Being cautious when operating your computer not only increases its service life but also protects you from coming to harm. Many people are unaware that mishandling their machines can result in irreparable damage that would force them to sink their hands deeper into their pockets to get new laptops.
Below, I have listed some safety tips which you can put to use the next time you are operating your laptop. Make a point to integrate them into your weekly maintenance practices, and you will enjoy just how much more productive and safer you will be as you tap away on your machine in the years to come.
Laptops require much more maintenance as compared to the conventional desktop computers. Unlike in the case of the latter where you can leave them running for hours without fear of failure, laptops require getting shut down when they are not in use.
The essence of this practice is to ensure that your machine gets the rest that it deserves after hours of operation. Failure to give it adequate time to reset itself and cool down results in overheating.
Overheating poses a significant risk, both to you and your machine. The heat can damage the internal components of your device. Laptops too, know the essence of a rest period and will attempt to shut themselves down to prevent this from taking place.
It is quite reasonable for your laptop to feel warm to the touch during operation. However, should you smell smoke or smell a burning odor, shut it down immediately. Take note of how the fans work. If they run all the time or never run at all, it is an indication that your laptop is very likely to overheat.
Over time, if you continue using your laptop without giving it adequate rest periods, the processor slows down, and your productivity falls. Other components that suffer adverse effects include the battery and motherboard which can get rendered ineffective when exposed to a lot of heat for prolonged periods.
In addition to shutting down your machine, you can invest in a cooling pad to help reduce the amount of heat emitted by the laptop. However, the use of the pad should not keep you from shutting it down when need be.
Did you know that your power settings affect how fast your laptop heats up? When you are not using the computer, it helps to adjust the settings to those that will favor your processor such that your machine does not get overheated.
You can do this by clicking on your battery and choosing the ‘more power’ option if you are using a Windows laptop. By using advanced power settings and setting your processor states to about 70% to 90%, your computer will be safe.
Lowering the amount of light emitted also reduces the rate at which your laptop heats up.
Many are the times that people have put their machines into bags before ensuring that they are off and the consequences have been dire. The thing with a laptop is that it emits heat when on as there are many ongoing processes.
If you do leave your laptop running in the bag, the heat emitted can build up to levels which can lead to melting of the exterior parts of your machine. Notebooks have melted when carefully tucked into their owners’ bags.
The environment created in a closed bag is enough to bring about consequences far much worse than melting. As such, before you pack your machine, be sure to check that it is off. Don’t find out the hard way how bad it can get.
Maintain the vents
For some people, a weekly routine involves scanning their machines for viruses. Nevertheless, there is a lot more to it than just getting rid of infections if you wish to hold on to your computer for years.
When is the last time you checked your air vents? Inspecting your air vents helps you find debris that has built up over time. This debris can block the air vents, thus making it hard for your laptop to cool down when in use.
You can use forced air dusters to get rid of any build-up in and around the vents to prevent overheating over time. While you are at it, it is imperative that you note that nothing should ever get pushed into the vents.
Without efficient fans on your side, overheating will be a daily problem which can lead to the destruction of internal components. Fans that run throughout sessions, as well as those that never run, are indications that something is amiss with your cooling system.
There are some ways which you can use to check how active your fans are. Your warranty information can provide you with such details. You can also look up your manufacturer’s online support and get the software needed to test your fan.
If your fan fails the test, make a point to get it replaced as a defective fan is a danger to the working of your machine.
Depending on the make of your machine, it could be that your fans get their control from the BIOS. In such a case, it’s a good idea to go online and find information about BIOS updates to ensure that your fans are in order.
If you feel that you are not up to the task and would rather have an expert handle the job, you can get a knowledgeable person to do it. Do not compromise on how efficient the work is as poor jobs will haunt you shortly.
Say NO to lap burns!
Lap burns occur when the laptop heats up to uncomfortable levels on your lap during operation. According to medical advice, getting these kinds of injuries is not advisable, especially in the case of men.
