Keeping it cool in the summer

As I write this, it's summer in the south west and it's hot. We've got temperatures almost reaching 30 degrees centigrade and people are starting to look forward to some cloud and maybe, some rain. Just a little.

The fact is that although we don't have extreme temperatures in the UK, what we do have is extreme changeability. This changeability is one of the things that makes our weather system such a tricky beast; tricky to predict and at times, really quite dangerous. The other issue is that since we don't have those extreme temperatures, we're usually ill equipped when they're thrust upon us. When there's snow on the roads, many people have no idea how to tackle it or even if they should be tackling it at all. And when there's the heat? Well, you might be fortunate enough to work in an air-conditioned office but for those of us who aren't, how do we keep cool?

Here's a guide to keeping it cool when the temperature soars.

1. Airflow
Yup, number one on the list is airflow. Make sure that there's plenty of room for air to move around you and your computer equipment. Fans help enormously but only if they can reach the things that you want to keep cool. So, make room in your room and spread your computer equipment out as much as is reasonably possible. Remember that fans only shift air around - they don't actually keep an area cool. They help keep people cool by lowering the temperature of our skin and aiding in the evaporation of sweat (which is how we stay cool). For computer equipment, they take the hot air being created by the kit and move it away somewhere else so that it can't just increase. Just remember that if you're not in the room and your kit isn't being used much, or at all, running your fans will do very little except cost you money - so switch fans / equipment off if you don't need them.

2. Keep your computer case closed
If you are using a computer with a removable case, you might think that opening it up will make it cooler but this can be a false economy. With all that extra airflow, you risk increasing the amount of dust that settles on your electronics. More dust = more insulation = poor cooling. Not to mention that you dramatically increase the risk of damage to yourself and your kit by having exposed electronics!

3. Move out of sunlight
Move yourself and your kit away from sunlight - windows, though great for looking out of, let in an immense amount of heat and sticking your computer in a pool of sunlight is like balancing it on top of a hot radiator.

4. Hydrate
Okay, so this one isn't for your computer equipment unless you're thinking of buying a water cooling system for your PC! Drink plenty of non-caffeinated beverages (water is obviously the best). Reusable bottles of water from the fridge can really help keep you cool when the temperature gauge maxes out.

5. Keep windows closed
If there's no breeze then consider keeping your windows closed as the heat from the outside happily replenishes any cool you have inside until there's an equilibrium. Remember that insulation works both ways: it keeps heat in and out.

6. Get some new software
This won't keep you cool but it'll reduce your workload and that surely has to help! At igeek, we create bespoke database software that's tailored to the needs of you and your staff. If you can imagine it, we can almost certainly create it. So if the thought of working through another season with poor software fills you with dread, contact us - we're here to solve that problem.

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