Sunday, July 18, 2010

Summer Time

It’s hot!  Really hot and humid.  A little too expensive to run the AC all day but when you work from home sometimes it is necessary.

Heat, humidity and even barometric pressure can sometimes effect your electronic equipment, artist tools and paper supplies.  Computer and media equipment generate their own heat alone, and when combined with external high or fluctuating temperatures, funny things can happen.  Your electronics can have a life of their own - sudden shut-downs, flickering, colors are off, paper jams in printers, etc.

It would be nice if we could work in a refrigerator all day - great for some electronics but not practical for us individuals.  Just be aware of the temperatures around you and SAVE OFTEN ! ! !

I know a fine artist that would keep her paints, inks and brushes in a small old refrigerator to keep them fresh (so to speak).

Make sure your computers and printers have enough air circulating around them especially on hot days.  I use a mini fan under my desk facing the computer or behind the monitor. 

Put your computer to sleep or turn it off when not in use.  Take an extended lunch break if you work from home.  You can use that time to rejuvenate yourself and/or schedule client calls at that time.  It’s good for your eyes, great for your tummy and gives your computer time to cool down.  Did I mention to Save Often?

Turn off printers when not in use - saves energy and keeps the workspace cooler.  I try to go paperless in my home office.

Keep paper supplies in a cool, dry place.  Fan papers that are in your printer already, and be mindful of the way the paper curls (up or down) in the printer.  It can make a big difference. (check your printers manual or manufacturer).

Vacuum out your computer (when turned off) for dust that collects around the fan vents and any other openings - this will help keep the unit from working too hard and overheating.

Even small electronics can be effected - I take my cell phone, iPod, etc. out of my purse or bag and set them where air can circulate around them and/or keep them in a cooler place when not in use.  I was out and about one hot afternoon and even though I had my purse with me inside an air-conditioned store, the leather purse still generated heat and my cell phone froze for 5-minutes.

So take precautions - SAVE OFTEN, backup your files regularly, be patient and stay cool this summer. 

We welcome your comments or any additional suggestions to beat the heat and keep your electronics safe.