Extreme weather CAN affect your computer. Living on the Western Slope of Colorado, we are used to swings in weather and climate. When the temperatures outside are extremely hot, it can shorten the lifespan of hardware inside your computer. This can lead to damage that cannot be undone, and also might lead to data loss. Extreme heat will also significantly shorten the lifespan of your computer’s lifespan by chipping away at the motherboard, CPU, and other vital “organs” of your computer.
Here are a few tips to help keep your computer safe in hot weather:
- Avoid extreme temperatures – the average temperature that you should start worrying about your equipment is around 95 degrees, but even if you are below that temp, don’t leave your computer in direct sunlight
- Allow your computer to acclimate to your current room temperature - this will allow all components to dry off or constrict/expand before you power it up
- Don’t work outside on days with high humidity – it could cause electrical problems to your machine
- Let your computer breathe – don’t work on a surface that might prevent the vents and fans from doing their jobs
- Don’t leave it in your car for long periods of time – if it is absolutely necessary that your computer has to be in a hot or cold car, make sure it is powered off
On the flip side, extremely cold temperatures don’t tend to hurt your computer as much as the warmer temps. The main thing you have to worry about is bringing your computer in from freezing temperatures to warmer ones. This quick change from frozen/cold to warm can cause condensation within the computer, which could damage some components inside.
While a general rule of thumb of what constitutes too hot or too cold would be nice, it is all dependent on your machine. Each manufacturer has different temperatures to which their components can withstand, so be sure to check their guidelines if you are concerned.