PC ComponentsCooling

Why Is My Laptop Blowing Hot Air?

Overheating Laptop

Heat and electronic components are inseparable. When your laptop is working, it generates heat energy within its internal components, which requires the cooling system to remove. The laptop fan takes in cool air from the surrounding, cools the laptop’s internal components, and disperses warm air. When the heat becomes too much, you can begin to show concern.  

Quick Answer

When your laptop blows hot air, it is usually because you’re running programs that push or exceed the limits of its CPU and GPU. It can also be caused by computer malfunction due to blocked vents and dusty fans, using your laptop for too long without rest, placing your laptop on a heat-absorbing surface, and using your laptop in a hot environment or under sunlight.

This article will explain five reasons why your laptop is blowing hot air. We will also explain the symptoms you will observe if your laptop overheats and how you can prevent your laptop from overheating. 

Five Reasons Your Laptop Is Blowing Hot Air

Let’s dive into the most common reasons your laptop releases hot air. Here are five of them below.

The Vents Are Blocked

Because your laptop is compact and uses a lot of processing power and storage, it generates a lot of heat when you run heavy apps. To prevent the internal component of your laptop from overheating, your computer sucks in cool air from the surrounding through the vents, usually at the bottom of the computer. 

The cool air cools the hot components, and warm air is dispersed from the computer. This process is severely hindered if dust has accumulated in the vents and there is little space to allow air intake. When the vents are blocked by debris and dust, your laptop won’t have access to cool air, which may lead to overheating.

You’re Using Your Laptop on a Soft Surface

It is common for computer owners to place their laptops on the bed, pillow, or lap. This is not advisable because those three surfaces will prevent proper ventilation and accumulate heat rather than allow the passage of air that is needed to cool your laptop. 

With your laptop placed on a soft surface, more heat is generated within that area, and hot air is taken in instead of cool air. As a result, your laptop blows hot air out of the system.

You’re Running Heavy Programs

Unless your computer is faulty or very old, it shouldn’t blow hot air when running basic programs like word processing, browsing, email messaging, etc. 

However, when you run heavy programs that push the limits of your CPU and GPU, your laptop starts to generate heat, and your fan would have to run at maximum speed to cool it down.

Your Environment Is Hot

Your laptop draws cool air from the environment through the vents to cool its internal component before dispersing the warm air. If your environment is hot, that means hot air goes into the computer. Since hot air would be combined with the hot components, the result is hot air going out. 

You’ve Been Using Your Laptop for an Extended Period

Like the human body, your laptop needs rest after a while; otherwise, it will malfunction. If you keep using your laptop for a long time without shutting it down, it could result in a higher CPU temperature and slower performance. This could cause your laptop to blow hot air.

How To Prevent Your Laptop From Overheating

Just because your laptop is blowing hot air doesn’t necessarily mean it is overheating. Sometimes, it is because you are running programs pushing or exceeding the CPU and GPU limits and causing the internal components to generate heat which is then expelled by the fan through the vent. When this happens occasionally, your laptop isn’t at risk of overheating.

However, when your CPU and GPU are constantly being pushed to their limits, you risk overheating your system. Your fan shouldn’t run at its maximum speed all the time unless it is a gaming laptop. Overheating occurs when your laptop starts blowing hot air when running normal programs, and it becomes even unbearable for you to place it on your lap. 

Usually, the system slows down its performance to reduce the heat generated, and the fans make a lot of noise while running at maximum speed to try and force out the heat from the laptop. Sometimes, the laptop turns off suddenly without warning because the computer is too hot and is at risk of permanent damage to its components.

You can prevent your computer from blowing hot air and overheating.

Clean the Laptop Fans and Vents

When there is too much dirt on the laptop fan and the vents such that the fan can’t pull in cool air from the surroundings to push out the warm air in the laptop and cool its internal components, the system is at risk of overheating. It is important to clean your fan and remove dust from the fan blades and vents.

Cleaning the fan and vents requires a screwdriver to take the laptop apart, a can of compressed air to blow the dirt away, and some cotton buds to clean the dust that the compressed air didn’t remove. When you’re done, reassemble the laptop with the screwdriver.  

Shut Down Your Laptop

This is a simple but very effective solution. Sometimes, your computer is just blowing hot air because you have been using it for so long without shutting it down. When you shut down your computer for a few hours and restart it, you will be surprised at how much difference that can make. And the heat is significantly reduced.

Keep Your Laptop on a Hard and Flat Surface

Most vents are located at the bottom of your laptop; therefore, placing your laptop on a soft surface may result in overheating. A soft surface would absorb all the heat generated and block cool air from coming through the vents.

Place your laptop on a hard and flat surface to prevent this and ensure proper ventilation

Don’t Push or Exceed CPU and GPU Limits

When your laptop blows hot air while running basic programs, it is most likely a computer malfunction that requires fixing. However, it is normal for your computer to generate a lot of heat when running heavy programs that push or exceed its CPU and GPU limits. 

To prevent the risk of overheating, do not run programs that are more powerful than what the computer’s processor can take. If your computer cannot comfortably run a program, get a better computer to run it.

Buy a Laptop Cooling Pad

Buy a laptop cooler that blows cool air in and around a laptop so it can take in sufficient cool air to remove heat from its internal components. Cooling pads are not too costly, and they work like an external fan on your laptop. 

Final Words

While a little heat is healthy and normal for your laptop, it isn’t very healthy to consistently blow hot air. If it isn’t because you’re overworking the system, the hot air results from system malfunction and may cause the laptop to overheat. You’re doing something wrong when your laptop is too hot for you to place on your lap.

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