It’s summer and South Africa is in the grips of a heatwave, but that doesn’t mean that we get to completely forget about work. We’ll still be using our laptops, far away from the glorious air conditioning our machines have become accustomed to.
As a result, you’ll have noticed that your machine is heating up quickly and alarmingly when you’re working from home. High heat can shorten the lifespan of your laptop and affect its performance.
These tips will help you to manage the heat that flows to your device so that you’re able to keep your laptop happy so that it’s always in the best shape when you need it.
How to prevent your laptop from overheating
Keep to the shadows
Unless it’s completely impossible to avoid don’t work in direct sunlight. First, you’re going to need to push your brightness way up which is going to kill your battery if you’re not hooked up to power.
Your laptop is likely some shade of grey or black and just about able to keep itself cool under normal conditions. If you’re outside and the ambient temperature is 35 degrees and you’ve got the laptop sitting in direct sunlight you’re asking for problems.
Keep your vents clear
Laptops, unlike PCs, they have very little space for airflow. Typically, you’ll find that one side of the laptop has a lot of venting with the fan doing most of its work to push the heat out of there.
If you’re working on your lap or on a couch make sure you’re keeping that vent clear. Apart from the side venting the only other way your laptop can suck in cooler air and push out hot air is via the bottom of the laptop.
You’ll notice it most likely has ‘feet’ which keep the base from resting flat on your desk. This would normally allow air to flow underneath the laptop.
When you’re working on a couch, bed or even your laptop you’ll normally not be using a flat surface. This will mean that the bottom of your laptop won’t be able to help with transferring heat out of the machine.
If you’re working from home, it’s worth getting a laptop stand or tray that you can put on your lap when working away from your desk.
Use a riser and a fan or cooling pad
If you’re working at a desk at home and you’re still having problems keeping your laptop cool raising your laptop and using desktop fan could help.
Use anything you have at hand. Coins, washers or boxes. Anything that will give you some space between the bottom of our laptop and the desk.
Creating that bit of breathing space and adding a desktop space to your workspace will help a lot with cooling. If you’re looking to spend some money you can look at one of those cooling pads.
These cooling pads are basically laptop trays with fans installed below the base. This will help to circulate air below the your machine as well.
Give some thought to where you’re going to be working
Once you’ve avoided direct sunlight there some other things to look for when working at home. The obvious first choice should be to find an air conditioned spot. Sometimes the best option is to get your car keys and your mobile hotspot and head to the nearest mall.
Failing that you’ll want to try and find a spot in the house that’s got good ventilation and as few distractions as possible. Don’t forget the quicker you’re able to finish your work the less of an issue over heating will be.
Put your laptop to sleep when not in use
In summer try and get out of the habit of leaving your laptop on. Putting your machine to sleep when it’s not in use will allow the internal temperature to drop naturally. This will give you a fighting chance of keeping your laptop cool.
Over the long term it also means you’ll probably help keep your laptop healthier for longer.