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  • Writer's pictureAaron Dibble

Let the Air Flow

Updated: Oct 14, 2022

How important is air flow? Can your computer overheat if your room is cold? You may be surprised to see how quickly bad circulation can burn out your PC!


I grew up in an old farmhouse with no air conditioning. Most people would assume this made my house unbearable. However, with some good manipulation of air flow, it was completely reasonable. Your desktops and laptops are no different.

Inside your computer there is a piece of metal called a heatsink attached to your CPU. This is your computer's way of dispersing heat. The metal draws the heat into itself and then as air flows past it, the metal cools down. This is why computers most commonly have internal fans.

The fans help pull cool air over your heatsink and push the warm air out. However, it is important to remember, just as your house fan becomes caked in dust and debris, so do the fins of your laptop or Desktops fan. The more gunk on your fins the less air is manipulated and therefore your computer cannot do its job because its too hot. Making sure your computer has the appropriate space around it to breathe will increase its longevity as well as speeds. You work better when you aren’t overly hot correct? Your computer feels the same!

If you're having heating issues and you have a laptop, you can buy “cooling pads” which are really just a bank of fans you rest your laptop on. Alternatively, you can also find little flip up feet for about 10$ that give your laptop additional space underneath it to improve its airflow; you should consider getting one or the other. Desktops are a little harder to improve, basically just don’t keep in in an enclosed space (No cupboards!). If you are running into problems try putting a little fan behind it to help blow in cool air or take it to your friendly local computer shop (located on 303 N 3rd St) and have them install another fan/find out what’s wrong.

Is summation: keep good ventilation with space around your electronics and occasionally blow the dust out with a can of compressed air.


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