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What an Unusually Noisy Computer Fan is Telling You

What an Unusually Noisy Computer Fan is Telling You

What an Unusually Noisy Computer Fan is Telling You

There are a few different signs out there that a computer might be having issues of some kind, and noises are one of these. A particular component of computers that often make noise -- sometimes during normal operations, but sometimes in unusual ways -- is the computer fan.

At PC Laptops, we're happy to assist clients throughout Utah with computer repair and laptop repair needs for a variety of issues, including those where your fan has become so unusually loud that you're concerned it's signaling a problem. What is the standard role of a computer fan, and what are some of the causes of a louder-than-normal fan? We'll go over those that just require some simple fixes or tweaks on your behalf, but also others that might require repairs or replacements.

Role of the Computer Fan

Before we proceed further, let's go over what fans within a computer do. Their primary role is simple: To keep various components, including those that can become quite hot during normal operations, as cool as possible. They do this by harvesting air from the outside environment and creating a flow of air through your computer.

The fan will circulate air around or away from various computer components that can get hot, such as the CPU. This is especially important for laptops where the heat could potentially damage the sensitive internal components of your laptop if it overheats, but also equally critical for desktops, too. Without the proper fan presence in your device, the computer could overheat and cause problems in the future.

For most computers, the fan will operate loudly enough that you can hear it normally, usually in the form of a very low whirring or humming sound. However, if this noise has become unusually loud, or if the whirring noise has been replaced by others that sound more jagged, there could be an issue taking place that you'll need to address. Our next few sections will go over some possible culprits here.

Contaminants Caught Inside

In some cases, the primary cause of a noisy computer fan will be the presence of certain contaminants, such as dust and dirt. Over time, these can accumulate on the fan blades themselves -- especially when it is in a dusty or dirty environment. Once they do this, it could cause the fan to not operate like it should.

When contaminants are present on your computer fan, they could potentially interfere with how well it can circulate air, and in some cases cause the blades to warp. This will often result in a louder-than-normal fan that might sound like it is rattling inside of your computer.

In many instances, this is something you can fix yourself by using compressed air to carefully spray around and/or away from your computer fan. If you do not have any compressed air on hand, you can also use a can of canned air to perform this task. These are available at many computer retail stores.

For smaller laptops that are harder to open up, this cleaning can be a bit more complex. In most cases, you will simply need to open your laptop and then remove the fan from its compartment -- if you aren't comfortable with this, simply bring the machine in to our laptop repair professionals for help.

Improper Airflow

In other situations, the noises you're hearing from your fan indicate there could be an issue with how the fan is actually distributing air into your computer. More than one fan might be present in your device, and if any of these fans are experiencing problems, it can affect how well the computer itself operates.

The main sign you might be experiencing this issue will often be a general change in noise coming from your entire computer. It might sound like the noise is coming from inside the machine, and if you're using a laptop, it could actually be hot to the touch.

In certain cases, especially with laptops, simply moving the machine off your lap (or off any other surface that blocks airflow) will fix this problem. However, if the air is blocked by other barriers over an extended period of time (such as a blanket or pillow), it could potentially cause more serious problems with your computer in the future, such as overheating and hardware failure.

If this issue seems to be present, you will often need to contact your local computer repair shop for assistance.

Too Many Software Programs

Perhaps the single most common reason why fans get overly loud in computers is that the device is attempting to perform too many functions at once. Operating systems can be very demanding -- especially when it comes to laptops, which are generally more limited in their design and components than desktop computers.

In many cases, this will come from having too many applications open at once, either on your computer or running in the background. In some instances, it may even be due to a faulty program that's been installed and is trying to do too many things at once, in turn resulting in your CPU overheating.

Luckily, this is an easy issue to remedy! You simply need to reduce the number of tasks your computer is performing. If you have a bunch of applications open, close them one by one until your fan no longer sounds obnoxiously loud.

New Fan Required

Finally, if none of the other areas we've gone over here are relevant to your issue, it could also be the case that you will need to replace your computer fan with a new one. It might sound like this is an extremely involved process, but in most cases it requires nothing more than simply walking into store and picking up a replacement fan for your computer.

If you are not comfortable performing this task yourself, simply bring the machine to our team of computer repair specialists, who will do it for you.

For more on what it means when your computer fan gets loud and what you can do about it, or to learn about any of our computer repair or other services, speak to the team at PC Laptops today.