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Laptop Running Hot? - Reasons and Solutions to Heating Problems

written by: Arnold Zafra•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 4/29/2009

Laptop heating is perhaps the most predominant problem that all of us may have encountered or will encounter with Laptop technology. The sad thing is, there is no way you can stop Laptops running hot. But you can take some steps to abate the heat they generate with these tips.

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    Why Do Laptops Heat Up?

    Before we give you the different ways by which you can lessen the heat emitted by your laptop, we will discuss the reason for this. Why do laptops really heat up ? There are several known reasons why this occurs, although there is no really clear cut study about this. The common reasons why laptops heat up include:

    Clogged laptop vents - If your laptop is old, chances are it might have accumulated a lot of dust and/or lint that clog your laptops air vents. Heat emitted by the laptop parts inside can not escape out of your laptop's body. Hence, while using your laptop for any length of time, you'll soon feel the heat coming out from your laptop.

    Room Temperature - If your laptop's vent is clear of any obstruction, but you still feel your laptop heating up, the problem may be caused by the temperature of the room where you are working. Hot room temperature contributes to the heating up of your laptop.

    Improper Placement of Laptop - Related to the first reason we mentioned, another cause of too much heat emitted by your laptop might be the fact that you placed your laptop on a surface which may be stopping the airflow through your laptop's air vent.

    Malfunctioning laptop internal fan - Our laptops are similar to a car's engine. If the cooling fan is not properly working, your car would experience overheating. The same is true with our laptops. A malfunctioning fan will cause the laptop to heat up, since nothing is cooling it down.

    Over performing laptops - Another reason that might be causing your laptop to heat up is the fact that it is overpowered.

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    How to Lessen the Heat Emitted by Laptops

    Now that you know some of the most common reasons why laptops heat up, what can you do to abate this heat? Take note, we said abate and not prevent or stop. That's because laptops are bound to heat up no matter how much manufacturers claim that their laptops don't. Somehow, the laptop's thin and small body makes it inevitable. The cramped space and electronics inside your laptop make it prone to heating up.

    Here are some of the most common ways by which you could lessen the heat generated by your laptop:

    Clean laptop vents - Make it a habit to regularly check your laptop's vent. This is the key reason why laptops heat up so it must be checked first. If you find your laptop's air vent clogged, use some portable pressurized air to blow out the dust and lint clogging it.

    Work in a Cooler Room - As much as possible, work in a room where the temperature is cooler. It doesn't have to be in an air-conditioned room, but a room with good air circulation is enough to lessen the heat your laptop generates.

    Check Your Laptop's Internal Fan - If you're not brave enough to open up your laptop to check its innards on your own, get a computer technician to do this for you.

    Adjust Power Settings - Your laptop maybe emitting too much heat due to over-usage. But we're not going to say that you should stop using your laptop. Actually, you may use it all you want, but it would be wise to adjust the laptop's power settings to a level that won't overpower your laptop's capabilities. Laptops today have the option for various usage settings. Study the best settings for your laptop, specifically those that could lessen the heat generated by your laptop.

    Laptop Cooling Pad - I don't know about you, but in the area where I am right now, generic laptop cooling pads are widely available at PC stores. And these cooling pads don't cost too much. You can get some cooling pads for $3. Since I bought my laptop cooling pad, I never use my laptop without putting it on top of the cooling pad.

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