Your Computer Thinks Winter Sucks

Keeping Your Computer Safe in the Winter

It’s February.  It’s cold, it’s snowy, and you’re over the winter.  But we still have over a month to go until the weather changes and things begin to green up again.  If you’re tired of winter, or downright hate it, you’re not alone.  Your computer doesn’t like this season any more than you do.

Your Computer Hates Winter

As your choice for computer repairs in Billings, MT, we want to make sure that you get the most from your devices.  Make sure you don’t fall victim to damaging your computer this winter season, or any winter season for that matter.

Your Computer Hates the Cold

Most computers are designed to work in moderate temperatures.  That means somewhere between 45 degrees and 90 degrees is the optimum operating range.  Anything warmer may not seem like a big deal, but keep in mind that if the air temperature is above 90, the internal temperature of the computer can easily be over 110.  So if a computer heats up, lower temperatures are better, right?  Not exactly.

Extreme temps are bad for computers

When below freezing, all sorts of issues can occur.  The LCD screen can crack, hard drives can distort, batteries can rupture or best case they won’t keep a full charge anymore, internal components can end up on the fritz.  Unless you have a computer that is specifically designed for cold weather, don’t operate it below 50 degrees, and don’t store it for an extended period somewhere that it can freeze.

Your Computer Hates Dust

Wintertime is dusty.  With all of the doors and windows shut tight, and the central air blowing, dust accumulates inside the house.  Have you ever opened your computer up to look at the insides?  If it’s more than a year or two old, it probably has accumulated some dust.   If you have pets, it’s even worse.

Dust will damage a computer

Keep your computer away from the high traffic areas of the house.  If you are able, open it up a couple times each year to clean the dust out of it.  Taking care not to damage internal components, gently blow or vacuum the dust.  If you don’t feel comfortable doing so, our computer techs can take care of that for you.

Your Computer Hates Static

Here in Montana, winter is the dry season.  The moisture is all pulled from the air, our skin cracks, our throats dry out, and we don’t feel great.  If you have ever shuffled along the carpet in the winter and then touched a friend, you know that static electricity builds up in the air during these dry months.  Static is not your computer’s friend.

Static will damage your computer

Fortunately, new computers are relatively shock proof.  Unless you’re getting inside to upgrade RAM, clean dust, or do some other maintenance small static discharges aren’t going to hurt it.  Larger ones, could lead to problems.  Always use a 3 prong grounded outlet when charging or plugging in your computer.  To be on the safe side, always touch something metal before working on your computer; this will release any static build-up you may have, and ensure a static free work session.

Your Computer Hates Condensation

If you wear glasses, you’ve had this problem.  You come inside after being out in the cold, and your glasses immediately fog over.  The condensation that occurs as something cold warms up is annoying at best, and damaging at worst.  Your computer, and all of your electronic devices, doesn’t like water.  A little won’t hurt, but a lot of it will.  It all depends on where the water ends up, and if you send a current through something when it’s still wet.

Condensation is bad for your computer

To prevent condensation on the computer, there are 2 steps to follow.  First, keep your computer in a sleeve when transporting it through the cold.  This will help keep it slightly warmer than the air around.  Next, keep the computer in the sleeve as it slowly warms to room temperature.  Avoid the temptation to artificially warm it (with a heating pad, oven, or cat for instance), and give it a good 20 minutes before turning it on.

Let iDoctor Fix your Computer

Some computer repairs are pretty easy.  Others require special knowledge.  Still others require the right tools and a bit of skill.  No matter where your skill levels are, if you don’t think you can, or simply don’t want to, tackle a computer repair problem, bring it in!  We have two location in Billings to help with all of your computer repair needs.