I am building a workshop / equipment room (computer workbench, hosting servers and network equipment) in my garage. The room will be fully insulated 8'x 12'. Since I'm running some heat producing computers 24/7, it will become an oven if I don't install some kind of AC unit.

I was considering installing a split system air conditioner, but I don't know what size to buy, or other attributes to consider. Because of the room will be sealed with heat producing computers, it will heat up quickly, but because the room is small, it should cool down quickly as well. I would think this would cause the AC to go on and off every 10 to 15 minutes, which might be hard on it over time.

This will be located in the North Texas area, so it can get pretty humid depending on the time of the year. I will be running an upwards of 4 servers and 3 workstations, and a few network appliances at all times. All-together, this may run up to 2,500 watts.

What type and rating of AC would be best for my workshop / equipment room?

  • How many computers are you going to be running? Is this a lab for you to tinker with? Or are you setting up dozens of computers for a crypto currency mining operation? – longneck Jan 28 at 16:27
  • Also, where do you live? Climate makes a big impact. How well insulated is your garage now? – longneck Jan 28 at 16:28
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    It depends on ceiling insulation and the wattage of the equipment. I have an insulated room 13 X 13 with a few hundred watts of power usage and many double pane windows , warm climate( Houston) and the minimum size window AC ( 700 watt ?) does fine . – blacksmith37 Jan 28 at 17:10
  • There is not enough information to even guess. No climate zone (location) really no heat load some computers? I would suggest a door to the garage , even a normal single car garage would not be two warm with only a few bit coin servers, a simple temp activated fan would be enough for winter months, for summer months we have no way of guessing proper size, the smallest split I have installed is 12000btu but I think I have seen an 8000 btu. – Ed Beal Jan 28 at 17:49
  • 'short cycle, which might be hard on it over time.' - that's why you put a $100 window unit in every year and then buy a new one. A split system for an 8x12 room is absolute overkill. An 8000btu split is just an exceptionally quiet window unit that's split in half and costs ten times as much, and will freeze the coil unless expertly installed. @blacksmith37 - lives in Houston, has window unit in 13 X 13 insulated room; "does fine". +1 – Mazura Jan 28 at 20:04

Lots of variable to consider: 1) Climate in your area, 2) insulation level of building, number of servers and their size, 3) occasional use or 24/7 (BTC mining? or?) 4) occupied or not. Google lets their server rooms run as hot a 95 degrees F. https://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2012/03/23/too-hot-for-humans-but-google-servers-keep-humming So while that's way to hot for ppl, it's OK for servers, at least the kind they use. Here is a link to a calculator for heat load. https://www.enviromon.net/advanced-server-btu-calculator/

Depending upon your climate, you might get by with just moving a lot of air from outside to cool the room. Google runs the Belgium server farm with no chillers.

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