Every personal computer requires regular maintenance and cleaning in order to prevent dust build up and overheating. Dust can block the inside fan coolers and actually create a layer of insulation that can cause damage through overheating. Here, you will see how to clean everything inside of your own computer effectively. It only takes 20 minutes to do it and it is quite easy.
Turn off your computer, unplug it, and remove all peripherals – the power cable, video cables, audio cables, and USB cables. Never try to clean a computer while there is still electricity in its circuits. Move it into your garage, backyard, or other ventilated area (you would not want to breathe all that piled up dust).
The necessary tools for cleaning are: a cleaning cloth, a can of compressed air, and a hardware set with screw drivers. Scissors, cotton swabs, and thermal paste are optional. Avoid using a vacuum because it can fry electrical components on your motherboard by creating a static build up. Use a can of compressed air instead, and a small paint brush for reaching and sweeping the dust where compressed air cannot.
Open up the case by unscrewing the necessary screws and sliding the side-panel outward. If there are any components that can be removed (video cards, hard drives, or RAM sticks), do remove them to make the cleaning process easier. There is no need to remove the CPU and its fan, for instance, because barely any dust reaches into the CPU socket.
Take the can of compressed air, aim at an area with a lot of dust buildup, and shoot. First clean the peripherals, such as the video card which has some dust piled up around its DVI ports. If you are cleaning a fan, place a pencil between the blades to prevent it from spinning. After cleaning the peripherals, move inside the computer case. Remove dust that has piled up inside and around the slots, ports and enclosures. Blow the air and move it up and down the entire slot. Next, clean the power supply unit, CPU fan, and the bottom of the case. If there is still some dust stuck to the case, you can clean it with some cotton swabs or a damp cloth. Clean until there is no or minimal amounts of dust left.
All of the computer parts should be put back into place, and cables should be plugged back into correct sockets. Now you have rid of skin particles, hair, dust, and who-knows-what more. When you turn on your computer, pay attention to see whether there are still any heating issues. You should begin to notice that it is now a thing of the past. It positively affects your computer’s performance, so remember to clean it every 3-6 months.
How often should you clean your computer depends on your environment. Dust and other particles may enter your computer easily if you keep it on the floor. Smoking near the computer can also lead to chemicals and cigarette ash buildup inside it. If you own a pet, then believe that some of the shedded fur will end up inside your computer case. When you notice that your machine is getting hotter, open it up and clean, clean, clean!