So you’re writing the next great American Novel, with your laptop on your lap, and you notice that you are sweating profusely. It’s not that you are finally in the writing zone, or that you’ve drunk four cups of coffee. It may be that your laptop is slowly cooking your lap zone, and you’re feeling it. You guessed it right – you have an overheating laptop!
SO HOW WARM SHOULD A LAPTOP BE?
This is a more complex question than you might think. For example, Dell laptops are designed to run internally (The temp of the CPU) at around 52-55 C (125F – 134F) all the time. This means that the sides of a Dell laptop can pump out air at about 95-100 degrees all the time.
HP laptops run even hotter. Their internal temps can be 130-155F all the time. Air pumped out can be 100-110 F. Remember that this is the DESIGNED and NORMAL operating temperature for these systems. Luckily MacBooks and MacBookAir and Pros are a lot cooler (no pun intended)!
SO WHY DO THEY GET SO HOT?
This is why:
The vents on the sides of a laptop (sometimes in the back of the laptop) get easily get filled with hair, dust, cat and dog hair, human hair, etc. This can quickly heat up your laptop. This can lead to computer components aging quicker, giving out, burning out, and performance going down.
An important thing to remember is:
The Hotter The Laptop, the Shorter It’s Lifespan!
TIME FOR SOME SPRING CLEANING!
So how do you go about cleaning your laptop?
There are several things that you may do. In this case “Canned Air” might be your friend.
- Go out and buy a bottle of canned air from Walmart or Radio Shack or Office Depot. You don’t need to buy a six-pack or purchase the expensive metal pistol-blowgun model. Just a simple can of air made for electronics.
- Turn off your laptop, unplug it, and let it totally cool down for about 30 minutes.
- Pull the battery out.
- Now find the vents on the laptop. They will probably have a grill of some type over the area.
- Use the canned air and blow into each vent at a 45 degree angle. Have the vent pointed toward the ground while doing this so that any dust may fall out rather than be circulated within the case.
- In the battery compartment, blow into any openings into the case. Again have the laptop help side-on to the ground so dust may evacuate from the case.
SO HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU CLEAN YOUR LAPTOP?
IF YOU HAVE PETS AT HOME, BLOW OUT YOUR LAPTOP EVERY TWO WEEKS. OTHERWISE, DO IT ONCE A MONTH.
Some other things to keep in mind to keep your laptop from overheating:
- Do not block the vents on your laptop. If you are using it on your lap, do not set it on a blanket or anything that is a fluffy fabric. This can cause your vents to be totally occluded and your laptop will warm up very quickly indeed.
- Do not forget to close and move your laptop OUT OF BED. Many people fall asleep just pushing their laptop off to the side. Sheets, blankets, or even your body itself can cover it. You would not be the first person to wake up with first-degree burns from laying on your laptop!
- Once a year, take your laptop to a professional, to have them disassemble and clean it out completely.
Keeping these things in mind will help you keep your cool.