You’re sitting on your couch, idly passing the time on your computer, when you suddenly notice your laptop has become uncomfortably hot. Hopefully, you manage to notice before it scalds your legs, causing erythema ab igne, also known as “Toasted Skin Syndrome,” or even more embarrassingly as “Granny’s Tartan.” This hyperpigmentation of the skin that results from long-term exposure to heat that has historically been associated with overusing a hot water bottle, working in front of an open fire, or a coal stove. Now, thanks to technology, you can add binging Netflix on your lap to that list. Funny as it seems, if you let your laptop cook your legs long enough, they could be red and blotchy for a few days. According to a study published in Dermatology Online Journal, repeated exposure could lead to permanent hyperpigmentation of your skin.
Even if your overheating laptop isn’t harming your legs, it could be damaging itself. That’s because heat can damage the components inside of your computer, shortening their lifespan or even damaging them permanently. In short, if you want to avoid data loss, those deeply troubling blue screens, or a burnt out motherboard, you need to take measure to prevent your laptop from overheating. Fortunately, the steps to prevent your laptop from getting too hot are simple enough that even the least tech savvy among us can follow them.
To get started, check the vents on the bottom (and possibly the sides) of your laptop for dust. If the vents are blocked, heat can’t escape. Use a can of compressed air to blast out the dust. To provide your vents with extra room to breathe, consider buying a stand to elevate it and give it the space it deserves.
An old battery could also be to blame. A deteriorating battery and a hot laptop are not two discrete computer problems. If you’ve noticed your computer’s battery life getting shorter and your laptop getting hotter, it’s time for a new battery. All you need is the model numbers for your computer and your battery and a willingness to do some online shopping, and your problem is solved.
These steps aren’t just palliative. They can be preventative, too. Keep your vents free and clear and your battery healthy (don’t drain it to 0% and don’t keep it plugged in at 100%), and you might be able to stave off overheating problems entirely. Your laptop (and your legs) will thank you. And when you want to better outfit your workspace, add these 9 Home Office Essentials to your must-buy list.
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