Keeping Your Computer Cool This Summer

Many hardware failures can be linked to improper distribution of heat. As ambient temperatures rise, it becomes harder for your computer to maintain safe operating temperatures. Keeping your computer cool is essential for having your computer’s hardware running at top performance. Now is a great time to safeguard your computer from any hardware failures that can occur from overheating.


Notebook Owners

For notebook owners, keeping your computer from overheating can be more involved than a desktop.  The process can be made autonomous when taking advantage of certain tools or equipment designed for notebook computers.  Follow these tips to have your notebook working in prime condition this summer. 

  1. Use your notebook on a solid flat surface with 2″ clearance surrounding the device to allow it to ‘breathe’. Avoid using a pillow or other non flat surface.
  2. Consider investing in a cooling pad for your notebook. There are many kinds and brands available to you; look for one with built in fans that will help ventilate and draw out the hot air.
  3. Purchase an aerosol air duster and use it briefly to blow on the openings on the sides and back of the notebook.
  4. Turn off your computer when you are no longer going to use the device. Notebooks are not meant to be run for more than 30 hours at a time. The computer needs time for a break, and benefits from an hour of ‘off time’ every 24 hours as a minimum.

Desktop Owners
For desktop owners, keeping your computer from overheating can be something easily overlooked, as the tower itself is not manipulated as much as a notebook. Some of the tips are similar to protecting a notebook; however, there are some key differences here.

  1. Make sure that there is at least 2″of clearance behind the desktop to allow the exhaust of the desktop to work properly and expel hot air.
  2. Keep your computer vents clear! A desktop by default will require more air circulation than a notebook. Because of the high amounts of air circulation required, a desktop is more susceptible to dust buildup. Purchase an aerosol air duster and use it briefly to blow on the openings on the sides and back and front of the desktop.
  3. Computer wheezing or making strange sounds? Consider replacing the default case fans that come with the computer.  This process requires minimal knowledge of computer repair and can be completed in a matter of minutes with a screwdriver as your only tool.

It pays to keep your computer cool. By following these simple steps, you should be able to keep your computer within its safe operating temperature limits.


Contributions to this article were made by Devin Sag, Technology Helpline Technical Analyst – Reno/Sparks Assn. of Realtors


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