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How to keep your computer cool this summer

By Eric Geier (Our Founder & Owner)

Originally published by Cox Media Group on 6/17/19

Summer starts this week! Though you might enjoy the 80-plus degree weather, computers don’t.

Most electronics don’t do well in high heat or humidity. So here I share some tips on keeping your computers cool and running smoothly: Don’t place your tower inside an enclosure: We often see computer desks with a spot to place the computer tower inside a cabinet. Though you might like that for aesthetic reasons, to hide the computer, it’s not good for heat. We recommended placing computer towers in a well-ventilated spot, preferably up off the ground.

Don’t place laptops on beds or couches: If you have a laptop, try to keep it on a hard surface. Soft surfaces like a bed, couch, or blankets can block air vents and fans from working properly. Be careful to also not block the vents and fans when putting the laptop on your lap.

Get a laptop cooling tray: Laptops have everything crammed inside a small space when compared to desktop towers, so laptops are typically more susceptible to overheating. Consider getting a cooling tray for your laptop, especially useful if you do use your laptop on your lap, bed, or couch. These trays offer a hard surface to place the laptop on and have cooling fans built in for additional cooling.

Have a tech perform a yearly physical cleaning: Dirt, hair, dust, and other particles flying through the air builds up on the vents, fans, and other components of the computer. Keeping these off and out of your computer as much as possible can help reduce overheating issues. Though you may be able to remove build up from the outside of your computer, I suggest leaving the inside cleaning to a professional.

Have a tech check your computer’s temperatures: A computer pro can also check the temperature of your processor and other components inside to see how well they’re being cooled.

Sometimes you may notice the computer fans running more often or louder, which is a sign of possible overheating. Most computers also have an auto shutoff feature that turns off the computer if the heat hits dangerous temperatures. Don’t wait until that point before calling a pro.

Have a tech reapply thermal paste: If a tech sees your processor running too hot, they can usually reapply thermal paste between the processor and heatsink. The paste is crucial in cooling and the paste from the factory can dry up after several years.

Having a computer pro reapply the paste is usually a quick and economical fix though.

If buying a new computer, try to get a traditional tower: When shopping for a computer, try to buy a traditional computer tower because they have much better cooling ability than other options.

If you want a laptop so you can move it around your home or travel, that’s understandable. But I don’t suggest buying a laptop if you’re just going to keep it in one spot. All in one computers with the computer built into the monitor also have similar heat concerns as laptops since all the components are stuffed into a smaller space. So, that’s one reason I don’t usually recommend the all in one computers.


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