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August 19, 2020

How to Cool a Server Room: Options & Requirements

To the untrained eye, a server room looks like a mass of humming machines that take up space. But to a company that relies on the data stored in servers, this room powers multiple operations, keeping the business on a forward-moving path.

If your business has a large server room, protecting it from damage must be a top priority. Jumps in temperature are a threat to the security and efficiency of your server room.

In fact, inadequate server room cooling can lead to a halt in operations. This was the case for Microsoft when a portion of the company’s servers suffered a heat spike that rendered two of its websites out of service for 16 hours and impacted cloud storage software.

Understanding your options for server room cooling systems and the backup plans available arms your company with a protective shield in the face of unexpected situations.

Read on to learn about the types of data center cooling systems and how to protect your server room.

When A/C won’t cut it for server room cooling

Think that cranking up the air conditioner is a server room cooling strategy you can rely on? You may want to reconsider that. An air conditioner is a permanent system that cools a server room. But as server usage increases or the size of the server room grows, this initial system will be insufficient.

The reality is that large server rooms require more than air conditioning to regulate machine temperature. Here’s why:

Air conditioners don’t always meet data center cooling requirements. Data centers need around the clock cooling. Most air conditioners are not meant to run 24/7. Running your A/C at all times puts a strain on the machine and runs up the electric bill. So when it comes to server room cooling, air conditioning is not an ideal solution.

Another way air conditioning falls short of data center cooling requirements is the limited capability to regulate factors outside of temperature. In other words, air conditioners can’t protect your equipment from potentially damaging humidity. When humidity levels rise, condensation can form on machines, and problems ensue. Air conditioners are not designed to decrease the amount of moisture in the air and address humidity in the way that true server room cooling systems can.

Lastly, changing seasons impacts A/C settings. Data center cooling requirements indicate that servers need an environment between 68 and 72 degrees to continue operating. In the winter months, the heater is switched on in place of the air conditioner. Even when an air conditioner is running in your server room, the rise in temperature elsewhere in the building has an impact.

As you can see, an air conditioner won’t suffice for cooling a large server room. Fortunately, there are server room cooling systems that meet the needs of the equipment. Let’s explore them below!

Data center cooling solutions

We’ve covered the ways that air conditioners alone fall short of data center cooling requirements. Now it’s time to talk about a solution that can fulfill your server room cooling needs—spot coolers.

An A/C is a permanent system that needs support in cooling a server room. A supplemental machine that aids in temperature control is the ideal support system. Spot coolers are portable cooling machines designed to supplement a cooling source and address multiple temperature control issues. They operate by taking in ambient air through the return, which passes over a closed-loop coil containing refrigerant, reducing the room temperature. The cold air is then pumped back out into the room through the supply.

Unlike air conditioners, spot coolers have capabilities that tackle humidity. As mentioned above, high humidity levels lead to condensation on machines. Water droplets on machines is a server room nightmare. Spot coolers suck excess moisture out of the air to keep humidity levels in check.

In addition to their dehumidification abilities, spot coolers are also energy efficient. They utilize less power than air conditioners while delivering powerful cooling results. Since energy-efficient technologies are better for the planet and your bottom line, spot coolers are a win-win in this department. See how much energy different spot coolers require in this handy chart.

With spot coolers, you don’t have to deal with complex machinery and high maintenance types of data cooling systems. The user-friendly aspect of spot coolers is what draws many businesses to them. Installation is typically done within a couple of hours, and selecting the desired temperature is a simple process.

Why you need a backup cooling system

The importance of server room cooling systems is evident. But having a reliable backup system like a portable cooler is just as pivotal.

One key reason to add a backup cooling system is to save equipment in the case of unforeseen disasters. When hurricanes cause mass electrical power outages, air conditioners fail and leave ill-prepared companies with server rooms with no other means of regulating temperature.

Another benefit of a backup cooling system is its ability to power up at a moment’s notice. If a cooling system fails, a portable cooling system can be brought in to keep the temperature regulated. Because spikes in temperature can damage servers in a short amount of time, having a backup can prevent a company from shelling out hefty sums due to damage.

From natural disasters to machine malfunctions, there are certain situations that even the most organized companies never see coming. In these cases, you can rent a portable data center cooling system while the problem is addressed. Knowing that your servers are well protected brings peace of mind.

Keep your technology intact with portable cooling

Your servers are an asset worth safeguarding. To ensure that your server room is well-equipped for emergencies, having a supplemental cooling system is critical.

With an array of cooling systems including chillers, DX package units and spot coolers, Portable Air has the solution for your server room.

Since 1987, Portable Air has been meeting the cooling needs of businesses in Florida and Texas. We serve clients in Orlando, Central Florida, Houston, Pearland, Southern Texas, and the Southeastern United States. Plus, we can recommend other providers if you’re not in our service area.

Contact us today to learn more about our cooling systems and how we can be of service. Stay cool!


555 South Industry Rd.,
Cocoa, Florida 32926


4403 N Masters Rd.,
Pearland, Texas 77584


1415 Chaffee Rd. Leesville,
 Louisiana 71446
Portable Air Corporate Headquarters
555 South Industry Rd. 
Cocoa, Florida 32926

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