When it comes to cleaning PCs, it’s not just about keeping the software clean. You also need to take care when it comes to dust build up inside your PC workstation. Build up of dust inside the actual PC, can reduce the cooling efficiency which, in turn, could reduce the life span of your computer.
Ideally, you need to clean your computer every 6 - 12months to avoid the build up of dust and to keep the PC running cool. An average computer could last for around 3 – 5 years, but by cleaning it regularly, you could extend this by a few more years. Not only does this save you time and money, but it also reduces the amount of e-waste being generated, therefore helping the environment. If you manage the IT in a business, think of the money you could save the business by cleaning the computers!
Unsure of how to clean your PC by yourself? It’s a very simple process and only requires a cloth and a can of compressed air (which you can buy from any computer shop). Here’s how you do it:
The first thing you need to do is make sure your PC is unplugged from any mains.
Clean the outside of your computer. You really should dust the exterior casing of your PC with a dry cloth at least once a week, just to remove the dust. If you are cleaning your monitor too, make sure you, again, wipe it with a dry cloth and try to remove any fingerprints on the screen. Don’t try to use any household cleaners to do this, as they could damage the screen on the monitor and the coatings on the PC. If there are any stubborn smudges that you need to clean, you can do this using distilled or filtered water on a cloth. When you have finished cleaning, make sure the PC is dry before turning it back on.
Don’t forget to clean your keyboard! Turn it over and gently tap it to remove any small bits of unwanted dirt. Make sure you wipe around the keys to stop them from sticking or failing.
Time to clean the inside of your PC! Open the external casing carefully using a screwdriver.
This is where your compressed air comes in. Used the compressed air to remove dust from internal components. Use short bursts or air and try to stay at least a few inches away from the surface of the motherboard, processor and expansion cards. When you are cleaning the fan, hold it down to stop it from spinning, so that you can clean it properly. Use the same compressed air to remove the dust from the power supply. If the power supply has a dust filter, make sure that is cleaned too. Also clean the heat sink and fan mounted on your processor. If the dust build up is too heavy to be removed with just the air, take out the heat sink and fan from the processor so that you can clean it properly. You can then put the casing back on the computer.
Ensure that external ports are cleaned of dust, again using the compressed air.
Tips to reduce dust build up
Cleaning your computer is great for when dust has built up on the inside and outside after a period of time. However, there are certain things you can do which will help reduce the amount of dust that builds up, which will make it easier to clean. Firstly, make sure your computer is well ventilated. This simply involves maintaining proper air flow by leaving space to the sides of your PC so there are no obstacles. It also helps to make sure the room your PC is in is also well ventilated.
It’s important to keep an eye on the CPU fan and fan blades. If your processor is overheating and causing your PC to shut down, you may need to upgrade these components.
Cleaning your PC is just like cleaning your house. If you do a little bit of maintaining regularly, the ‘deep’ clean will be much easier. By taking care of your PCs properly, you will be able to extend the life of the devices, which will save you and your business money. Not only this, but you will be doing your bit for the environment. It’s a win win!
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