Why is there so much dust in your computer?

A day rarely goes by without us cleaning a lot of dust out of the computers that are brought in for repair. Often times the dust has nothing to do with the issue the computer is having, and other times it is the likely cause of the failure.

A lot of people think that computers attract dust. The truth is that computers just pull the dust in with the air it is using to cool themselves down. The more air that is moving through the computer, the dustier it gets. For those with large gaming towers or Mac Pros, the dust that is collected can be remarkable.

Computers are designed so that the air flowing through the machine will cool the parts of the computer that need it most. Usually, there are fans dedicated to the power supply, processor, and GPU. It is important that these components do not overheat, so the fans and casing are designed so that the air flows over these components to move heat away from them.

Because the air is flowing through the areas with the components that need to be cooled, the dust that is coming into the computer also gets pushed through these same areas. This means the dustiest parts of the computer are also the parts that should not have dust around them.

By cleaning the dust out of your computer on a regular basis, you can prolong the lifespan of your computer. There are other things that you can do to keep dust build-up to a minimum as well.

Cleaning out the dust

The most common way to clean dust out of a computer is to blow it out with compressed air. This is a very effective solution and is the recommended method to use. There are a couple of things to keep in mind if you are cleaning your computer by yourself. There is also always the option of bringing your computer into our shop for a professional cleaning.

Be sure the computer is off and unplugged

Anytime you are taking apart your computer you need to be sure it is turned off and unplugged. For a laptop, it is important to turn off the computer, make sure it is unplugged, then also disconnect the battery once you have access to it. On some Mac laptops, disconnecting the battery can be a little tricky, so for those tricky models, we recommend a professional cleaning service.

Be careful not to use too high PSI

If you have an air compressor, be careful to not have it set too high. Compressed air can be quite strong and can literally tear components off the board or cause other issues. If you are using canned air, you don’t need to worry about this as it is not nearly powerful enough to cause damage. Just be sure to keep that can of air upright and follow the instructions listed on the can for proper use.

Keep the fans from spinning

The bearings in your fans can get worn out if you allow the compressed air to spin the fan faster than it is designed to spin. For this reason, it is a good idea to hold the fan still as you blow away the dust. If the fans are especially caked with dust, it may be necessary to remove them from the computer and use a brush to clean them as well as the compressed air.

Only disassemble if you are confident about reassembly

Some computers (especially computer towers) are fairly easy to disassemble for cleaning. While some other computers, like Mac computers, can be quite difficult to disassemble and reassemble for the cleaning process. Only start the cleaning process if you are confident you can handle the disassembly and reassembly procedures.

The Cost Of A Professional Cleaning

The cost of getting your computer professionally cleaned will depend on the model of your computer. As mentioned above, some computers are a lot easier than others to clean. The basic range is normally $40-120 for a professional cleaning service. You can contact us for a quote, or bring your computer in for a free diagnosis if its a Mac, or a $39 diagnosis if it is a Windows PC.

Keeping Dust Out

Once your computer is all dust free and running cool again, you can do a few things to help keep additional dust out of your computer. You will still need to clean your computer every once in a while, but you can help make the cleanings necessary less frequently by following a few steps.

  1. Place your computer away from windows and doors. Windows and doors are generally where dust enters a room. By having your computer in an area away from that fresh dusty air, you will have less dust inside your computer.
  2. Run an air filter nearby. Dust is removed from the air by a good air filter. By placing an air filter nearby your computer you will decrease the amount of dust getting into your computer by a good amount.
  3. Keep the room clear of dust as much as possible. Dusting surfaces in the room with a moist cloth will help remove dust from the environment.

Burning Smell And No Boot Case Study

This gaming rig came to us when the client noticed a burning smell coming from the computer. Shortly after noticing the burning smell, the computer stopped booting fully. Because a burning smell is oftentimes associated with the power supply, that was the first thing we checked.

We found a lot of dust in the machine, with lots of it impacted around the fan that cools the power supply. All this dust was causing the power supply to not be able to cool properly. It is hard to say for certain what caused this power supply to fail, but there is a very good chance that a lack of airflow caused by the dust accumulation brought on the failure!

Thankfully there were no other issues with the overheating machine. We were able to order a replacement power supply and swap the broken one out quickly. While we were in the machine we cleaned out all the dust. Now, this gaming rig is running as good as new.

Professional Computer Cleaning In Philadelphia

Our affordable computer cleaning services are available at our shop here in Philadelphia. Our fast turnaround and component-level repair options make us a great choice for MacBook repair services. You can come by anytime with your Mac for a free diagnosis, or you contact us for a quote over the phone.