Cooling is required to eliminate excess heat buildup inside the computer which keeps internal components from malfunctioning due to overheating. Some examples of internal components which can be affected and fail due to overheating are the processor unit, disk drives and the memory. Some typical basic components used for cooling are internal fans and heat sinks. Heat sinks transfer heat to the heat sink so that it can then act as a radiator to efficiently dissipate the heat away from critical components. For large computer systems other methods are sometimes used for cooling, including water cooled radiators, and in rare cases, even liquid nitrogen and liquid helium.
A major contributor of unwanted heat buildup is excess dust and dirt on electronic components, which acts as an insulator, and build-ups of dirt and dust in airways and filters, restricting airflow within the computer and contributes to sub-standard heat transfer and dissipation. Most cooling configurations use one or more internal fans to bring in cool air at one end (bottom, front, etc) of the system which then expels the warmed air out the other end of the computer.
In order to keep your systems in optimal running condition, proper cooling and maintenance is required. Check the machine frequently for dirt build-up on air filters, fan grilles, and general vents and other openings in the cover system that are designed to allow heat to escape from the system. Ensure that the manufactures’ site planning documentation is followed to ensure there is adequate air space around the machine and that none of the air inlets or outlets are blocked or restricted in any way. Air Filters can sometimes be washed or otherwise cleaned (blowing off with compressed air for example). Some filters, such as paper ones, often needs to be replaced rather than cleaned. This will allow for proper airflow both into and out of the system. Sometimes it is mistakenly thought that removing external covers and internal baffles will improve cooling, whereas most systems are specifically designed to direct the incoming cool air to the most critical and heat producing elements and to effectively exhaust the heated air into the surrounding room environment and away from area of the machine in general. Generally speaking, the best practice is to ensure all covers and internal baffles are in their proper locations to maximize the effectiveness of the built-in cooling systems.