Your PC contains a lot of parts, almost all of which create heat when your computer is on. Some parts, like the CPU and graphics card, can get so hot you could cook on them.
In a properly configured computer, much of this heat is moved out of the computer's case by several fans. If your computer isn't removing the hot air fast enough, the temperature can get so hot that you risk serious damage to your PC. Needless to say, keeping your PC cool should be a top priority!
Below are the top PC cooling solutions. Many are free or very inexpensive so there's really no excuse to let your computer overheat.
The easiest thing you can do to help keep your PC cool is to give it a little breathing room by removing any obstacles to air flow.
Make sure there's nothing sitting right against any side of the computer, especially the back. Most of the hot air flows out of the back end of the computer case. There should be at least 2 to 3 inches open on either side and the back should be completely open and unobstructed.
If your computer is hidden away inside a desk, make sure the door isn't closed all the time. Cool air enters from the front and sometimes from the sides of the case. If the door is closed all day, hot air tends to recycle inside the desk, getting hotter and hotter the longer the computer is running.
An "urban legend" about PC cooling is that running your computer with the case open will keep it cooler. It does seem logical - if the case is open, there would be more air flow which would help keep the computer cooler.
The missing puzzle piece here is dirt. When the case is left open, dust and debris clog the cooling fans faster than when the case is closed. This causes the fans to slow down and fail much quicker than usual. A clogged up fan does a terrible job at cooling your expensive computer components.
It's true that running your computer with the case open might provide a small benefit at first, but the increase in fan exposure to debris has a much greater impact on temperature.
The fans inside your computer are there to keep it cool. Do you know what slows a fan down and then eventually makes it stop? Dirt - in the form of dust, pet hair, etc. It all finds a way into your computer and much of it gets stuck in the several fans.
One of the most effective ways to cool your PC is to clean the internal fans. There's a fan on top the CPU, one inside the power supply, and usually one or more on the front and/or back of the case.
Just shut your computer off, open up the case, and use canned air to remove the dirt from each fan. If your PC is really dirty, take it outside to clean or all that dirt will just settle elsewhere in the room, eventually ending up back inside your PC!
Is the area you're running your computer in just too hot or too dirty? Sometimes your only option is to move the computer. A cooler and cleaner area of the same room might be fine, but you may have to consider moving the computer somewhere else entirely.
If moving your PC just isn't an option, keep reading for more tips.
Important: Moving your computer can cause damage to the sensitive parts inside if you're not careful. Be sure to unplug everything, don't carry too much at once, and sit things down very carefully. Your main concern will be your computer's case which holds all the important parts like your hard drive, motherboard, CPU, etc.
Your CPU is probably the most sensitive and expensive part inside your computer. It also has the most potential to overheat.
Unless you've replaced your CPU fan already, the one that's in your computer now is probably a bottom-of-the-line fan that cools your processor just enough to keep it working properly, and that's assuming it's running at full speed.
Many companies sell large CPU fans that help keep CPU temperature lower than a factory installed fan ever could.
Shop around for a CPU fan that's compatible with your CPU socket. Just about anything is going to be better than what came preinstalled in your computer.
For more information or advice about upgrading your computer, please contact me.
A case fan is just a small fan that attaches to either the front or the back of a computer case, from the inside. Case fans help move air through a computer.
Installing two case fans, one to move cool air into the PC and another to move warm air out of the PC, is a great way to keep a computer cool.
Case fans, of which there are many to choose from, are even easier to install than CPU fans so don't be afraid to get inside your computer to tackle this project.
The power supply in your PC has a large fan built into it. The air you feel when you hold your hand behind your computer is from this fan.
If you don't have a case fan, the power supply fan is the only way that the hot air created inside your computer can be removed. Your computer can heat up quickly if this fan isn't working.
Unfortunately, you can't just replace the power supply fan. If this fan is no longer working, you'll need to replace the entire power supply.
All of these methods are aimed at improving your computers reliablitiy and performance. If you feel confident to tackle these solutions please feel free! However if you need any advice, guidance or assistance please do not hesitate to contact me as computers are easily damaged.
Member since: 20th September 2012
Shaun is a qualified professional working in the IT Industry. Since 2012, he has worked closely with both Businesses and Individuals to consult and advise on how IT can be used to improve work productivity...