I’ve had a MacBook Pro and a MacBook in the workshop this week, one which was running incredibly hot and noisily, the other with a fan that was basically knackered. Replacing fans in a MacBook of any flavour is relatively straightforward, and hence won’t break the bank. But just think about the damage you might be causing by having insufficient cooling…
Opening up the MacBook I could immediately see the problem. Thick sticky dirt coated the fan, fan radiator and logic board. If you’re a smoker or work in an environment where there’s fat in the air you will get this problem. The fats and tar stick the fine dust together into clumps and there’s little you can do about it. However try using a paint brush to remove dust from around the ventilation slots under the screen to mimise the build up. I replaced the fan, cleaned things internally and presto it ran as quiet as a mouse again.
On the MacBook Pro the problem was more interesting – the entire inner surface of the computer was completely coated with a fine layer of dust. Typically you see thick dust localised around the fans, with much less over the logic board. It turns out a “genius” in the Bath AppleStore had advised them to blast the ventilation slot with compressed air. The only problem with this is you’re forcing dust further into the computer, which to me seems rather counterproductive.
A paint brush around the ventilation slots will keep them relatively clean and ensure air flows into and out of the computer with minimal amounts deposited into the computer. If you’re worried that you work in a particularly dusty environment, get someone to whip the top case off and clean it properly. It doesn’t take long or cost much money, and in all honestly will most likely be unnecessary – but please don’t blow the dust back inside!