Geek Speak Blog - Enemies of your Computer - Part 1 - Dust

Enemies of your Computer - Part 1 - Dust

Dwayne (
Sun 01/01/23 03:22 PM

Is your computer cool?

Your computer is a precision piece of electronics. It has thousands of electrical pathways running through a bunch of small boards and tiny wires. There are capacitors, processors, chips and many other components in your computer that are very sensitive, especially to heat. Excessive heat can dramatically shorten your system's lifespan. One of the biggest contributors to causing electronics to heat up is dust. Dust on the inside and the outside of the machine can cause it to heat up to the point where it will cause damage to the internal components.

How do you know if dust is causing you problems?

The location of your computer is everything. If you have your desktop computer on a carpeted floor, chances are it has a lot of dust inside of it. You should never put your desktop computer on the floor, if at all possible. Even if the floor is not carpeted, it can still get a lot of dust accumulated inside the case. If you have a computer that is sitting on the floor right now and it hasn't moved in months, you can check for yourself. Take your hand and run it across the back of the computer where the fan is. Chances are your hand will have dust on it. That is only what has accumulated on the outside, and if you have dust on the outside, I guarantee it's on the inside.

Laptop computers also pick up a lot of dust. Many of us use our laptop while they're sitting in bed with it on the covers or blankets. This can cause the laptop to get very hot at times because it can't breathe very well. This will make the fan run hard on some laptops. The harder the fan runs, the more accumulates inside. You should pay close attention to where your laptop's fans are so you can keep them clear and not obstructed. Some fans are on the side and some are beneath the screen in the hinge area. The cleaner the area, the better for electronics, especially your computer.

Okay, but I don't have a “clean room”, what am I supposed to do?

You do not need a clean room to operate a computer. It is going to get dust inside of it, but it needs to be managed. You can use household cleaners on the outside of the case. But, you should never spray any liquid on the case. Spray the liquid onto a rag and wipe the case down. The inside it the real problem area. You can't ignore the inside for months or years and expect it to keep working. It should be opened up and cleaned by a professional. At this point, I always recommend you get somebody experienced to do this because it involves opening the computer case. You should never use any sort of liquid on the inside because it will damage it. Also, never use an air compressor to clean out a computer. Air compressors have moisture that builds up in the tank and that moisture can damage electronics when they are used.

If you need help, contact us so we can help. Cleaning the inside of the systems are also included with all our in-person System Cleanup and Managed Services plans.

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