Blow Your Computer Out!
Updated: Aug 18
Ever wonder why your computer operates sluggishly after a few years? The solution might be easier than you think!
Every Sunday my wife cleans out our house. Floors, laundry, countertops, couches, and then one big task that rotates; maybe floorboards this week, blinds the next. This keeps things operating smoothly in the house. One thing that she made sure to add to that list is cleaning off the fins on the fans in the house. The difference is immediate and noticeable. Cleaner air, greater airflow, and it simply runs much more smoothly. Every time She does this, I remember that our computers are cooled much in the same way: through the movement of air over metal fins facilitated by—you guessed it—fans. That means that when our house fans are dirty and clogged with dust, our computer fans may be in similar shape, OH NO!
Computers may seem like a scary subject, but they are actually relatively simple. One of the biggest factors is their need for regular maintenance, just like the other things in our lives; the problem, however, is that they are easy to overlook. For most computers the simplest thing you can do to help maintain and keep them running for longer is to blow out the dust that has settled inside it over time.
On every PC and laptop there are vents that allow air to enter and exit the device. A proper air flow should be in one side and out the other and/or the top of the machine. The draw strength of the fans has to be relatively equal in order for the system to cool appropriately, meaning the fans need to push air into the #computer at the same rate they’re drawing air out. As long as this balance is maintained, your computer should be able to sustain a stable operating temperature and optimize its lifespan.
What’s The Best Way to Clean Out Your PC?
You can buy a little can of compressed air at any electronics store for about $5 or you can get a rechargeable air gun for about $50; either option will work perfectly. Grab your computer and head outside, somewhere dry and in the open and blow every vent out. For desktops, the side panel of your PC can be removed easily. Typically, there are two screws on the rear corners of the PC that can be unscrewed by hand and then the side will slide right off. Once you have open access to the interior, use your duster of choice and give it a good cleaning.
“Don't be surprised if a cloud of dust comes out. This is a good sign.”
Since laptops are a little more difficult to disassemble, your best option is to just blow air along the undersides as well as inside the vents near the hinges where the computer comes together. Blow out those USB ports too, don't be surprised if a cloud of dust comes out. This is a good sign. If dust is freely blowing out of your computer, it means that the dirt inside of it hasn’t settled and solidified on your #hardware. That is the last thing you need! We see this a lot with computers from homes with a lot of smoke circulating in the air. The tar from tobacco products tends to stick to hardware if allowed to settle, then you’re in for a messy clean.
After blowing it out, your computer should operate quieter, and faster due to the #heat reduction.
I do this to my pc about once every 3-4 months, but that is excessive. For the average person I would suggest at least twice a year (Unless you have multiple pets or a ton of dust flowing through the house; then I would recommend doing it monthly)!
I write this with the idea of making you more confident in things you can do to help maintain your computer! It’s yours!!! But like most things in your possession, they need to be looked after. This is the first step in keeping your personal computer running longer, better, faster.
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