The slim and lightweight design of the MacBook Air not only looks cool but also makes it very portable. It’s a great laptop, but with such a compact machine, you might wonder where the air vents are located. How does it stay cool?
If you’ve looked all over and can’t find them, it’s no surprise because they are not easy to spot. The vents are on the back side along the hinge that connects the display to the computer’s main body.
My name is Eric, and as an engineer, I love to look at the design of systems such as the MacBook Air. Locating the air vents helps me to understand how the computer is cooled and what can be done to help keep it at a reasonable operating temperature.
If you would like to hear more about the location of the MacBook Air’s vents, keep reading below. I will give you more details about where they are located, discuss why they are there, and discuss some tips for keeping your MacBook Air cool.
Location of the MacBook Air’s Air Vents
If you weren’t already aware of where the air vents are located, you might think that the MacBook Air has no air vents. They are hard to spot, and they are located in a place where most of us would not think to look for them.
As mentioned above, they are located at the hinges between the display and the main body of the computer. Check out the image below for a good visual of where they are.
Why Would They Place the Air Vents There?
It’s kind of cool because the design of the MacBook Air, with its placement of the air vents, makes it look like it has no air vents at all. No ugly holes are visible on the bottom or sides of your computer. It really helps to give the MacBook Air its sleek, modern-looking design.
We know that Apple thinks about style when designing its products, which is one factor in the placement of the vents, but it is not the only factor. They are also located there because of the thermodynamic design of the MacBook Air.
With no fan, the computer must have another method to keep it cool. The MacBook Air has an aluminum body that can dissipate heat very well in most cases. Internally, fins and channels direct heat from the working components to the aluminum body.
As the aluminum body gets rid of the heat that it pulls through the fins and channels inside, it must pull in fresh cool air from outside, where the vents come into play. Located inside the hinge, they can remain unblocked when the screen is opened, pulling in the needed cool air.
So, while the location of the vents contributes to the MacBook Air’s sleek look, they are also in a nearly perfect location to provide the needed fresh air to keep your system cool.
Keeping your MacBook Air Cool
One of the main reasons you may be interested in where the MacBook Air’s vents are located is that you wish to ensure that your system stays at a nice cool operating temperature. Obviously, keeping the air vents clear of obstructions is one of the first places to start.
Knowing that the air vents are located on the back side near the hinge that connects the display to the computer’s main body can help you keep this area clear.
You don’t want to keep your MacBook pushed up against a wall or at the back of a desk, and it is a good idea not to keep a pile of cords directly behind it. Another tip is to keep these vents clean as they can get dust build-up that may start to cause blockage.
Some other ways to keep your MacBook Air cool are setting it on a hard surface such as a desk or table when using it. Setting it on a cloth or soft surface such as a bed or couch tends to hold the heat in, not letting the computer’s aluminum body dissipate heat as well.
If your MacBook Air is still getting very hot, especially in warm weather, you can try propping the back end up with something so that there is some airflow beneath the computer. Just make sure not to block the vents in the back.
If all else fails, you can also use a small external fan to blow cool air on the computer. This can be a pain, but it does work. I have done this before when using my MacBook in very hot climates with no air conditioning, and it has worked well.
The following are some common questions about where the air vents are located on a MacBook Air.
Why doesn’t my MacBook have an internal fan?
Newer MacBooks are designed and built without fans. This is done to save space and mostly to use less power, allowing the battery to last longer. The fanless design is one of the main reasons it is important to keep your MacBook’s air vents clear so that it can properly cool.
Does overheating affect performance?
Yes, if your MacBook is overheating, it can affect its performance. It will most likely run slower, and there is a much greater possibility that it will glitch out on you and even shut down so that there is no damage to the internal hardware.
Can an application cause my MacBook to overheat?
We usually think of the external temperature and restricted airflow as the main factors in a computer overheating, but this is not always the case. An application running intensely and using up a large percentage of CPU can cause the system to overheat. While it is usually just a contributing factor along with external temperature, it can be the cause.
The air vents on a MacBook Air are located on the back side, where the hinge connects the display to the main body of the computer. It is designed with internal fins and an aluminum body to bring fresh air inside the computer and keep it cool.
I hope the information provided has shown you where the air vents are located and given you some details about why the MacBook Air is designed this way. As usual, let me know if you have any comments. I would love to hear from you.