Dealing with the heat

What is the absolute enemy of all technology? That’s right. Heat. No matter how expensive or inexpensive electronics are, they all have a problem if they get too hot.

For a while now I’ve had a problem in my laundry room (aka IDF, aka Data Center) that every time someone goes into that room it is ALWAYS a zillion degrees Celsius. I’ve been researching how to handle this for a while and what I decided to do was create a heat exhaust in the ceiling. Obviously since hot air rises, this approach should provide the most immediate benefit over simply adding a larger HVAC air supply.

If you have a heat issue like I did, here’s the parts list of what I used to install the vent and exhaust the hot air.

Ceiling box and return grille (installed)

You can use whatever size combination of these you need for your space. Since I have a fairly large room, I chose a 6” unit that would turn over the air in the room several times per hour to help keep the temperature down. The great thing about the duct fan I listed above is that it has a control unit that allows you to set on, off, timed mode, or auto mode where you can set high/low temperatures, high/low humidity, and alarms based on these same values. The unit also has a corded sensor probe to monitor the temperature in the space. NOTE: if you don’t use the included probe the unit won’t be able to run in auto mode as the control unit does not have a built in sensor.

Control Unit for duct fan

I used a fairly long run of ducting from the ceiling box to the duct fan so that I could reduce the noise produced by the fan running fairly constantly. It’s also a good idea to put the fan somewhere that you access fairly easily as from time to time you’ll need to remove the fan motor from the housing and clean it. This is done very easily by simply loosening the two metal clamps on the air intake and exhaust housings you see in the image of the installed unit below.

Duct fan (installed)

You may be wondering why the exhaust is just hanging out. Well the proximity of my garage to the room I wanted to vent is fairly close so I was able to leave it bare. This might not be something you can do for code purposes etc, but where I live this is perfectly acceptable. On the flip side, it’s worth noting that you will need to ensure there is an adequate gap under the door (if the space is enclosed as mine is) to allow for enough incoming air volume to replace what is being exhausted. If not, this will cause difficulty in closing the door. Should you run into this issue, you can either cut the bottom of the door a bit, or add a vent into the door, whichever is more aesthetically pleasing for you 🙂

I hope that this helps you if you are looking for a way to reduce heat in your network closet as well. This is also a great solution if you have an AV closet in your home that needs to be cooled down. As of this writing, the unit has been installed for about 9 hours and the temperature has cooled down by 10 degrees and the room is very comfortable. The great thing is that with auto mode, I simply find the sweet spot temperature wise and the fan will power on and off as needed based on room temperature.

Here’s to cooler IDF’s everywhere.

-Scott

One thought on “Dealing with the heat

  1. Pingback: Dealing With the Heat - Gestalt IT

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