This document pertains to HP Notebook PCs.
The electrical components in a PC generate heat, and fans inside the PC help move the air to keep the components cooled to normal operating temperatures. Inadequate cooling can cause excess heat which forces the fan to run constantly, can damage components, and limit the speed of the CPU. All of these problems with high power and high heat will cause applications to work slower than normal.
The sound of the fan running all the time may the first clue that your PC is not running as efficiently as possible and that you may have a problem with accumulated dust clogging air vents.
Dust and lint on heat generating components and fans
Notebook PCs have vents in the bottom and sides to allow air to flow through the case. If these vents become clogged or heat generating parts become covered with dust, the fan cannot cool the components properly. Lint and dust accumulation prevents air from flowing around the cooling fins and causes the fan to work harder. If there is dust in the vents, you should clean the computer by blowing out the dust from around the fan and heat shield. This will prevent dust from accumulating as shown below.
Removing dust and lint by cleaning vents
The accumulation of dust can often be observed on the vents in the computer's case. You can use a can of compressed air as shown below to help remove the dust and prevent overheating. Removing the dust increases the air flow to improve cooling and allow the fan to run quieter.
The cooling vents are located in various places depending on the PC model. You can identify the vents by looking for the copper or black fins inside the vents. You should also blow the compressed air into other openings such as the fan intake vent. This will help keep the air circulating and prevent dust from accumulating on components.
By taking this action periodically as a preventive measure, you can greatly reduce the possibility of component damage and prevent the slowdown of the computer's performance.