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Top tips from the experts on how to keep your server room cool

2021 kicked off with some less than welcome news, as nationwide restrictions were put into place once again across the UK. Millions of us were once again relegated to working from home, dependent on emails, instant messaging, and videoconferencing to properly do our jobs. Naturally, this resurgence of remote working means the UK’s server rooms have been under increasing pressure, and the same is probably true of your business. So as experts in commercial air conditioning here at Askews Refrigeration, this week we’re taking a moment to give you some useful tips on exactly how to keep your server room functioning as safely and efficiently as possible, so that you can save yourself the expense and hassle of wasted energy or unnecessary repair costs, in addition to the potential costs of any associated downtime.

As you’ll find, the majority of our most important advice is focused on maintaining good airflow, and keeping the optimum temperature of your server room. The recommended temperature range for a server room is between 18 degrees Celsius to 27 degrees Celsius. We’ll start out with two of the most important points first.

1. Prioritise ‘hot aisles’ and ‘cold aisles’ in your server room

Let’s take it back to basics for a moment. Each server in your server room is consuming energy, which generates heat. That means they’re constantly taking in cold air and expelling hot air in order to maintain a constant internal temperature. Now, you probably knew that already – so it’s important to make sure that whoever’s designing your server room does too.

Make sure to position each server rack in consecutive rows, each in front of the other. That creates a dedicated ‘hot aisle’ into which the hotter air can be safely expelled and dispersed. This way, the servers can draw in air from the ‘cold aisles’ instead. All this avoids the risk of having hot air being pushed out of one set of servers into the cold air intakes of another, helping all your servers maintain consistent internal temperatures and keeping them operating at maximum efficiency.

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2. Use blanking panels to exercise greater control over airflow

When it comes to optimising the airflow and temperature of your server room, we can’t overstate the usefulness of blanking panels, sometimes known as filter panels. We recommend using these to fill empty spaces in your server racks. This prevents hot air from being trapped and building up between your server racks, where it could very well end up being drawn into the cool air intakes of some servers. This helps your servers to run more efficiently, while taking the pressure off your industrial commercial air conditioning system, which won’t have to work quite as hard to keep the room at a consistent temperature.

3. Keep your server room entirely dedicated to your servers

A common issue that we sometimes find clients make with their server rooms is to double up their function – say for example by using the space for temporary or permanent storage. We strongly advise against this! Any unnecessary clutter will have a serious effect on the efficiency of your server room’s airflow, which can lead to unnecessary running costs and strain on your commercial air conditioning system. We know that using it as a storage space can be especially tempting if you’re running low on space elsewhere in the building, but it’s very unlikely to be worth the extra expense and hassle this can ultimately end up causing you.

4. Keep your server room locked and sealed

The good news is that one method of increasing your server room’s efficiency doubles as a handy deterrent for anyone tempted to use it as storage – simply ensure that it’s locked and sealed, with access limited to a select number of approved personnel. The fewer people coming in and out of the room, the less chance the warm air has of entering the room, or cold air escaping.

For similar reasons, ensure that all ceiling tiles are in place, and if the room has any windows, ensure that they’re closed and locked. (You may even decide it’s most efficient if they’re boarded up entirely.)

You can also take advantage of the minimised foot flow to install further efficiency-improving measures. Keep the lights turned off, and make sure that you have efficient LED bulbs. There’s also tangible benefits to be had in installing sensor-controlled lights if possible, as it ensures that you’re only using as much energy as necessary to light the room at any one time.

Make sure to give the room a final inspection too, and check for any cracks in the windows, doors or walls, or any repaired cracks. All cool air needs to be contained within the room as much as possible.

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5. Make sure that the right system is designed and professionally installed

For these sorts of applications we’d always recommend installing a properly designed air conditioning system for industrial use only. If it’s a large server room with numerous banks of servers, take extra care to ensure that all the banks are properly positioned. The server room is likely to need its own dedicated intake and return outlet vents, so that you can keep the room effectively sealed and the system working as efficiently as possible.

6. Install a suitable remote monitoring system

This next step you can take either as part of the initial installation, or retroactively. If you choose our experts here at Askews Refrigeration Ltd, we can install a remote monitoring system that allows you to keep your server room under comprehensive and continual observation, 24/7. Depending on the type of the system in question, it can provide the ability to remotely adjust the temperature of the room, and keep key personnel updated of any significant developments through text or email.

We can also monitor your plumbing systems, which can often serve as useful warning for an impending failure or fault. With the heating and hot water systems switched off in a specific area of the building, water leaks can be a common and significant threat to your server room. To mitigate for this risk, the monitoring system is designed to instantly alert you to the emergence of any water leaks from any part of the building, so you can take swift and appropriate action in response.

To find out how we can help your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today. You can give us a quick call on 01282 863 825, or drop us a quick email on We’re always happy to help!

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