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How Hot Christchurch Summers Could Be Damaging Your Computer, Laptop or Tablet

In these hot summer days your computer is at a greater risk. Specifically, you may find that your CPU is over heating as the fan that keeps it cool struggles to keep pace with the increased temperature.

computer heat christchurch

Laptops and desktop computers both use a piece of conductive metal called a “heatsink” that draws heat away from the CPU. A fan is attached to the heatsink to cool it more quickly. This is a vital part of any laptop or desktop computer. The CPU in your computer generates a LOT of heat quite quickly, especially when being actively used. If you were to take your heatsink off your CPU and turn on the computer it would probably last about 10 seconds before overheating.
This very old video shows what happens (warning: it's a low quality video). 

Tablets don’t have fans – mostly as part of the design process to keep them small and thin. If you put a computer fan in a tablet it would have to be about 3 or 4 cms thick. No one wants to use a tablet that fat! Tablets get away without the fan, because they have much lower power CPUs that therefore generate much less heat. The more apps you have open the more CPU being used, the more heat generated.

Now, with the hot days we’ve been experiencing in our beautiful Garden City, Christchurch, the CPU is working harder. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem but there are some situations where it could be. These are…

Leaving or placing your computer in a hot room. Or even leaving your tablet or laptop directly in the sun! Dust accumulating. This is VERY common, that little fan I talked about is basically a dust sucker, drawing dust into the heatsink all day long. Even the cleanest rooms have a bit of dust and the fan does a great job of grabbing it. Having too many apps open. As mentioned, this increases the CPU use and thus the heat.

How do you know if your computer is too hot? The best test is simply to feel it. Put your hand on various parts of the laptop etc, but especially around the vents and if it feels any warmer than “very warm” then you might be in trouble. If so, or it’s really hot, I’d strongly suggest you turn it off ASAP.  

You can clean out the dust by using some compressed air (your local electronics store will have it) or by using a vacuum. Be careful how you do this as it can cause damage if you’re a bit over zealous. Sometimes there is dust in the computer that cannot be removed without disassembling it. For that you’d need a computer tech. Also, after the computer has been running hot for a few months the special thermally conductive paste they put between the heatsink and the CPU tends to dry out. Dry paste is not very conductive. All quite fixable, but you would need a computer technician to fix that problem.

How do you close apps? You’ll have to ask Google that one – there’s just too many possibilities depending on whether you have an iPad, Android Tablet etc

Well, I hope this has been of help to you. If you need and repairs done to your computer please call. Save the environment and your time, repair instead of replacing.

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