Data centers require a lot of cooling power—by some estimates, about 40% of what you spend on utilities for your data center will be related to cooling costs. That’s because your servers heat up as they process and store data. To avoid overheating that can damage your equipment, you need to have the room at the ideal temperature at all times.
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has information for recommended temperature ranges for data centers. They should always be between 18 and 27 degrees Celsius (64 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit). Unfortunately not all data centers are designed with ideal HVAC systems to keep the equipment at the right temperature at all times. If the people who designed your HVAC system typically do so for office environments, they may not be familiar with all the specifics of data center needs. If they overcorrect for that, your system might be using way too much energy and making it far too cold for IT staff members to work for extended periods of time comfortably in that environment.
The reality is that data storage facilities actually need to have some areas that are colder than others to run optimally. You may have an older space or not be able to get a permanent HVAC system that can adjust specific areas to stay cold enough without making everything else too cold. You also may have times when heat outside overloads your facilities and causes your AC to break. When that happens it’s usually right in the middle of summer when demand is highest and it could be hours—or even days or weeks—before someone can come to repair it.