I currently have two desktops and three servers in my office sitting on the floor (I know this is bad). With that many servers the ambient temperature in the room goes up quickly. I am located in Dallas, TX so during the winter, if the heat is kept low, it is not a problem, but during the summer it easily jumps the room +10 degrees.
I have decided and found a free 42U server cabinet that a hosting company was throwing away to house all of these systems in. One server is in a rack mount case while the other four servers are housed in mid-tower cases. I have purchased shelves for each computer and plan to lay the towers side ways on these shelves (as replacing the cases costs a heck of a lot of money).
I like the idea of housing all of these systems in the cabinet because it will save a lot of room and clean up all of the cabling currently laying all over the office floor. When putting this setup together over the next couple of weeks, I want to address issues with dust and cooling. The server cabinet has a fan on top, front plexiglass door and a rear metal door with vent wholes on the bottom.
First the cooling issues. I know I am going to want to have cool air enter the bottom of the cabinet and exit the top. I do not want the room heating up though as this will make my work area hot and then make the servers warmer as the air eventually reenters the cabinet.
I had an idea to fix this problem, but am unsure if it will work. I was thinking of taking flexible piping and adapting it to the back fans of the computer having the other end of the pipe at the top close to the cabinet's top mounted fan. I was then thinking of creating a duct around the top fan into the attic.
Now I am very concerned that the attic will cause issues with this type of setup because during July/August time frame, the attic is easily 120 degrees F. I could also use the flexible pipe to take it to an attic exhaust vent if it would be better to vent it into the 100 degree air outside (at least there may be wind.
The other option would be to buy a small portable air conditioner. This may be a possibility, but do I want to spend the extra money on power? I bet this increases the noise. Plus they are around $250 on Amazon. What would you all recommend?
Depending on the solution I end up running with above, I would also like to limit the dust that gets into the cabinet. If I were to cut a whole and mount a second cabinet fan on the bottom of the rear door, could I possibly mount a standard home air filter on the other side of that whole?
Thanks in advance for your recommendations. I look forward to reading your interesting ideas.