We have all read hundreds of articles on how to make our computers run faster, how to tweak the operating system, or how to secure them. The one thing you don’t see many of are articles on simply keeping your computer stored and cleaned properly.
We all seem to know how to clean our homes, and we can recognize the dust layer on the table or dust bunnies under the couch. Well you must understand that if you have to clean your house once a week to keep the dust and dust bunnies out then you must do the same for your computer. Your computer is even more at risk down there….in that little computer desk cubby hole….underneath everything!
The easiest way to make sure your computer collects as little dust as possible is to insure it is in a well ventilated area. Air circulation as well keeps your computer from over heating. Even with ventilation any computer will require cleaning internally. Over heating can cause a computer to lock up unexpectedly, shutdown intermittently and even cause slow performance.
Cleaning your computer is not as complicated as most people might fear. All computers have an access panel. Some OEM manufacturers hide them as well as they can to prevent users from accessing internal components, but don’t worry…..it is there.
All you will need is a can of compressed air (Which you can pick up at your local computer store) and ten minutes of your time. Please remember to unplug your computer when doing this, because if for any reason you dropped a screw or anything metallic on the system board while it was plugged in or turned on it could be catastrophic.
There are a couple of areas you will really want to focus on. Not that you should ignore the rest of the computer.
The CPU heat sink and fan– Very important to clean as this component keeps your CPU cooled.
Fans– Any system fans should be blown out as they draw in cold air or push out warm air.
The power supply– The power supply may or may not contain a fan internally that needs to be cleaned, but it should still be blown out regardless.
A good overall spraying of the system board and any other hardware is a good idea as well.
Now that your computer is cleaned (And it cost you all of what? three or four dollars for the can of air.) you will have the peace of mind that it wont over heat.
So how often should you do this? Well that depends on many things that I cannot address here, but in general take a look at your computer at least every 30 to 45 days to see if it might need your attention.