A data center is a critical component of any business. They are considered a key part of the modern world, housing the servers that power everything from websites to email to online businesses. Data centers exist primarily to store, process, and distribute large amounts of data. Given their immense energy consumption, it’s no surprise that their cooling needs are significant.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the different types of data center cooling systems and their potential impact on the environment.

Data Center Cooling Methods

1.) Air conditioning: Air conditioning is the most common type of data center cooling. It involves using a system of fans and evaporative coolers to circulate cool air throughout the data center. This type of cooling is effective in reducing the temperature of the air inside the data center. However, it can be expensive to operate and maintain.

Additionally, air conditioning can have a negative impact on the environment due to its high energy consumption and potential for releasing harmful chemicals into the atmosphere. As data centers strive to become more sustainable, many are turning to alternative cooling methods that are more efficient and have a lower carbon footprint.

2.) Evaporative Cooling: Although it requires a considerable amount of water, evaporative cooling is a much more efficient and sustainable way to cool a data center than air conditioning. In addition, it does not use harmful chemicals and has a negligible impact on the environment. Evaporative cooling can be done using a system of fans or by circulating coolant through a system of heat exchangers.

Evaporative cooling is very effective in reducing the temperature of the air inside the data center. However, it can only be used when the relative humidity is less than 60%. Additionally, evaporative cooling can be more expensive to install and maintain.

3.) Liquid cooling: Liquid cooling is another popular type of data center cooling. It involves circulating a coolant through a system of heat exchangers. This type of cooling is more efficient than air conditioning and can reduce the temperature of the air inside the data center by up to 30%.

This method of cooling is more sustainable than air conditioning, as it creates a smaller carbon footprint in the long term. In terms of installation and maintenance, liquid cooling tends to be more expensive.

4.) Freecooling: Freecooling is a type of data center cooling that uses outside air to cool the data center. This can be done using fans or by circulating coolant through a system of heat exchangers. Freecooling can be very effective in reducing the temperature of the air inside the data center.

However, it can only be used when the outside air temperature is cooler than the temperature inside the data center. The installation and maintenance of freecooling can also be more expensive.

Off-prem solutions to reduce data center cooling impact

By migrating your data off-prem, you reduce the amount of energy being consumed by cooling systems in your data center. ReluTech helps jumpstart the cloud migration process by conducting asset valuations for its clients by offering the current and future prices of data center assets throughout a cloud migration. Not only do they provide a cash infusion to your cloud migration project by offering cash for legacy data center equipment, but it calculates the total carbon footprint reduction of your data center by removing your hardware off the data center floor as they become available during the migration.

It is also important to consider a provider’s approach to sustainable business practices when choosing a public cloud service provider. AWS (Amazon Web Services) builds cloud-based solutions based on sustainable business practices. Power and cooling performance innovations are integral to the company’s commitment to sustainability. AWS is the most popular public cloud platform to date and is projected to function 100% off renewable energy by 2025, reaching net-zero carbon across all operations by 2040.

Data center cooling is one of the most important, but often overlooked aspects of data center planning. In this post we’ve outlined the different types of cooling systems and why they are important. We’ve also looked at which type of cooling system is the most sustainable from a carbon footprint perspective. Migrating on-premises data to the cloud is one of the best ways to reduce your business’s overall carbon footprint, and ReluTech, an AWS Select Partner, can help mitigate the financial hurdle to starting your cloud journey.


Jason Figliolini is our Marketing Content Manager here at ReluTech. His top priorities are content creation for articles, blogs, and collateral to educate customers about cloud, hardware, and maintenance solutions. Outside of work, he enjoys reading books, attending concerts, and exploring Atlanta’s hidden gems.

Get in touch with Jason: jfigliolini@relutech.com