Tech Stuff

‘Summertime, and the Laptop is Heating’

Gosh, am I writing something serious here? Ahem. Right. (Edit: okay be honest, nothing exciting or funny happened this week so you’re digging out an article you wrote three months ago) Wow, my Editor’s harsh.

Why Laptops Overheat

If you’ve ever taken your laptop to bed with you to read the news or catch up with relatives on Facebook, you might have noticed that your laptop begins to get hot. The battery begins to get low and most people might instinctively plug in the charger and keep browsing. After all, the laptop has fans to cool it down, so what’s the harm? Actually, a lot more than you might think.

Laptops were first offered to the public in the year 1981 by Xerox PARC and since then, they have undergone various changes to make them more efficient. However, no matter how many advancements have been made to the laptop, one thing remains true: computers use energy to accomplish their function. Because laptops utilize electric energy, they give off heat. To combat this, manufacturers and designers have installed fans and vents on laptops to help the computer “breath” and expel its excess heat.

When operating significant loads of programs, laptops can generate a significant amount of heat. If it weren’t for the proper cooling methods, your laptop may as well be a third-degree burn waiting to happen.

How to Prevent Laptops from Overheating

There are two very easy ways that you can implement to help benefit the health of your machine. The first one is to keep your laptop’s ventilation routes clean. Now, in order to do this, you must first find the vents on your specific machine. Most of the time these are obvious slits on the body of the computer, located either in the gap where the computer folds or on the bottom under the keyboard.

Stock Image | Pixabay | Samantha Dee | Author and Writer | My Big Fat Blog

Tip: If you can’t find your computer’s vents, simply go browse the internet for a bit and listen for the air that’s coming out of the computer, this is where your fans are located.

Now that you’ve found your laptop’s vent, make sure it’s clean! That’s right, all you need to do is keep dust out of the way of the vents to allow the computer to properly expel heat. The second thing that you can practice (if your fans are located on the bottom) is giving the computer appropriate leverage to let the vents blow the hot air away from the machine as much as possible. This may sound complicated, but this simply means to place your computer on a flat, hard surface. When you lay your laptop in bed with you on sheets, there is not enough leverage for the fans to efficiently get rid of heat. The fans simply blow the hot air on to the sheets and then the laptop absorbs that heat right back up!

Why you Should Prevent Overheating

Laptops should be viewed as a child (not as important as your actual kids, but still!), without giving them what they need they might not be as healthy. When a laptop’s battery overheats multiple times, it decreases the longevity of the device. If you start to notice your machine overheating, take a break from your workload and allow the laptop to cool itself off. Give it proper leverage, make sure the fans aren’t dusty and take a step back. Laptops may not be sentient, but sometimes they need a break too!

So, remember, if you want to increase your laptop’s longevity, make sure the vents are clean and have the space to blow out heat. If you start doing those simple habits, you’ll notice your laptop overheating a lot less!

Samantha Dee is the Author of ‘My Big Fat…Fat’ and ‘The Thirty Day Wellness Journal’. Her next book, ‘My Big Fat…Kitchen’ is due out soon.

Picture of Samantha Dee

When not writing books and blogging in her comedy lifestyle blog, Samantha uses her twenty year tech career at DiscoverYourPathU where she is Chief Technical Officer and Instructor. She has written several online courses for business startups.

Finally, Samantha is a well-liked Life Coach, specializing in self-esteem and body image with qualifications in Mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Skilled Helping. She speaks on several panels around the internet in this regard.

Profile Samantha Dee

Author of 'My Big Fat...Fat' out now on Amazon

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