Laptops don’t like it hot. Even in ordinary weather they can overheat. Overheating can rob your laptop of performance and often cause a host of hiccups, such as system crashes and freezing. Every computer generates lots of heat, and laptops are especially susceptible to overheating due to their small size and lack of ventilation.

1. Clean your air vents.
Excessive dust can clog air vents and deprive your system of cooler air to cool off the CPU. You can often solve overheating issues simply by cleaning out these air vents with a cloth or keyboard cleaner. This is even more important in hot weather.

2. Give your laptop a chance to adjust.
Don’t walk and work with your laptop open. If you’re moving from a cool air conditioned room to sweltering heat, or from outside to indoors, shut your laptop down. Let it adjust to the new temperature before starting it up again. Condensation can build up inside your machine just like on your glasses.

3. Stay out of direct sun, if you can.
Yes, heat usually comes with lots of direct sunlight. But if you have to work in direct sun, make it easy on your eyes. Struggle to read a laptop screen outside? Go for a real geek looking laptop hood or attach an anti-glare screen cover.

4. Back it up.
Always a good idea, you should back up your data if you anticipate wanting to work outdoors. Whilst most of the time you’ll be fine, we’ll say it again: Heat can do permanent damage to your hard drive. And of course, moving your laptop around increases the chance that you will drop it. For backing up consider using an external drive like this one.

5. No more LAP top.
Especially in hot weather, it’s important to let the laptop breathe. Don’t work with it directly in your lap, on a blanket, or on a jacket – anything that will block vents and also act as an insulator.

6. Use a heat-dissipating laptop stand.
You know how warm your laptop can get in your lap when watching TV. Get a self-cooling stand, like this one from Belkin. Or even cheaper, more green but not as attractive, something like a cardboard or plastic egg tray under your laptop.

7. Beware of your car.
You wouldn’t lock a child or dog in a hot car in the summer, and you shouldn’t leave your laptop there either. If you must leave your laptop in the car, be absolutely certain it’s completely turned off. One of my clients left his in his car, still running. When he came back, all his buttons had melted.

8. Use a cheap fan.
Use a cheap table or pedestal fan, the sort you’d use to cool an entire room. Direct the airflow toward your laptop. If you’ve got the money, and don’t mind the electricity bill, consider using air conditioning in the room you use your laptop (but see 2 above). You’ll be as cool as cucumber, and your laptop will thank you.