There are options available to you such as the use of a ‘cooler’ or a laptop desk. They enable you to work as fast as you would with the machine on your lap and come with the benefit of comfort.
Choose a laptop desk that has provisions for large air vents as this will enable the cooling process to be fast. There are desks on the market which come with additional fans. They use power from the laptop to stay cool, and they keep you safe from experiencing burns.
You may opt to use a buffer such as a pillow between you and the machine when the temperatures get high. However, this does not solve the problem but rather, aggravates it. Laptops should be operated on hard surfaces to ensure that they can transfer the extra heat to other surfaces through conduction.
Soft materials also tend to block air vents, and in so doing, they take away the laptop’s ability to cool itself. When using such a buffer, you will notice that the temperatures get high at rapid rates when compared to using hard surfaces.
There are situations in which you may be unable to avoid using a soft buffer. In such a case, make use of a heat sink base as this will help cool the laptop. However, the best option where possible is to use a hard surface.
When your laptop is not in use, be sure to unplug all accessories connected to it. Not only do laptop accessories drain your machine’s power but they also contribute significantly to overheating.
How about you? What other ways can you stay safe?
You should sit in a position that allows you to keep your wrists in line with your forearms in a neutral manner. Make sure that your shoulders are relaxed and that your back has adequate support.
The critical issue with posture is that you should be comfortable. Straining any part of your body when working on your laptop exposes you to injury. Make sure that the computer gets aligned with your body such that you need not twist to use it.
Changing your position every fifteen minutes is helpful in reducing fatigue. If you feel uncomfortable in a given posture, even slightly, take up another form.
With the coming of technology, the number of eye problems has heightened. Some of these problems are as a result of continuous laptop operation. Your eyeball can get dry after constant staring at the screen so be sure to give your eyes a break. Every ten or so minutes, take time to focus on something other than the monitor.
You can focus on the floor, shut your eyes or plainly zone out for one or two minutes. Also, remember to blink a lot when using the screen to prevent the occurrence of dry eyes. Such actions provide the eyes with much-needed rest and reduce your chances of having to see an ophthalmologist shortly.
The rest of your body also needs a break at least once an hour. Get up and walk around, stretch and grab a glass of water. You will feel much more refreshed on resuming your position. If you have trouble scheduling rests between operations, download software that reminds you of rest periods.
If the screen angle and height are making you strain your neck, adjust their positions. These adjustments also minimize the glare from the screen.
The more familiar you are with programs, the less time you will spend on your laptop. As such, take time to fully explore the computer programs with the help of a training session to ensure that you can get your work done in short amounts of time.
Do not use your lap for support
Lap burns are dangerous and should get avoided as much as possible. Make use of a laptop cooler pad which will keep you safe from the high temperatures emitted by the machine.
Before you begin working on your laptop, ensure that it is stable and cannot wobble upon use. Using a machine that keeps shifting in position will strain your hands, and it will make it harder for you to fulfill your task on time.
Prolonged usage periods
If you work on your machine for long, getting an external mouse and keyboard will work in your favor. They enable you to keep a safe distance from the device to reduce strain and glare.
Think before use
Before getting on your machine, think about whether the task you are about to carry out is necessary. This questioning will help protect you from becoming addicted to the laptop and will further prevent you from developing health problems as a result of continued laptop usage.
When sharing a machine, take turns to face the computer as opposed to placing it in a position where all have to stretch to view the monitor. This method will protect all users from experiencing strain and fatigue.
If you feel aches and pains when using your machine, consult your doctor on the way forward.
One misconception that I have come across with many laptop users is that they believe that their machines are doomed to fail at any given moment. This myth has managed to make its way into people’s hearts, and they now look to it as a fact. The truth of the matter is that if you do take the necessary precautions when using your machine, you will enjoy a long service life that will give you value for the money invested and will protect you from coming to harm. Have a safe day, will you?