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Internal dust buildup will cause computer problems, simple steps to clean

One important aspects of owning a computer that is often overlooked is internal dust buildup. Dust will get into the computer. Years of dust buildup inside a computer will cause problems. The dust clogs the heat sinks that are placed over chips on the motherboard or on any of the add-in cards. A heat sink is a large aluminum block with fins that resembles a car radiator. The dust reduces, by a large factor, the ability of the heat sink to function properly. When the heat sink doesn't work, the chip it is protecting overheats and in time this will cause it to fail.

It is recommended that the inside of a desktop computer be cleaned at least four times a year, about the same number of times recommended for automobile oil changes.

The procedure is simple and quick. A can of dust remover or air, available at any department store or camera store, is all that is needed.

After carefully making a note of the locations, disconnect all of the cables from the back of the PC. Most desktop computers have only one or two screws that hold on the side or top panel. Take the desktop outside or into a garage to clean it. This will help keep the excess dust from accumulating near the desktop area and being drawn back into the computer, later. A dust mast should be worn for those that are prone to dust allergies. The areas to target, inside the desktop case, are the heat sink over the CPU (Central Processing Unit), the heat sink over the GPU (Graphic Processing Unit) and any other heat sinks found inside. Also, all fans should be clean thoroughly. Each fan should be blasted with the can of air until it spins up to speed. This helps remove dust and tests fans, as well. If a fan will not spin fast while it is being subjected to the force from a can of air, it should be replaced. The power supply should be cleaned, also. The power supply is usually located in the back and upper portion of the case (for a tower), the fans of some power supplies are inside and cannot be seen clearly. Again, use the can of air and blow through the vents of the power supply. The fan will spin and the dust will be forced out.

After a thorough cleaning, the desktop is ready to be re-connected and give many more years of faithful service.



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