The Basement Server Room Cooling Solution Continues To Yield Free Heat
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 13 December 2015 at 09:49 AM EST. 18 Comments
As a lot of people were interested in my basement server room remodel earlier this year for Linux benchmarking (and the sixth month redux) as well as subsequent updates about a very high performance fan for air cooling the systems during the cooler seasons, here's another quick update.

Since installing the Tjernlund M-6 fan as the exhaust fan for venting the warm air to the rest of the house during the winter months, the airflow has been adequate for that room even when a rheostat to adjust the fan speed, it's been enough to heat the house. The furnace remains off!

After adding the duct silencer (duct muffler) to the equation, the noise level continues to be only moderate and is more than fine with my desk being directly in front of the exhaust in my office.

It's been a few weeks since those updates and everything continues to work splendid. The servers (Linux benchmarking PCs) are running well, the temperature in there barely rises above 75 F (23.9C) and this setup does a good job pushing the warm air into the rest of the house.

With being able to avoid the air conditioner in the winter months compared to the summer, it's made a nice drop in the electrical bill.

For my latest utility bill this week, the electrical use was just 2195 kWh for the trailing 31 days, which is around 1,000 kWh less than the summer months when the air conditioning is constantly running. So when the air conditioning isn't running, all of this daily Linux testing is just over 2,000 kWh a month or so. This is more than doubled a year ago when only around two dozen Linux benchmarking systems were running daily/semi-daily.

With the free heat from the server room, my natural gas use is down substantially due to the furnace not being active... That's at a third of what it was last year. However, the decrease in natural gas doesn't offset the electricity costs, so it's still hundreds of dollars more each month due to all of the computers in use. Fortunately, it's for a good cause with producing more content on Phoronix, working on the Phoronix Test Suite / / Phoromatic, etc.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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