Dust Bunnies-01

When asked to think of all of the potential problems we might experience with our computer system,
simply being dirty is one that barely registers for most users. dusty-comp1When we are facing risks such as malware threats, viruses, system crashes, and printing issues (to name a few commonly cited items), having a couple dust bunnies floating among our computer hardware might not seem like that big of a deal. While this may be true initially, ignoring dust and dirt building up in our systems can cause a number of significant issues when it comes to system performance and component lifespan for us in the long term.

Outside of some very rare instances of acting as a conduit for condensation, or containing a high quantity of metallic debris, the biggest risk dust poses to our systems is that of heat. Dust, dirt, hair, and smoke can all lead to a layer of grime forming on our system components, which in turn begins to act much like a blanket would by trapping heat and helping keep things warmer than usual. Similar build ups can form on case fans and within air intake and exhaust channels, causing our cooling systems to work harder and be less effective. Over time this will cause our system to run hotter than it should, which in turn can lead to decreased system performance, system crashes, and even hardware failures.

Brandon-CleaningFortunately, these negative effects can be easily mitigated by regularly cleaning our computer systems. If we are having trouble remembering the last time our system was cleaned out, that’s likely a good indication that we are overdue! A can of compressed air is the tool of choice for most cases, and a lint free cloth can be used to help clean up fans and other components if needed. Be sure to stay away from liquids and air compressors though, as those will do more harm than good. As far as frequency is concerned, a good “spring cleaning” once a year should be sufficient to keep most systems in a healthy state, though if we work in a dusty environment more regular maintenance might be needed.

If you have any questions concerning system maintenance or performance, feel free to give us a call at (512) 388-5559.



By Brandon Kaylor
Desktop Support Technician
Central Texas Technology Solutions