If I’m not supposed to smell the Steam Deck vents, why do they smell so good?

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Jacob Roach

By Jacob Roach December 14, 2023 10:45AM

Someone smelling nan fumes from nan Steam Deck.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Candles? No. Potpourri? Not for me. Essential oils? They aren’t that essential. The only point that tin soothe my olfaction is nan saccharine smell of nan Steam Deck vents. It’s nan smell of burning plastic, nan saccharine and honey-like aroma of ozone, and nan consciousness of dormant encephalon cells.

But now, here’s Valve saying I shouldn’t smell my Steam Deck vents. Steam support is saying to “please refrain from this behaviour for nan information of your health.” That’s moreover aft Steam support told Reddit personification Metapod100 that it “understands that it whitethorn beryllium a meme.” I conjecture you shouldn’t smell your Steam Deck vents, astatine slightest if you want to travel Valve’s charismatic guidance.

I’ll astir apt sneak a fewer sniffs, but what really is nan consequence to my wellness if I do? Well, UL and nan National Library of Medicine propose it has to do pinch thing called a Volatile Organic Compound, aliases VOC. Sounds spooky, but nan Environmental protection Agency (EPA) says that VOCs are really very common. They’re successful conscionable astir each of your family products, including “paints, varnishes, and wax … [and] cleaning, disinfecting, cosmetic, degreasing, and hobby products.” The EPA says these products tin merchandise compounds successful usage and moreover erstwhile they’re stored. Even building materials leak VOC gases, starring to a “bake-out” period aft building to amended nan indoor aerial quality.

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Almost everything emits VOC gases astatine a definite temperature, including each of those awesome components wrong your Steam Deck. The wrong of nan Steam Deck has different types of plastic, metal, and adhesive. When you’re playing your caller Steam Deck for a fewer hours and everything starts to power up, those gases time off nan instrumentality and are exhausted retired of nan vents. There you person it: nan smell of a caller Steam Deck.

It’s conscionable a new Steam Deck, though. Over time, arsenic nan materials lukewarm and cool, nan emanation of VOCs will spell down. That smell will spell away. Heartbreaking, I know. It’s not an rumor unsocial to nan Steam Deck, though. Nearly each electronics that get warm, from a TV to a laptop to a crippled console, will person that caller physics smell. It’s nan smell of VOC gases leaving nan materials and entering your air.

Someone uninstalling joysticks connected nan Steam Deck.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

That caller instrumentality smell

As for nan wellness implications, nan American Lung Association says that “breathing VOCs tin irritate nan eyes, nose, and throat, tin origin difficult breathing and nausea, and tin harm nan cardinal tense strategy and different organs. Some VOCs tin origin cancer.”

Sounds scary, but that’s nan point. Prolonged and accordant vulnerability to precocious levels of VOCs tin person superior wellness risks. That’s not what you’re getting pinch nan Steam Deck, though. There’s a consequence for painters who inhale precocious levels for decades, and smokers, who inhale and exhaust VOCs half a twelve times (or more) each day. A fewer whiffs of your Steam Deck vents? You astir apt inhaled much VOCs earlier breakfast. Most of them airs nary consequence to your wellness astatine all.

Don’t interest that nan Steam Deck and different electronics are conscionable doing what they want pinch perchance vulnerable gases. Companies for illustration UL certify products for everything from emissions to sustainability. And judge enough, a batch of nan Steam Deck components are UL certified. Here’s nan battery charging strategy for nan Steam Deck, and moreover nan Kingston SSD used successful nan 512GB exemplary of nan Steam Deck LCD.

Valve whitethorn person changed immoderate of nan emissions pinch nan Steam Deck OLED, too. One of nan first conversations I had pinch our gaming editor Giovanni Colantonio aft we received our units was astir really it didn’t smell nan aforesaid arsenic nan original. Valve replaced fundamentally everything successful nan device, including a caller instrumentality and a somewhat modified layout. Maybe immoderate of that had to do pinch emissions, aliases possibly it’s conscionable a happy byproduct of a redesign. Even nan surface could beryllium a facet — apparently LCD screens contribute to indoor VOC levels.

Still, it shouldn’t beryllium overmuch to interest about. Sneak a fewer sniffs for nan meme if you’re brave aliases sound backmost your caput a mates of inches if you’re frightened of nan wellness implications. Either way, nan VOCs will dissipate into nan aerial and yet disappear.

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Jacob Roach

Jacob Roach is simply a writer covering computing and gaming astatine Digital Trends. After realizing Crysis wouldn't tally connected a laptop, he…

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