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raven860's avatar

Is the "exhaust" and heat from laptops and computers harmful for one's health?

Asked by raven860 (2174points) May 4th, 2011

This may be a stupid question but here goes…

I have the computers (2) in my room run for extensive periods sometimes. They generate their heat and “exhaust”. Are their any health hazards that are possible in a fully enclosed room (As in the door and windows are usually closed)?

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20 Answers

LuckyGuy's avatar

Unless you have a liquid cooled, high performance computer that is leaking coolant from one of the tubes, the answer is “no”.
The exhaust is room air passed over and through a metallic heat sink. It is fine. You should clean the air intake and vents periodically so they do not clog and cause the processor to get too hot.

crisw's avatar

Or if you are male and put it in your lap!

klutzaroo's avatar

@crisw I wasn’t gonna go here, but… :D

thecaretaker's avatar

I think your probably safe, unless the damn thing catches fire.

YoBob's avatar

Haven’t heard any problems with the exhaust. It’s just hot air. However, I have heard of problems with fertility in men who rest laptop computers on their laps for long periods of time. It has nothing to do with any emissions, It’s just that heat and sperm cells don’t get along well.

raven860's avatar

Thanks you for the responsesguys . @crisw, @kultzaroo, damnit I used to do that quite a bit. lol…I hope my junk is not damaged.

cloudvertigo's avatar

Not unless yours is a combustion-powered model . . . to which I hope the block-ice delivery man isn’t late.

jerv's avatar

There is a reason I slide my laptop a bit to the left and don’t have my knees together when I use mine in my lap. Blocking the vents means that the cooling system won’t do it’s job, and that can cause quite a few problems. Not only will it risk damaging your laptop through sheer heat, the increased temps also warm up the battery and thus shorten it’s life considerably. And then there are the sort of issues that @klutzaroo pointed out.

thecaretaker's avatar

They sell those laptop tables that prevents the blocked vent problem.

jerv's avatar

@thecaretaker That kind of defeats the purpose of having a small, portable system though. I don’t know about you, but I take my laptop with me, and both space and weight are often at a premium. If it were otherwise then I might actually see the point of 17” laptops that weigh 8–10 pounds, but I rather like carrying only 4 pounds of stuff that can all fit in the carrying case as opposed to transporting an entire infrastructure around with me.
The only time those things become a necessity is when you have either neglected or damaged your laptop’s cooling system. For those of us who do not have a broken fan or a heatsink full of lint, they are just a waste of money, weight, space, and time.

In case you haven’t noticed, I have a rather strong opinion of those things :p

thecaretaker's avatar

@jerv, no thats where I disagree, they make those trays small enough to pack around, in fact a smart person could easily make his own tray more user friendly to pack around if he wanted, my laptop used to load up with lint until I made my own out of 1×4 scrapwood, now I dont get the same problem, I dont take my laptop with me but if I did I would use the carrying case it came with and make another tray that breaks down; if theres a way to build something I can do it, I dont like spending money either.

jerv's avatar

@thecaretaker You may go for something like this then, but my case, which I am quite happy with, doesn’t have the room for that sort of added cargo. That is doubly true when I strap it across my back for a bike ride.

thecaretaker's avatar

@jerv, really? you take yours for a bike ride? what do you do for a living computer programing or something like that? Im thinking of trading mine in for one of those sony vaio upright computers, I dont remember what there called exactly but its an 18 or 20” screen, has the tower built into the back of the screen, and external keyboard and mouse, can be custom made; I bought the sony vaio laptop in 2003 before shipping out to Korea for a year, but now my needs are way different, I dont travel much.

jerv's avatar

@thecaretaker I will continue this via PM…

Response moderated (Spam)
cloudvertigo's avatar

@raven860 Then again . . .I suppose that almost every laptop is combustion-powered if you follow the cord back to the powerplant. Coal and steam-powered no less!!! :-)

to say nothing of the plastics, metals, and glues that are used to make a pc—being slow-roasted for the duration of your ownership. I would suppose that there has been some kind of foresight to this kind of thing and that they don’t get cooking-hot under normal operation but then it seems to have been the case for 200+ years that that is always our assumption. Then it turns out that lead is bad for you or something.

raven860's avatar

Very True. Now I am not sure of not having any known issues is a good thing or a bad thing lol.

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