How To Keep Dust Out Of Your Data Center Colocation Business

25 September 2014
 Categories: , Blog

If you run a data center colocation business, then you need to make sure that you keep servers and electrical equipment safe for all of your clients. You likely have fire protection systems in place and air conditioning units. You probably have systems that control humidity as well. You may not have any way to control dust though, and this can allow some dirt to work its way close to the electronic components in your building. Dust control can be accomplished fairly easily, so follow the suggestions below.

Invest in Regular Air Conditioning Maintenance

Clean and Change Filters

The air conditioner system in your colocation business helps to keep temperatures cool around servers, but a great deal of dust can build in the ducts and vents and the debris can then force its way into storage spaces. One of the best ways to reduce dust is to make sure that air filters are always clean and free of debris. Check your air conditioner filter at least once a month. The filter should be located either within the air conditioner or along the air return duct.

Most central air conditioners have replaceable filters, but the filter itself can be vacuumed clean for several months before it needs to be replaced. Vacuum both sides of the filter to remove as much dust as possible.  

When the filter needs to be replaced, invest in a product with a high MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) rating. MERV ratings range from 1 to 16. As the rating increases, fewer dust particles are able to move through the filter. You want a MERV filter that blocks as much dust as possible while still allowing air to flow through. This means that a filter with a number between 11 and 13 is often considered best.

Close Off Ducts

Air conditioner filters can remove a great deal of pollen and dust from the air that flows into your colocation business, but you need to make sure that ducts are not allowing debris to get in after the air is filtered. The most common place where dust can enter your system is at the outside connection where your air conditioner is attached to your building. Investigate the seams around this duct and purchase some mastic sealant to close them. This type of sealant can be purchased at your local home store and the material is strong, durable, and flexible.

Mastic sealant comes in tubes like caulk, so buy a caulk gun as well to release the material. After you purchase the material, run a thin bead of the sealant around your outdoor duct seams. You can fill in small holes with the material as well, or you can buy aluminum foil tape to secure the openings.  

Buy an Air Purifier

You likely have several employees that work in your colocation business. These employees, along with clients who visit your business are likely to allow a good deal of pollen and dirt to enter your building when they open the exterior doors. The dust can then cling to clothing and shoes and the dust can make its way into your server rooms. You can stop this from happening by installing an air purifier in the entryway of your business.

Find the Right Product

When you go to buy an air filter, consider buying a portable room model. These products can be moved around your business and used as soon as they are plugged in.  

Look at the labels on the models that you find at your home store and try to purchase a model that can filter air in a space slightly larger than the entrance of your building. Also, make sure that the product has a high clean air delivery rate. This rate ranges from 0 to 450 and a higher number means that dust in your business will be removed quickly.

Change Filters

Most air purification systems contain replaceable or disposable air filters that need to be changed. You likely will only need to change the filter about once every year, but inspect the filter to see if needs to be replaced more often. Once the filter looks brown or gray it needs to be replaced. The filter model will be located on the filter itself, so make sure that the numbers match up when you get a new one. Otherwise, the filter may not fit properly and dust may find its way around the filter.

If you own your own data center colocation business, then clients are counting on you to keep their servers in great condition. Dust can damage electronic components, so make sure to follow the tips above to keep as much dust out of your business as possible.

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