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Keep your tech cool this summer

Your technology can’t go it alone when it comes to keeping cool during hot months.  Your devices need your help to continue to perform at optimum levels.

For example, Apple® recommends an environmental temperature below 95º F for most products in its ecosystem.  If you think your devices aren’t ever exposed to such heat, think again.  

Remember, all electronic devices produce their own heat on top of the ambient heat in the environment, so the temperature inside a device can be much, much hotter.  Consider those times when your office is shut down for the weekend and the thermostat is set higher … or if your computers located in poorly ventilated areas are always running … or if you leave your MacBook Pro® in a hot parked car.

Your Mac® is your biggest concern.  When a Mac gets too hot — the CPU in an iMac®, for instance, can hit 212º F under heavy loads — it will spin up its fans in an attempt to keep its internal components cool.  If your Mac’s fans are ever running at full tilt, first quit those CPU-intensive apps that create the most heat and then restart the device.  If the fans quickly come back at full speed, shut it down and let it cool off for a bit.  Worst case — an overheated Mac will start acting unpredictably … or crash.

Over-baked technology can create lots of issues.  Charging may slow or stop, components can become disabled, displays can dim, battery life can shorten and overall performance will certainly suffer.

Getting even more granular, components exposed to overheating can experience the following effects:

— Chips of all types can behave unpredictably as increased thermal noise (electrons vibrating more) causes a higher bit error rate.  Because electrical resistance increases with heat, timing errors can also occur.

— Lithium-ion batteries discharge well in high temperatures, but the increased rate of chemical reactions within the battery will result in a shorter overall lifespan.

— As devices heat and cool, the uneven thermal expansion of different materials can cause microscopic cracks that can lead to a variety of failures over time.

So what can you do to keep your tech cool?

Your iOS devices are a bit easier to manage.  Since they don’t have fans, they employ other coping mechanisms and will alert you if they get too hot.  Your iPhone® and iPad® are pretty smart cookies — when they tell you they need to cool down, pay attention to their instructions.

Your Mac requires more collaboration.  Clearly, keep exposure to very hot temperatures to a minimum, and power the computer down if necessary.  Do not leave your Mac (desktop or notebook) parked in a hot car.  In your office or home, provide good ventilation for cooling, and don’t block ventilation ports in the back of your iMac.  Finally, never put anything on a MacBook® keyboard OR on top of a Mac mini®.

Most of all, use common sense to protect your valuable technology.  And if you ever find yourself short of common sense, feel free to leverage ours.  Contact CranstonIT with your questions at 888-813-5558 or support@cranstonit.com