How Does High Temperatures Affect Your Computer Hardware

September 2016

Prolonged period of hot weather, during heat waves in summer or in hot climate countries can have a negative impact on a company's computer hardware. Permanent damage to your equipment, data loss, cost relating to the replacement of damaged device, all these risks can be mitigated through the implementation of a few simple prevention rules.

Data loss: what are risks for the company?

A global study conducted by the Vanson Bourne firm on the behalf of the EMC Corporation which specializes in Cloud computing services, estimated that the costs associated to data loss and downtime was around $1.7 trillion for 2014.

Source: www.emc.com

What factors should be considered?

Besides malicious acts such as data piracy and sabotage there are other factors that must be taken into account when it comes to the protection of the company's hardware and data:

Human error: loss or theft of a device containing the company's data, mishandling, accidental deletion of data, breakage...
Physical causes: over-voltage (voltage spike), natural disasters, excess temperature (overheating)...
Software issues: application or system failure resulting in the loss of data.

What are the impacts for the company?

A decrease in productivity due to unusable information systems or hardware can lead several financial impacts for your suppliers, customers or business partners. You should also consider the costs for replacing the damaged computer system or hardware.

How to protect computer hardware from the heat waves?

Which equipment should be protected

Computers and the company's server are most likely to suffer from high temperatures as they are being used all day long. Their protection is a priority. Laptops computers usually have less efficient cooling systems than their desktop counterparts and particularly sensitive to heat. Printers, LED/LCD screens, scanners, mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets... the operation of other devices can also be altered by high temperatures.

Identifying the early warning signs

Recurring malfunctions during period of prolonged usage or during hot weather are the first sign of overheating. Abnormal heat coming from the computer or laptop casing and noisy ventilation (fans running at full speed all day long) are often due to the overheating of hardware components (RAM, GPU or CPU). You may experience slowdowns and random crashes with your computer.

The server and its data

At the heart of the company's computing operations, the server requires particular attention. It is advisable to place it in an air conditioned room. A surge protector can be used to protect your server from over-voltage and lightning storms. To ensure protection of company data in case of hardware failure, opt for a cloud based backup solution (outsourced servers).

Desktop and laptop computers

Avoid placing a desktop computer or a laptop in direct sunlight or behind a reflective surface. Ensure that the ventilation of the unit is working properly. The air vents can be cleaned before the summer, and regularly during hot weather. Turn off computers when not in use and also make sure to unplugged them during lightning storms. A regular and automated backup (in the cloud) can limit the loss of important data in the event of a major failure. Learn more:

Choosing the right cooling system for your PC
How to increase the lifespan of your computer hardware
My laptop is overheating, what can be done
Choosing a fan for your computer

Photo credits: © Frédéric Prochasson - Fotolia.com

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