You don’t unplug your refrigerator when it’s cold out, so why would you turn the AC off in the server room? You might think keeping a data center or server room functionally cool gets much easier when outdoor temperatures drop. In fact, cold weather brings a new set of challenges to data center cooling, particularly when trying to keep one room cool and all the surrounding rooms warm. Let's look specifically at the right cooling system for the job.
If the room is connected to the central heating and cooling system, you may be tempted to block the vents. Definitely don't do that! Depending on the design of your system, this may work to reduce hot air, but it is also likely to increase energy consumption and operating costs. The blocked air creates either backpressure against the unit's fan, causing it to work harder and burn more energy, or it simply pushes the air through leaks in the duct work.
A big budget and a big space may allow for a split, ductless cooling system, separate from the central air system. However, "big budget" and "big space" may render this option obsolete, but there is good news. First of all, your data center may be able to tolerate a warmer temperature than you thought. As the good people at InfoWorld reminded us recently, much of our updated equipment has been made to withstand higher temperatures. The server room and surrounding spaces may not need to fight for the thermostat quite so dramatically. But make sure you check with your IT department first.
Considering a potentially lesser need to keep the server room colder than the Arctic, a reliable, energy- and cost-efficient alternative for server room cooling is a portable unit. Spot coolers and portable air conditioners are affordable, take up little space, go where you want them (the trouble zones), and are easily installed. At AirPac, we deliver, install, and will service any rental units. Then when you are done with them, call us and we'll be on our way to pick them up. You don't have to figure out where to store them!