1.3. Maintaining Environmental Controls

In addition to equipment-specific preventive steps, you can take several environmental steps to protect and preserve your computer. This section looks at those factors and elements.

1.3.1. Ventilation and airflow

When discussing equipment ventilation, only two factors come into play: external ventilation and internal ventilation. Poor ventilation can contribute to higher-than-recommended CPU temperatures or other damage. Components that are affected by these internal and external factors include power supplies; processors; hard disk drives; and motherboard components, such as chipsets and capacitors. To see how your system is performing, most modern motherboards and hard drives provide temperature sensors that can be accessed from software within your operating system.

1.3.1.1. External ventilation

The largest single variable in the area of external ventilation is actually the ambient room temperature. If the room is not cool enough, your computer will never be cool enough because the computer simply brings room air into the case to cool components, which is expected to be cooler than the air that is currently inside of the computer case. Room temperatures should be between 60° and 75° Fahrenheit (15°–25° degrees Celsius), but try to stay at the low end of that scale. Most computer manufacturers provide a recommended operating temperature range for their computers. If the computers are constantly used at higher temperatures, your failure ...

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