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IT & Electronics

Humidity & IT - Why Is It A Problem?

Data Centres and server rooms are essential facilities in the modern world. They allow the interconnection between businesses and enable worldwide networking. Without them, many workplaces that rely on internet access to reach necessary files, information, or banking, will not be able to trade or operate. Likewise, we would not enjoy streaming services, online gaming, access online data or use social media at home.

Data centres and server rooms contain sophisticated equipment used to store and process critical and sensitive information and large volumes of data. As much of this equipment is vulnerable to temperature and moisture, the environment must be monitored and controlled carefully. The ideal ambient temperature for a data centre or server room is 18-27°C, and the perfect relative humidity level is 40-60%.

What Are The Implications?

Computers and electronics are sensitive to temperature - overheating can cause system failures and a reduced lifespan. For this reason, data centres and server rooms must have controlled temperatures. The ideal ambient temperature for this type of space is 18-27°C. However, this temperature range is susceptible to humidity. Plus, one of the main contributors to moisture in an IT facility is leaking and faulty air conditioning systems.

Humidity can be a major issue when electronics are involved. If there is too much moisture within the room, it can lead to condensation of surfaces, water on circuit boards, within drives, wire and connections. All of these issues can result in mould growth, rust, corrosion and saturation. If left unmanaged, any one of these things can cause system failure, short circuits, loss of data and the interruption of services.

On the other hand, if the area's relative humidity is too low, it can cause electrostatic discharges. These discharges can be as disruptive and damaging to sensitive components as excess moisture can.

It can be costly and time consuming to replace or repair damaged equipment in a data centre or server room. The downtime can also cause many inconveniences, such as loss of revenue, customer complaints, missed deadlines and more.

How Do I Control The Humidity In A Server Room Or Data Centre?

Refrigerant dehumidifiers are ideal for controlling the humidity in server rooms and data centres. They are so suited to the application because of the way that they operate. These compressor units draw humid air in through vents. As the air moves through the unit, it passes refrigerated coils, and it is cooled to below its dew point. As this happens, the moisture within the air condensates against the coils, and the water droplets drip into a collection point. This deposit of water can then drain away through plumbing or to a safe area.

Refrigerant industrial dehumidifiers are more effective for data centres and server rooms because they do not create as much heat during operation as alternative solutions. This is important because it means that controlling the humidity does not affect the temperature levels at the same time - putting more strain on the air conditioning systems, therefore creating more moisture.