Air filtersAir QualityData center

Air Quality in Data Centers: Why It Matters and How to Improve It

By March 28, 2024 No Comments
10 minutes to read

Data centers play a crucial role in our daily lives, powering everything from our social media feeds to essential cloud storage services. One aspect of data center operation that is critical yet frequently overlooked is air quality management. Poor air quality can lead to hardware degradation, increased downtime, and significantly impact operational efficiency and sustainability efforts. Continue reading to learn more about data center air quality from Camfil Data Center Segment Manager Adam Wiggins.

Particulate Matter

Particulate matter (PM) in data centers can originate from various sources, including outdoor air pollution, diesel-powered backup generators, and overheated servers. PM is a concern because it can penetrate deep into the lungs and even enter the bloodstream, posing health risks to personnel and potentially causing damage to sensitive electronic equipment. The Washington State Department of Ecology issues air quality permits to data centers to limit pollution from diesel generators and tracks the combined impacts of diesel exhaust. PM composed of water-soluble ionic salts is particularly concerning in data centers due to their potential to damage electronic components.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

VOCs are another significant concern for indoor air quality in data centers. These compounds can be emitted from overheated servers and can contain chemicals that damage servers, circuit boards, and cooling systems, leading to malfunctions and downtime. Effective air filtration is necessary to remove VOCs and prevent them from settling on equipment.

Temperature and Humidity

Maintaining the correct temperature and humidity levels is crucial for the optimal performance and reliability of data centers. For IT equipment classes A1/A2 , the recommended ambient relative humidity levels are between 8% and 80%, while class A3 is 8% to 85% and A4 8% to 90%.  Temperature recommendations have evolved over time, with ASHRAE 2021 Thermal Guidelines now advising an acceptable operating temperature range of 64° to 81°F (18° to 27°C). These conditions help prevent electrostatic discharge (ESD) and condensation, which can lead to hardware corrosion and equipment failure.

Airflow and Filtration

Airflow management is essential to maintain the right balance between hot and cool air in a data center. Large data centers may replace the air in the facility 30 to 50 times per hour, significantly more often than in typical office facilities. Filtration methods include mechanical filters and activated carbon filters, each serving to remove different types of contaminants. The choice of filtration system depends on the specific contaminants present in the data center’s air.

To effectively manage and improve air quality in data centers, finding a Camfil Data Center Air Filtration Expert near you is crucial. These experts can provide tailored solutions to mitigate the risks associated with poor indoor air quality, such as particulate and gaseous contaminants, which can lead to equipment downtime, failure, or data loss. Moreover, with data centers consuming a significant amount of electricity, partly due to air-conditioning systems, Camfil’s high-efficiency air filtration solutions not only ensure a healthy and safe indoor environment but also reduce energy consumption, thereby addressing both operational efficiency and sustainability concerns.

Camfil Branch Locations for Data Center Air Filtration

For expert advice and solutions for air quality issues, Camfil has a network of exclusive independent distributors and representatives as well as company-owned branches across the United States staffed with knowledgeable carbon filter experts. Whether you’re looking for a consultation, installation, or service for your air filtration program, you can find experts specializing in data center air filtration on our Contact Locator page or at the following locations:

  • Addison, IL
  • Austin, TX
  • Birmingham, AL
  • Carolinas (SC/NC)
  • Colorado Springs, CO
  • Dallas, TX
  • Denver, CO
  • Houston, TX
  • Kalamazoo, MI
  • Livonia, IL
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Nashville, TN
  • Peoria, IL
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Portland, OR
  • Puerto Rico
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Santa Clara, CA
  • Syracuse, NY
  • Tulsa, OK

Finding a Camfil Data Center Air Filtration Expert

To locate a Camfil Data Center Air Filtration Expert near you, you can use the Camfil Contact Locator. This tool allows you to find the nearest expert who can assist with your data center’s air quality needs. If you do not find what you are looking for on the map, you can click “Contact Us” and complete the form, and a Camfil air filtration specialist will contact you to provide assistance.

The main purpose of finding a Camfil Data Center Air Filtration Expert near these locations is to enhance your local search presence. By connecting with a local expert, you can ensure that your data center benefits from the latest in air filtration technology and expertise, tailored to the specific environmental challenges of your location. This local approach not only facilitates prompt service and support but also contributes to a more sustainable and efficient operation of your data center by leveraging Camfil’s innovative solutions to reduce energy costs and protect sensitive equipment.

In summary, leveraging Camfil’s network of branch locations or exclusive distributors/representativesis a strategic move for any data center looking to improve air quality, operational reliability, and energy efficiency.

About Camfil Clean Air Solutions

For more than half a century, Camfil has been helping people breathe cleaner air. As a leading manufacturer of premium clean air solutions, we provide commercial and industrial systems for air filtration and air pollution control that improve worker and equipment productivity, minimize energy use, and benefit human health and the environment. We firmly believe that the best solutions for our customers are the best solutions for our planet, too. That’s why every step of the way – from design to delivery and across the product life cycle – we consider the impact of what we do on people and the world around us. Through a fresh approach to problem-solving, innovative design, precise process control, and a strong customer focus we aim to conserve more, use less and find better ways – so we can all breathe easier.

The Camfil Group is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, and has 30​ manufacturing sites, six R&D centers, local sales offices in 35+ countries, and about 5,600 employees and growing. We proudly serve and support customers in a wide variety of industries and in communities across the world. To discover how Camfil USA can help you to protect people, processes and the environment, visit us at 




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Lynne Laake 

Camfil USA Air Filters 

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