Overcoming Challenges to Data Center HVAC in the Winter

There’s a lot on the line when it comes to data center HVAC. One mishap and systems could fail, leading to a critical loss of data and potentially ruined servers. Data center HVAC is typically a tightly monitored process because of the consequences of a system failure, but that doesn’t make server room cooling any easier.

Just because it’s cold outside does not mean it’s easier to keep a data center cooled. Winter brings its own unique challenges to data center HVAC.

The Major Challenges of Data Center HVAC in the Winter

First and foremost, the most immediate obstacle to data center HVAC in the winter is competing with a building’s heating and ventilation system. Blocking the vents is not an option, as that would unbalance the rest of the building’s heating system. It takes additional effort to keep a data center cool and the rest of the building warm.

The other major challenge is that server room cooling systems, in whatever shape or form, are working hard to combat a building’s heating system, which can lead to premature system downtime or failure, putting the data center at risk.

Tips for Overcoming Common Data Center HVAC Challenges in the Winter

There are a number of things you can do to prevent data center downtime due to HVAC problems during the winter.

First, it’s wise to schedule HVAC preventative maintenance at least once during the winter. Oftentimes maintenance is only scheduled in the fall and spring – this is a mistake. Even just a single preventative maintenance appointment during the winter can keep systems running at peak performance the entire season, minimizing the risk of data center failure.

Another step you can take to keep data centers at the optimal temperature is to set humidity and temperature levels according to what the American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends. This ensures your data center will reliably be in the optimal environment for peak performance.

In addition to preventative maintenance and following ASHRAE’s recommendations, ask your commercial HVAC provider about a computer room air conditioner (CRAC). An independent cooling system is a reliable way to cool server rooms, especially for large data centers.

Winter presents unique challenges for data center HVAC, requiring facility managers and building owners to take additional steps to keep server rooms cooled. HVAC systems protect vital assets in data centers – it’s critical to follow best practices to safeguard your business.

Donnelly Mechanical has been a leading commercial HVAC provider in NYC for over 25 years, serving 1,700+ businesses. See how Donnelly’s data center HVAC services has you covered.

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