggest companies will rely heavily on technology and communication, especially if more employees are working offsite.
The server room is an integral part of many organizations’ business data and communication strategies, and cooling this room is essential to keeping this equipment functional. Without an adequately cooled server room, businesses could struggle to keep their offsite employees online, hindering productivity.
Here’s a look at seven tips for ensuring your server room stays cool in any weather, while avoiding data loss and downtime.
1) Seal the server room
One of the most straightforward steps to keep your server room cool is sealing the space off from the rest of the building. This is crucial; the server room has different climate control needs than the rest of the facility. For example, if South Florida happens to go through a winter cold snap, the building’s heaters will activate. The server room doesn’t need this heat; it does better in cool temperatures.
Sealing the room from the rest of the building means keeping the doors closed at all times and isolating the area from the HVAC system. The room should also have an internal cooling method, which we’ll discuss later.
2) Server and network equipment only
Only your server and network equipment should occupy this room. Some companies make the mistake of using the room for storage or extra office space, which puts added strain on the air-conditioning system. The room should be closed off, and no one should be in there unless they’re addressing a concern with the equipment, which helps the space stays at an ideal temperature.
3) Replace heat emitting lighting
If your server room uses incandescent bulbs, switch them out as soon as possible. About 90% of the energy these bulbs release is heat. These lights make it more challenging to keep the room cool; invest in energy-efficient lighting.
Use LED, CFL, or fluorescent bulbs to light your server room. All three options emit less heat than incandescent lights, so your cooling system doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain cool temperatures.
4) Install room-specific cooling equipment
Many offices now have server-room-specific cooling equipment in addition to the building’s central HVAC system. These spaces often have different cooling needs than the rest of the building. One option is a portable air conditioner, which you can place right by your server racks. These systems work well for small or mid-sized rooms, although they aren’t ideal for large spaces and shouldn’t run around the clock. They also don’t remove humidity from the air, which could cause problems for the equipment.
Precision cooling and containment systems work in larger rooms with hot and cold aisle designs. They contain the hot aisles and funnel their warm air into an AC unit, which cools the air and sends it back into the room.
5) Utilize blanking panels
If your server rack has any unused space, install blanking panels. These panels prevent hot air from getting trapped in the rack’s empty spaces. The result is less hot air circulating through your server racks, allowing the cool air your AC system produces to do its job better.
6) Adjust the room’s layout
Your server room’s layout and design are essential to keeping it cool. Create hot and cold aisles that push hot air away from the cold-air intake, which maximizes the efficiency of your air-conditioning system.
When designing the layout, situate your cold-air intake on one side of the room, and the hot air your servers generate should be pushed toward a hot-air-return vent. This hot air then cycles into your air-conditioning unit, where it cools and is recycled into the room. You can apply this strategy to large server rooms with multiple racks or smaller set-ups. Push hot air away from where the cold air is entering the room.
7) Monitor the temperature
Keeping a close eye on your server room’s temperature prevents equipment damage. Consider installing an environmental-monitoring system that will inform you if temperatures reach a dangerous level. This system would also let you know if the air conditioning suddenly fails when the building is unoccupied.
Always knowing your server-room temperature allows you to address potential problems before they damage your equipment.
Upgrade your server room
With more people working from home, server rooms could become more critical because they allow offsite workers to access files and information. This could require larger set-ups in these rooms, with more intensive cooling systems.
Universal Electrical Services is your South Florida expert in building, relocating, and renovating data centers and server rooms. We understand how vital these spaces are to your company’s operations. We’ll do everything possible to create an environment that minimizes downtime and keeps your employees online. Contact Universal Electrical Services for a free quote.