Prevent Your Computer from Overheating

It is summer in Boston and the heat has arrived. As you try to keep cool don’t forget about your computer. Heat is very dangerous to your laptop and desktop. It will shorten the lifespan of computer components and hard drives, make the computer run slower, and even in extreme cases burst into flames. (Not exactly burst into flames, but it can catch on fire)

Here are three ways to keep your computer cool:

Keep it Clean:

Dust and grime gets sucked into the computer case by the cooling fans and builds up over time.

From Lifehacker.Com:

Dust is an insulator. When you crack open the case of your computer and [it's blanketed with dust] you're looking at a computer that's facing a radically reduced life span. Every inch of it is covered with a blanket of insulating dust that raises the temperature of components across the board.

Keep the area around your computer is free of dust, trash, and away from cigarette smoke. Once a year, when the computer is unplugged, open the case and remove the dust. Ask a professional for assistance if necessary.*

Give it Space:

Make sure your computer has free space around all sides and that nothing is blocking the cooling fans. Computer cases are built to achieve maximum cooling efficiency and blocking just one of the fans greatly reduces the cooling effectiveness of the case.

Avoid placing the computer next to heat sources such as heaters or other hot electronic components.

For laptops make sure the cooling fans are not blocked. Consider purchasing a laptop cooling pad if the laptop constantly gets too hot.

Keep the Room Cool:

Intel recommends keeping your room temperature less then 75F – 85F. At this temperature the inside of the case would reach about 110F – 130F. When the internal temperature gets above 150F you may start to see signs of overheating.

Note: Each computer model and individual components have different safe temperature operating ranges. Consult the manufacturer for specific information about your desktop or laptop.

Signs of Overheating:

Intel lets us know that when a computer gets too hot you can expect to experience frequent and sudden restarts and shutdowns with or without the dreaded blue screen. The case and system fans may become noisy and the case exhaust is very hot.

If this is occurring turn off and unplug the computer. Wait for the computer to cool down naturally. Review the above steps before turning the computer back on.

* Opening the case may void the warranty, check with the manufacture first before opening the case.

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