Summer heat is breaking records this year, and like you, your computer needs to keep cool. Though your laptop or desktop has a built-in computer fan specifically for this function, it still relies on the help of its user to operate without overheating. Want to keep a new one off your back to school supply list? Heed these stay-cool tips:
- Location. Location. Location.
Avoid use in hot, humid environments, like your car, in favor of cooler, drier ones, like an air conditioned room.
- Select the right surface.
Hard surfaces (ie: not your lap) are best for protecting airflow that is essential to cooling.
- Think: Personal space.
Don’t put your computer in an enclosed space, where circulation is poor. Keep vents free and clear.
- Keep it clean.
Dust can reduce airflow and heat dissipation. Have a little fun with a can of compressed air every now and again.
- Be flexible.
Adjusting power management options to those that require less electricity subsequently result in the production of less heat.
- Grab some gear.
When shopping for back to school items this year, add a laptop stand or mat to your supply list for better heat control, especially on high performance computers and laptops, which generate more heat than lower performance and desktop systems.
- Keep an eye on things.
With the installation of heat monitoring software that can help you better understand the situations that put your computer under pressure.
Signs Your Computer Is Feeling the Burn
Too much heat can reduce CPU efficiency and result in excess wear-and-tear on components. Avoid the untimely demise of expensive computer devices by being aware of these warning signs of excess temperature:
- Hot flash!
The PC is hot to the touch or uncomfortable on your lap.
Ensure proper ventilation with the right location and/or gear.
- You’re not listening!
The computer fan cycles on and off more frequently, runs fast, or makes excessive noise.
Ensure your computer has room to breathe, is clean, and is out of the sunlight.
- I’m tired…
Opening up a new tab in your web browser or another program is an Olympic event.
Close all unused tabs in your browser to prevent the generation of unnecessary heat via programs you’re not even using.
- I don’t feel so good.
Strange pixels, streaks, or tears appear on top of windows.
Close programs you don’t need, increase ventilation and get it out of the heat ASAP.
- I give up!
You experience the blue screen of doom, or the computer abruptly shuts down and/or will not restart.
Worst case: You fried it. Best case: You let it cool off for a bit and it restarts.