Keeping Your PC Clean

Like it or not your PC is a mechanical instrument and like anything mechanic is subject to failure when dirty. Keeping a clean PC is an important step toward keeping a functioning PC.

Here are a few good reasons to keep your PC clean.

Computers Get Hot

Your CPU is a little engine and he needs to keep within a certain temperature range. Just like the engine in your car. Computers have cooling systems built into them. Most of them a reasonably elementary: a heat sink with cooling fans draws heat from the CPU and a fan displaces that heat. If the heat sink gets clogged with dust it won’t function properly. In the short term, extreme excess heat can damage your CPU. Chronic over heating can also cause problems and shorten the life of your computer.

The image below shows a CPU heat sink clogged by years of accumulated dust and grime.

Computer with fan clogged by dust

Computers Have Moving Parts

Computers have moving parts, like fans, and they don’t like dust and dirt. When they get clogged they stop working and when they stop working your computer is no longer dissipating heat efficiently.

The image below shows a PC case fan covered in dust.

PC case fan covered in dust

Your Data Really Hates Dust

Perhaps the best reason to keep a clean PC is because your hard drive hates dust. All you data, all your files and photos, is recorded on that hard drive. The modern hard drive is well sealed and can tolerate a great deal compared with the drives of old but they’re not impregnable. Fine particles of dust can entire your drive and can contribute to its demise, including catastrophic failure. (But you have a back-up right?)

Hard drive covered in dust

Keep Your PC Clean

Computers used to be kept in clean air-conditioned rooms. Your home PC doesn’t have that luxury. Doesn’t mean you can’t protect him from the worst environments. Avoid using and storing your PC in dusty and dirty rooms. Keep your PC on a table. (It’s my experience that PCs kept on the ground accumulate a lot more dust.)

A clean PC is usually a happy PC. Avoid costly repairs with a little preventative care.