The PlayStation 3 doesn't have a reputation for being a noisy console, according to Engadget.com, but this doesn't mean your PS3 will run smoothly or quietly all of the time. Certain problems on a PS3 can cause a noisy or malfunctioning fan that may ruin your game play or movie-watching experience. Since the fan is most often to blame, proper maintenance and a few quick fixes can help return your unit back to the whisper-quiet operation you enjoyed when you first bought your PS3.
Set up your PlayStation 3 console in an area with plenty of ventilation. Blocking the side or back vents could cause the unit to overheat, resulting in noisy operation and eventual hardware failure. Rather than placing the console on a covered shelf, choose an area that allows plenty of airflow, such as an uncovered shelf or on top of your television.
Clean your PS3 periodically. Accumulated dust can make its way through the vents and into the internal components, clogging your fan and making it less efficient. This might result in a loud, grinding noise. Use compressed air held five to 10 inches from the vent to blow out dust, or use a computer vacuum with a brush attachment to clean out the PS3 vents.
Raise your PS3 off the flat surface upon which it rests. A design flaw in the console is that some of the air circulation vents are on the bottom of the unit. When the PS3 overheats, the fan kicks on and can be noisy. Placing a wood cube under each corner of the PS3 will allow air to circulate, making the fan less necessary and keeping your console cool and quiet.
Purchase and use an aftermarket fan, such as the Pelican Air Flo Cooler. Aftermarket coolers work by providing additional fan power to help your PS3 run more efficiently. Most of these cooling fans are simply placed near the side vents on the PS3 for added support, and some mimic the look and styling of your console.
Cover your PS3 when it is not in use. A hand towel draped over the powered-down console will protect it from dust and debris. This is especially helpful after you have thoroughly cleaned the console and want to keep it clean.