Beat the heat!

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With the summertime heat bearing down on us, it’s that much more likely that your computer will suffer issues with overheating. Unfortunately, you can’t give your computer cold drinks and popsicles. So how do you keep your computer at reasonable operating temperatures?

Keep airways clear

If you’re using a laptop, this means using a solid surface. A desk, table, or lap-desk such as one of these will keep the space around the vents clear, allowing air to flow to the CPU and other parts that generate heat. There are also laptop cooling trays that will not only provide that space, but that contain USB powered fans to increase the airflow.

Desktop computers are a little trickier, as keeping the airways clear may mean rearranging your workspace. Ideally, your desktop computer should be kept approximately 36” off the ground and clear of anything that would restrict the airflow to the various vents. The closer you get to the ground, the more dust is in the air, which brings us to the next step.

Get rid of dust

Dust clogs the vents that allow air to enter the PC, so even if you follow the above advice, your PC may not be getting the airflow it needs. Fortunately, the solution is very simple. With your computer turned off, take a can of compressed air and blow out the vents. If you are using a desktop computer and are comfortable opening the case, you could do even better by blowing it out from the inside.

Check your fans

If your PC is running hot, all your fans should be running. You can typically see if they are running through the vents. If a fan isn’t running, the best thing you can do is replace the fan. Another option is to lubricate the fan; however this is a VERY short term solution.

Liquid cooling

Much like a car, liquid cooling will do a better job of keeping your desktop PC  cool than air cooling. This has proven so effective in cars that you cannot purchase a new car that doesn’t use it. With PCs, liquid cooling is generally reserved for performance and gaming PCs, which use high power processors and video cards that produce significantly more heat.

When in doubt, hire a professional

If you’re not already comfortable opening your PC, getting the PC thoroughly cleaned and having the moving parts inspected by a technician is a good idea. Having your computer cleaned will prevent common overheating issues such as random reboots as well as extend the life of your PC.

Word of warning

If you clean your PC yourself, please make sure the computer is powered off. Also, do not use a vacuum cleaner as they produce static electricity which can damage the electronic components inside your PC.

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