So, my apartment has only two heating vents, both relatively small, in the bedroom and the living room. In the winter (like now), it gets to about 45-47 degrees F if I leave the heaters off. My options for their operation are relatively limited, as they are over ten years old, and kind of hard to adjust accurately; the one in the bedroom usually heats to about 51 degrees F minimum IF I set the knob juuuuust right. The one in the living room not only has to heat a much larger space, of course, but the controls are even more persnickety - the minimum there is usually around 55 in the places where I sit the most. Neither has a timer (like I said, old).
Now. My wonderful Macbook Pro’s manual says the minimum operating temperature is 50 degrees F, and I usually leave it at home. It also says to let it get to room temperature for about an hour before using. I don’t like to wait that long to get online when I’m at home. Plus, getting a little warmer when I get home is obviously better.
How would you approach this situation? How have you approached similar ones with your housing set-ups? I don’t want to waste too much electricity (and pay the subsequent costs), nor do I want to put too much pressure on the heaters, which as I said, are pretty old by now; I know I could get 'em fixed, but in the meantime, if they break at the wrong time, that’s no computer use for me! OTOH, below 50 really isn’t all that comfortable; I hate having to shut myself in my smaller and more easily warmed bedroom and not use the rest of the place at all because it just takes so long to heat up to 50.
Though frankly, if it weren’t for that darn minimum operating temperature, I think I could get away with more layers only… Though the heater IS nice. So what would you do with the limited resources you have?
I can’t imagine that your laptop doesn’t put off enough heat on its own to warm itself up anyway.
If you’re really looking for a solution, and your schedule is pretty regular, I might try a small space heater on a Christmas light timer. You want to be extremely sure that it’s in a safe place, but if it turns on twenty minutes before you get home, you should be fine.
Leave the temp up a little. The difference in cost will be minimal.
Take the laptop with you. Presumably the temperature where you are during the day is warmer. When in operation, the laptop will generate heat and the cold ambient will help the fan run slightly less often.
You are renting. You don’t own the heaters. Chances are nothing will break down on them. There is little difference between you not using them and them being broken is there?
Buy an electric hot pad(like for backaches) for about $10(Wal-Mart or Salvation Army) and set it on low with a timer.
Take a tiny tiny risk and use the laptop without regard to temperature. The risk is really the condensation that can form and drip on connections. At 45 degrees this is not too likely.
One of the reasons I was concerned about the computer was that, using it in my living room during a particularly cold winter day when I first got it, it didn’t… act as ideally as it had. I came to the conclusion later that it was because of the temperature, but I know about correlation and causation.
Still, I will definitely consider what’s already been said here. More always appreciated.
Wait, your concern (both this thread and the other) surrounds a five degree F difference for your Macbook? Seems overblown, but if you’re really worried, just leave your Macbook on and have it run Folding@Home or Seti@Home all day. It’ll heat itself up to a comfortable temperature, help medical research, is probably safer than leaving the heater on, and will probably save you money versus even the smallest space heater (which usually come in at a few hundred watts, whereas the Macbook is unlikely to use more than 100). AND it’ll be instantly usable when you get home because it’s already on.
That’s cheaper and more useful than a heat pad too.