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I have a cabinet in which I intend on putting the following:

  • A server
  • A switch
  • A MODEM
  • Other AV equipment

The cabinet is probably 30 cubic feet in volume. It doesn't have slots for ventilation - it only has the tiny cracks where the doors open. This is at a residence, not a business (therefore I only have 110/120 VAC).

I'd like to regulate the temperature of this cabinet, because I am sure stuff would otherwise overheat.

What are methods appropriate for accomplishing this? (If possible, I'd like to not make slots in the cabinet doors, for aesthetics).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You might get a better response to this at the sister site, Server Fault: they deal with a few questions about cooling servers. (I'm not voting to migrate because I'm not totally sure - it might be just as good here.) \$\endgroup\$
    – Greg d'Eon
    Apr 14, 2015 at 16:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ You mention you don't want to modify the front of the cabinet, but you give no details on the sides or the back - can you make slots there? \$\endgroup\$
    – Phil B.
    Apr 14, 2015 at 16:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Regulating the temperature is not so important if it's in a house- but keeping it from getting too hot will greatly prolong the life. The amount of forced convection (if any) you need will depend on how many watts you're getting rid of, the shape of the cabinet and other factors. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 14, 2015 at 16:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PhilB. I cannot make slots on any side of the cabinet, as they are all visible. (The back of the cabinet is adjacent to the wall, and running an AC duct into there would be extremely costly). \$\endgroup\$ Apr 15, 2015 at 4:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SpehroPefhany these are all very good points. I'll check the wattage of all these components. The cabinet is just a rectangle/cube 3'x4'x3' about. I won't cool it at first since I think I can get by without it, but as you said, I would like the life of these components to be prolonged if possible. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 15, 2015 at 4:09

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Formalizing my answer from the comments section: Look to see if you can (passively or actively) vent your cabinet via the bottom into the crawlspace under your house, since that is not visible but still accessible. Make sure you don't overcomplicate it though, and make sure you don't damage anything structural in your house (e.g. don't cut through any joists :) and watch out for existing ductwork and wiring).

Oh, and remember that heat rises, so you will likely need to use the active venting route with a fan, but since you have access to power for your server and AV equipment, I don't think that will be a problem ...

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