Data Centers

Check out our free Buyer’s Guide and learn how low or fluctuating humidity can negatively affect data centers.

Downtime and outages can cause decreased productivity, a damaged reputation, and lost revenue for data centers. On a daily basis, data centers face insurmountable amounts of risk, environmental conditions being one of them. Air circulation with too little humidity results in dry air, elevating the risk of electrostatic discharge (ESD). Too much humidity will cause condensation, leading to damage, corrosion, and eventually, equipment failure of motherboards, hard drives, and connecting sockets. Whether too little humidity or too much, both can lead to unexpected downtime, resulting in lost revenue and upset clients.   

To prolong the life expectancy of equipment by preventing ESD and corrosion due to excessive condensation, ASHRAE recommends maintaining a Relative Humidity (RH) range of 40 to 60 percent.1 DriSteem humidification systems are essential to maintaining an accurate relative humidity level within a data center, which is critical to lowering the risk of outages, reducing energy costs, and mitigating environmental risks.  

Avoid disrupting critical processes and costly damage to valuable equipment by controlling the environment with relative humidity. 

Issues caused by low or fluctuating relative humidity

Lost revenue 

A survey by Information Technology Intelligence Consulting (ITIC) found a minimum uptime of 99.99% is required by 85% of businesses and their IT leaders. This equates to only 52 minutes annually of unplanned downtime of mission-critical systems and applications. 2 

A survey conducted by Ponemon Institute found the overall average cost of a data center outage is $740,357. This is a 38% increase in average cost since 2010.3

Damage to equipment 

Monitoring humidity levels within the top 1/3 of a rack enclosure for data centers using rack enclosures is minimally acceptable. It is most likely that equipment air intake will experience damage from low humidity conditions at this elevation.4

The cost of integrating an efficient and effective humidifier into a data center’s existing HVAC system is minimal in comparison to the potential damage of an uncontrolled environment. 

Impact to reputation 

Protecting the reputation of a data center in today’s high-demand world is detrimental to its longevity. Extended downtime negatively impacts one’s reputation, resulting in unsatisfied customers. Maintaining a consistent environment with relative humidity lowers the risk of system failure. 


  • Buyer’s Guide: Humidification for Data Centers
    Learn more about how issues caused by low or fluctuating humidity levels can negatively affect a data center, resulting in lost revenue, negatively impacting your reputation, and upsetting clients.


  1. ASHRAE: Best Practices for Environmental Monitoring of Humidity and Temperature
  2. March/April 2020: ITIC 2020 Global Server Hardware and Server OS Reliability Survey
  3. 2016 Ponemon Institute Report on ‘Cost of Data Center Outages
  4. Humidification Strategies for Data Centers and Network Rooms

Next steps

Contact your local DriSteem representative to learn more about humidity control for data centers. Use the Find a Rep tool below to find your nearest representative.

Already using humidity control to protect data centers?

For best performance and highest efficiency, existing humidification systems should be checked to determine if any replacement parts are needed, if any other maintenance needs to be performed, and whether there is a software update available. Contact your local DriSteem representative to learn more.

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