Ensure your computer and devices don’t overheat

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Though it’s not summer yet, it is getting warmer out. But computers and electronics usually don’t like heat.

Here’s some advice on how to keep them cool and happy:

Don’t place desktop towers inside cabinets: 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. Newer laptops are usually better heat-wise, but for older laptops consider getting a cooling tray. These trays offer a hard surface to place the laptop on and have cooling fans built in for additional cooling.

Try to limit direct sunlight to electronics: Direct sunlight, especially in higher heat environments like your car, can cause overheating of gadgets. Keep this in mind for your laptops, smartphones, or tablets.

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 computers. 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.

Eric Geier is the owner of On Spot Techs, a computer repair and IT services company offering on-site service at homes and businesses in the Dayton and Springfield areas and also a storefront at 4732 S. Dixie Dr. in Moraine. For more information, visit www.onspottechs.com or call 937-315-0286.

About the Author