• Mike Clifford

Dust - The number one killer of Computers

Computer Servicing

Dust, it comes in many shapes and sizes, We clean it from our houses, offices and as many places as we can but how often do we stop to think about dust inside our computer ?

With most common household and business computers being air cooled, they are constantly circulating air throughout the computer case for cooling. Often we neglect the inside of our computers due to being unaware of the state of them.

Unfortunately this can be damaging and even fatal to the small components inside. The dust gathers around the fans, the processor and power supply of a computer acting as a blanket of insulation and in some cases a short circuit.

This reduces the effectiveness of the cooling system significantly, can reduce the life of your components, especially your Central Processing Unit and motherboard which make perfect dust traps. By way of the post we aim to educate you on how to safely clean your desktop computers. Laptop's are a lot more fiddly and are best left to a professional. So how do you clean a desktop computer?

Firstly you are going to want to purchase a can of compressed air and an anti-static brush. You can also use an air compressor provided it has a moisture trap and regulator. Ensure that the regulator is no higher than 15 psi (any higher and you can damage components such as capacitors which can be blown off the motherboard). It is also a good idea to wear a dusk mask and cotton buds can be very helpful for small areas like fan blades.

Start by unplugging your computer from the wall and unplugging any external devices such as your keyboard, mouse and printers. Next open your computer case. Most desktop cases have two opening sides. The most common side that you remove is the left hand side when looking from the front. There are most commonly two screws at the rear that hold this side on.

Once you have removed this side cover, you should be able to readily access all the components within the computer case and all dust should be easily visible. Start by using the can of compressed air to dislodge as much of the dust from the computer components as possible. Be very careful not to touch any of the electronic components with your bare hands as static electricity can damage them and leave your computer unable to function. Carefully blow as much dust as you can out of the case.

Now, use the anti-static brush to remove any stubborn dust and to reach into the fiddly areas such as the cooling fan blades etc. Once you have dislodged this, we recommend brushing as much of this to the bottom of the case as possible where there are no components. Then, use a slightly damp paper towel to collect the dust and remove it from the case. Be very careful to ensure the paper towel does not come into contact with any of the components. DO NOT USE A VACUUM CLEANER! Vacuum cleaners create static electricity and will destroy your components.

To future-proof your computer from filling with dust, it is a good idea to either purchase a case for your components that has inbuilt dust filters, alternatively you can create your own and retro-fit these to your current case.

Filter cloth and paper is available widely online and makes very light work of this task. If you install dust filters however you must remember to clean these every six months or more frequently in highly dusty areas like workshops and garages.

If you would rather not attempt this yourself, you can schedule an appointment with one of our technicians on our booking page and we will happily do this for you.

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