After over 30 years of repairing computers one thing we’ve noticed in our computer shop is that heat and dust kill computers. When we build computers for our customers especially gaming computers we pay special attention to designing proper cooling to ensure long life. This requires choosing components that support this in terms of power handling and heat dissipation. The case design is especially important as one that’s flashy and attractive might cause us to overlook good ventilation design which could shorten the life of your computer. Inside the case a lot of heat is generated from the power supply, the CPU, the video card etc. To prevent this heat from baking everything inside it has to be let out. Proper vent and fan location is the key. Notice in this video how this gaming computer’s air flow design draws outside air in through the front fan and expels internal heat through the top and rear fans. Some of our customers we’ve built computers for over 10 years ago are still coming in wanting to upgrade to Windows 10 and the computer is still mechanically solid. For a custom built computer designed to stand the test of time (and heat) let Skyview Electronics build your next custom computer.
Can Dust really damage your computer?
Put quite simply, YES! Just like a car needs clean oil to keep the engine from overheating your computer needs clean cool airflow to prevent overheating. Even with our more advanced technology dust and debris still cause damage to computers by interfering with fans and functioning as insulation, causing your computer to overheat. High levels of heat can cause early failure of components, and excessive, intense heat can cause critical components to fail unexpectedly. Dust can also interfere with the electrical connections on ports and connections causing erratic results.
Even if your computer isn’t overheating, dust can still damage the internal components of your computer. Dust absorbs moisture which allows the dust to adhere to the surfaces of the electronics. Left uncleaned, the circuit boards will begin to corrode and may even produce intermittent failures. The higher the humidity, the more moisture the dust will absorb. Keeping your desktop or laptop computer clean with a scheduled cleaning is very important for the life of your computer.
What are the signs that my computer needs to be cleaned?
When your fans are running at higher speeds or constant they will be louder then normal, and this is a sign that you will not want to ignore. Fast running fans means that they need to work harder to move the air around to cool critical components in your computer. Most newer PC’s also have a built-in CPU temperature probe, and you can use a program such as Core-Temp to see your computer’s current temperature. This temperature is for the processor alone, and will fluctuate as you run programs. A good temperature should not exceed 55 degrees Celsius idle and the lower the temperature, the better. Depending on where your computer is located, you may find that you need to clean your computer out more regularly then other locations, for example if your computer is on the floor and you have pets, you will have to clean your computer more than one that is on a desk in a home without pets. Cat and dog hairs are easily sucked into a computer and can smother it’s components.
What if the dust has already damaged my computer?
If you are finding that your computer is running erratically and shutting down continually, you may have early stages of component failure. A quick look at the fans while the computer isn’t running should be enough to tell you if it’s not clean. Many components can be replaced by a trained PC technician, but you will need to get your computer in quickly. The more you use your computer in this condition, the more damage you do and the more costly it will be to fix.
My computer is fully enclosed, does it need to be cleaned?
YES! There is no such thing as a “fully enclosed” computer, all desktop and Laptop computer models need to be cleaned. Models like the i-Mac may hide their ventilation, but like any other computer, they pull in cool air, and blow out warm air to cool the processor and other components in the computer. They also need to be cleaned of dust and debris as well. The outside of your computer may look clean, but never neglect the inside!
What about Laptops / Notebook Computers? How do they get cleaned?
Laptops can be particularly susceptible to dust and dirt. Their smaller bodies have less space for airflow in the first place, therefore a small amount of dust can quickly do more damage then it would to a desktop. Our trained technicians can take apart any laptop for a full internal cleaning and assessment. We can also dismantle and clean the keyboards to remove dust, dirt and more commonly food particles out from under the keys so that they function properly again.
My mouse is sticky!
Yes, mice can get sticky too. With the cost of a new mouse so low, it’s generally advisable to just purchase a new mouse. If you are particularly attached to your mouse for some reason, our technician can clean that as well.
Computers need to be maintained both inside and out. If you find that your computer is running slow or getting hot, those are warning signs that it’s past time for some maintenance.
Dust: Dust can reduce the airflow to your computer, resulting in an overheating computer. Your laptop or desktop should be opened and cleaned of dust on a regular basis to avoid overheating issues. Skyview deals with these issues on a daily basis for it’s customers. Every computer that comes into our shop is checked for dust issues even it that’s not what it’s in for. We have the equipment to safely take apart your laptop or desktop computer and clean the dust out of the fans and circuit boards to restore proper air flow.
Dirt and Food: Are your keys sticky? Is there items hiding under your keyboard? We can clean your keyboard area and if there are still lingering issues, your keyboard can also be replaced.