Why Should I Clean the Inside of My Computer?
For a computer or any electronic device to run efficiently, it’s all about the air flow.
The components inside the computer need proper airflow to keep from overheating. Overheating can greatly shorten the life of your computer.
Even worse, clogged fans can mean instant death.
As a comparison, if you can imagine what would happen to a car’s engine with no oil, then you understand how important proper cooling and airflow is for a computer.
What Tools Will I Need?
When cleaning the inside of your computer, there are a few tools that make the job a bit easier.
Screwdriver – Depending on your computer, you may not need this tool. But, either way, you’ll need to know ahead of time how to get your case open to expose the insides. You may need to refer to your computer’s manual or contact the manufacturer for instructions.
Anti-static Wrist Strap – While this $5 tool isn’t an absolute must, it’s good to use to prevent accidental electrostatic discharge (ESD). Simply wrap the strap around your wrist and secure it. Next, attach the metal clip to the metal chassis of your new Asus ChromeBook. If you decide to go without a strap, then at least keep yourself grounded by touching the metal chassis of your computer. Remember to keep in *constant* contact with the metal chassis.
Compressed Air – A can of compressed air can be found at many stores for around $3-4 a can. Compressed air will save you a lot of time and make the job a lot easier. When using the canned air, be sure to keep the can upright while spraying. If you turn it upside down, the can will get extremely cold and you won’t be able to hold it until it warms up again.
Vacuum – A vacuum can be used to suck up leftover clumps of dust that may be in areas the compressed air couldn’t get to. For example, without a vacuum it’s difficult to get large clumps of dust out of the vents that are located behind the front panel of the computer. Always keep the vacuum away from the circuit boards to avoid static discharge.
Time to Get Started
Unplug your computer from the wall. – It used to be recommended that you leave your computer plugged in to provide a ground through your outlet. However, newer computers have continuous power being fed to the motherboard.
So, be sure it’s all unplugged.
Take the computer to a well-ventilated and well-lit area – When blowing out the dust, you won’t want it all over your house. Weather permitting, of course, it is usually best to take it outdoors to clean.
Attach your anti-static wrist strap – If your using one of these, now is a good time to put it on. If you don’t use one, proceed at your on risk!
Blow the dust out – Using the compressed air, blow the dust out of the computer. If you are allergic to dust, you may want to have a dust mask on for this part. Also, when blowing out dust from your computer’s fans, be sure to gently hold your fan’s blades still while cleaning them. This holds true for a ps4 fan is loud or any electronic setup, Compressed air can spin the blades faster than they were intended to go and damage the fan.
Use the Vacuum (with caution) – If there are any clumps of dust left behind or stuck in the vents, suck it out with a vacuum. This is especially useful on the front of a computer where air is usually drawn in. The vents clog easily and a vacuum works very well in this instance. Again: Always keep the vacuum away from the circuit boards to avoid static discharge.
Hook it all back up…You’re done!
How Often Should I Clean Inside My Computer?
How often you clean the inside of your computer varies on the environment your computer is in. If there is a lot of dust around, then you will want to clean it out several times a year or more.
If you have very little dust, then you can probably get away with an annual cleaning.
However, if your computer is around cigarette smoke, I recommend cleaning it out twice as often as you would in a smoke-free environment.
Cigarette smoke leaves behind a very heavy brown residue on the insides of your computer (see Figure 2).
If the residue builds up too much on your fans, they will cease to function, bringing instant death to your computer as it overheats.