Cold aisle containment system in a data center

Can Hot or Cold Aisle Containment Benefit Your Data Center?

Todays data center is a complex combination of technology and infrastructure products.

Server cabinets, raised floor, and HVAC are familiar elements that are a part of most data centers. One piece of infrastructure that is relatively new is the aisle containment system. Containment is the management of hot or cold air in order to deliver or remove the air from the equipment.

Hot aisle containment vs cold aisle containment

  • A cold aisle system keeps cool air on the intake delivery side of the server racks.
  • Keeps cold air from mixing with warm exhaust air.
  • A hot aisle system captures warm exhaust air and diverts return air away from the server equipment. Both hot and cold aisle systems have advantages.

What is hot aisle containment system?

  • Hot aisle containment (HAC) moves hot exhaust air away from equipment and towards HVAC returns. The result is a shield that protects said equipment. Additionally, hot aisles utilize the natural process of warm air rising towards the ceiling.
  • Hot aisle systems are very effective in keeping relatively low humidity rates while increasing cooling capacity. Additionally, the aisle is able to be implemented in both slab and raised floor data centers.

What is cold aisle containment system?

  • Cold aisle containment (CAC) is typically less expensive and easier to implement compared to a hot aisle system. Typically legacy server rooms that are eligible for a retrofit benefit the most from a cold aisle solution. While not a requirement, cold aisle systems are highly compatible with raised floor in the data center. This system improves the performance of AC units (Air conditioning) and reduces energy costs.
  • A cold aisle containment system requires fewer components than a hot aisle system. The most simple cold aisle systems include only doors and ceiling panels.

Which system is right for my data center?

New construction and data centers that strive for the highest level of efficiency will often choose a hot aisle system. Older data centers requiring updates benefit from cold aisle systems. A cold aisle system is a more cost effective solution for older data centers.

Additionally, cold aisle systems deliver competitive levels of efficiency when compared to hot aisle systems. Furthermore, a good facility manager knows adding blanking panels to empty server racks helps to reduce energy consumption. This further improves data center cooling efficiency.

Hot vs cold aisle containment system diagram


Data Center Floor Tiles is a design and installation expert. Raised floor and containment solutions in the data center environment is our focus. Recently we have seen the desire to achieve higher levels of efficiency and compliance to meet carbon standards & reduce energy costs.

Additionally, the data center is evolving. Our goal is to meet the highest compliance marks in order to achieve a sustainable future. is a top supplier of new, refurbished and used data center floor tiles and data center infrastructure equipment. Please Contact Us at for an aisle containment quote today.

DCFTCan Hot or Cold Aisle Containment Benefit Your Data Center?

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