Does overheating reduce the lifespan of your electronic equipment?

Many of our electronic devices fail much earlier than they should. In this article we talk about the damaging effects of overheating on the longevity of our devices, and suggest tips to overcome its impact.

How does excess heat damage our devices?

Overheating can be a factor affecting the performance and longevity of our electronic equipment and devices. Studies state that the impacts of excess heat can lead to micro and macro levels of degradation. The micro-level overheating causes material degradation in a specific electronic component. This degradation is further caused by cracks, expansion, and other structural deformation. The macro-level overheating effects on systems failure due to degradation of different constituents and components.

Both micro-level and macro-level effects of overheating on electronic components increase the health and safety risk of an entire electronic assembly and electronic device.

What causes overheating?

Overheating is usually caused due to lack of proper airflow which overheats A/V components, resulting in system failure and even possibly leading to a short circuit. Overheating effectively suffocates the A/V equipment, and undermines the efficiency and reliability of the electronics.

The heat which is dangerous to your components is produced by the components themselves. While you use your entertainment system to watch movies or play games, these components convert the power they use into heat. The higher powered your components are, the higher the heat they generate.

Experts suggest watching out for cable boxes, amplifiers and A/V receivers, as they generate the majority of the heat in Audio Video systems. But all this heat generated has to go somewhere — thus allowing for proper airflow is the key. By installing equipment with the right ventilation, we can get most of the power, efficiency, and life-span of our electronic devices.

What can we do to prevent it?

Ensuring proper ventilation

Ensuring proper ventilation
If you want to ensure that your electronic equipment remains operational for a long time, you must make sure to keep them operating at a comfortable, cool temperature. Placing the A/V equipment inside a ventilated cabinet or closet, allows sufficient cool air flowing through the cabinet to carry away any excessive heat. If there is no extra head room for airflow, the temperature will keep rising until the system has fried itself.

Active ventilation is another means to avoid overheating, where ventilation fans or blowers are used to create movement of the air and therefore reduces the excess heat.

Avoid Packing Equipment Densely

Leave some empty space on each side and above the equipment. This gives your system’s components some room to breathe so that cool air can flow all around. When a stream of cooler air meets a pocket of warmer air, the warm air is caused to rise toward the top of the cabinet. Installing your equipment in a tight space allows them to breathe the same hot, recycled air instead of the cool and fresh air around.

Avoid Stacking Equipment On Top Of Each Other

Avoid Stacking Equipment On Top Of Each Other
Experts say that multiple pieces of equipment stacked on top of each other gives each piece hardly half an inch or even less of breathing room. This leaves very little space for air to flow out from the top of the equipment. In order to create effective airflow, you should instead consider placing the hotter components at the top of the cabinet. This will keep the warmest air closest to the exit.

Install equipment Away From Heat Sources

You can protect the electronics from receiving direct heat from in-house potential sources of heat like radiators, heaters, and kitchen appliances by installing them as far away as possible.

Keep The Equipment Dust Free

Keep The Equipment Dust Free
As we know over time, dust overcomes everything if left untouched. When the ventilation holes get clogged, sufficient air cannot be pulled through to cool the components. Which restricts the air intake to the power supply, resulting in overheating the power supply which can burn out. Try to dust your system components often (about twice a week). Clean around the top and bottom vents of each piece to avoid clogs.
Here’s a little tip, keep fans and vents clean with canned air dusters and soft brushes. This reduces fan noise since the fan won’t have to work as hard to spin the blades.

Apart from installing proper ventilation, the wattage of your electronics is another heat building factor. The amount of power the system consumes directly determines how much heat it generates.

Now that you know how your Audio Visual equipment might be impacted by overheating, as well as its preventive measures, we hope you implement these tips to improve the lifespan of your electronic equipment.

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