With the ultra-hot temperatures happening this week, and especially if you don’t have A/C, turn off your equipment when you’re not using it. Not only will it keep you cooler, but it will extend the life of your equipment – particularly hard drives. Whether it’s your receiver, HDTV, or computer, power it down when you’re not using it, and monitor its temps when you are. If it starts to feel excessively hot, you’re at risk for problems occurring later.
Telltale signs of overheating equipment: wierd failures or odd behavior, lockups, un-repeatable errors or crashes, or most commonly: sudden shutdowns. If the room temperature isn’t that high and your equipment has decent ventilation, check for dust buildup in the vents. Most computers should be vaccuumed out every few months, and home theater gear once a year or so.
Overheating won’t always show problems right away. A hard drive that runs too hot on a regular basis will work for a while, but a much shorter time than if it was properly cooled! The best solution is prevention.
It’s a good time to make sure your equipment is in a location with good ventilation, as well.
Have fun, and stay cool!