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DOes air conditioning/very low temperatures affect the computer's power supply?


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#1 brc2000

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 02:27 AM

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but in my earlier thread I mentioned getting my power supply changed because it started acting up around 2-3 weeks ago. That coincides with my summer vacation where the air conditioning is on for a few hours longer than usual (mainly because my brother is asleep until 3-4pm).

Anyway this morning the computer made a buzzing noise for a short while and shut down automatically before starting up normally a few seconds later. The air conditioner was on for around 12 hours. Yesterday it started normally with no problems and the ac was running only for a while. It seems to be fine now, but I fear that if this happens daily, it may cause me problems again. I had the same problem with my older computer during to summer except that it got to the point that it wouldn't start up at all until I subjected it to heat from the hair drier. Though changing the power supply fixed that issue. For some reason I think that computer's failing is due to it overheating itself in reaction to the cold, but I've never read anywhere that cold temperatures can cause problems and nobody else I know seems to have this problem and some even laugh at the idea.

Yesterday I moved my system to a higher position on the computer table as opposed to leaving it on the floor, on which it ran fine for some 22 months. Also recently, the air conditioner was positioned to cool downwards recently, when it used to be upwards. Hopefully changing it back will solve my problem, but I'm still worried. I mentioned having problems with my older power supply, but it never shut down automatically, so I'm thinking it has to do with the more amount of contact that the computer has to the air conditioning right now. I have no idea what to do about this. Turing off the air conditioning and even using it at lower power are out of the question is out of the question. Same with using the computer in another room or waiting until the air conditioning is off for a while before turning the PC on. With the vents facing upwards hopefully it will be fine tomorrow. Any idea what could be the problem? Has anyone else ever had a problem like this? Is it related to the temperate and humidity or the power usage o the a.c?

Edited by brc2000, 13 July 2010 - 02:29 AM.


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#2 dpunisher

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 09:03 AM

Power supplies, and computers in general, run better when cold.

I might suspect a power problem (low voltage/dirty power/feedback) if the computer and AC are on the same circuit. If you have an extension cord, plug the computer into a different circuit while leaving the environmental conditions the same, and see if that makes a difference.

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#3 Joe C

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 09:07 AM

It's possible that when the a/c kicks on it will draw enough current to cause a drop in voltage going to your pc (entire house as a matter). A large a/c unit can easily draw over 100 amps on start. Power supplies also deteriorate with age (they get weaker) so if your psu is getting old then consider replacing it and get a back up battery to keep constant clean steady volts to the pc when the a/c starts up. A good back up battery will regulate the volts to the pc to protect surges and volt drops in the line

#4 brc2000

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 11:24 AM

It's possible that when the a/c kicks on it will draw enough current to cause a drop in voltage going to your pc (entire house as a matter). A large a/c unit can easily draw over 100 amps on start. Power supplies also deteriorate with age (they get weaker) so if your psu is getting old then consider replacing it and get a back up battery to keep constant clean steady volts to the pc when the a/c starts up. A good back up battery will regulate the volts to the pc to protect surges and volt drops in the line


Actually I just got my power supply changed yesterday. I've just had it running nearly ten hours without any problems. There isn't any problem when the A/C is just started up either. It happens when the A/c is on for a while and I start the PC after it's been of for a long time, and while the room is really cold. (switching the PC off and onn again showed no problems. I really don't understand it. I'm not going to change anything tonight (apart from directing the breeze flow upwards) and see if the same thing happens or if it was a one time thing.

#5 MrBruce1959

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 01:20 PM

Adding my 2 cents in here...what? 2 cents isn't enough?!? :thumbsup: J/K

The temperature of the room only plays a real factor when electronic components reach a certain threshold, components have a breakdown point, heat being the most likely cause for the component reaching the break-down point.

If a cold temperature played a part in this scenario, the temperature would have to reach an extreme value like minus 50 degrees F or more, even at minus 50 degrees a component can function properly.

Heat is the most destructive force there is with electronics, yes cold temperatures can cause cores to contract rather than expand, but in all seriousness a house air conditioner can not make the house reach minus 50 degrees anyways.

One theory about air conditioners that is not true, but is most often quoted, is the air conditioner brings cold air into the house. (Not true and totally false)

It is actually just the opposite! The coolant gas actually attracts the heat and traps it, without be too technical about each component in the air conditioners system, a compressor circulates the gas through a sealed system, the evaporator, condenser play a roll in this system, the warm air is moved to the coil on the outside (outdoors) of the system and are released into the atmosphere as heat.

This repeated cycle devoid the air inside of its heat, so the temperature inside the house keeps dropping and dropping, loosing more heat as times goes on.

Since the coil on the inside has dropped in temperature, the coil starts to freeze the humidity that is in the air, frost builds up on the coil and in the process the air is dried out because its moisture is being sucked in and brought to a temperature below its threshold.

Humidity is actually a form of steam or water vapor, that floats in the air, when steam reaches a certain low temperature, it converts back to a heavy liquid which is too heavy to rise into the air and eventually it freezes into a solid.

With the science out of the way now. :flowers:

Your problem is not that of the temperature of the room, yours is a problem of having too many components on the same circuit in your house running and demanding energy at the same time.

Electrical wiring can only handle so much current flowing through it, when the air conditioner's compressor kicks on, it requires a momentary burst of current to start the compressor up, the same goes for the refrigerator, if both happen to be running at the same time, there is a greater demand on the whole house circuit. Thus the lights in the house and sometimes the television set show lack of power by dimming down briefly until the demand for current is met.

So hopefully that will explain why this was happening to you. Some power supplies react to the loss while others don't. It basically depends on how well built the power supply is.

Bruce.

Edited by MrBruce1959, 13 July 2010 - 01:33 PM.

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#6 brc2000

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 02:32 AM

I'd agree that was the case if the computer shut down during the power surge (unless the a/c running for a long period of time affects my PC. I was never the best at physics). But is only happens when my PC is exposed to the cool temperature for a period of time. I haven't tried it, but I'm almost 100% positive that if I left my computer in another room overnight and then brought it back to the a/c'd room for use it would work fine. The computer doesn't stop running if it is already turned on. It doesn't trun on as soon as I switch off the a/c either. Also that doesn't explain why it never happened when my PC was on the floor and only on the started yesterday when I moved it to my desk even though I just changed the power supply. I also mentioned the hair dryer thing that I used to have to use. I agree that the temperature shouldn't affect, and I've never heard anyone having similar problems, it but I don't get it. Today, my computer won't start at all.

Just read the last line. it could be that it's the supply that's the problem and not my noving the computer to the desk. This is getting annoying. Everytime I have problems with my computer it's because of my power supply. I really wish there was something I could do instead of having my power supply changed once again.

Edited by brc2000, 14 July 2010 - 02:43 AM.


#7 Joe C

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 09:35 AM

Buy a high quality power supply, your not going to get a 400w power supply for $40. without it being a very cheap power supply ----just an example.
Also as I suggested before, a back up battery will provide a clean power source for your pc and will help your new power supply run at it's best

#8 dpunisher

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 09:52 AM

Jump on it while you can.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16817139008

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