Would You Heat Your Home with a Data Furnace?

Imagine replacing your gas or oil fired furnace with a bank of internet servers courtesy of Google. Sounds pretty far fetched, don’t you think? Well that is what Microsoft and a group of research and computer scientists are proposing in this research study. This article in the New York Times espouses the belief that we could save millions of dollars in heating costs to harness the BTU rejection of commercial data centers and recovering this heat for our homes and businesses. It would also drastically reduce our carbon footprint. However, it is naive to believe that the additional heat gain from a bank of servers in your basement would not affect your summer cooling loads. The author (or researchers) suggest that you could merely exhaust this heat outside. If you could do that, why are billions of dollars worth of mechanical cooling systems being installed for data centers each year. I think this idea is not quite ready for prime time.
New York Times Article
Microsoft Research Paper on Data Furnaces

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