Can Dust Harm Your Computer?

Dust: it’s your computer’s mortal enemy. More than viruses, malware, drops, or spills, dust is something your system faces daily, and it may be doing more damage than you think. If you’ve ever wondered ” can dust harm your computer?” the answer is a resounding yes.

Why is Dust so Bad for Your Computer?

To keep from overheating, your computer uses a fan to cool its internal components. The problem is, over thousands of hours, that fan-driven movement pushes dust deep into the crevices of your computer, where it becomes a magnet for electrostatic shock. In addition to interfering with your computer’s electrical components, dust can also cause sudden failure of critical parts and pieces in the body of your computer.

How to Prevent Dust Damage to Your Computer

When it comes to dust, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The best thing you can do to avoid dust-related problems is simply to keep your computer clean. Here’s how:

Use Compressed Air

A can of compressed air will quickly become your best friend when it comes to battling dust. Complete with a narrow nozzle designed to get into the cracks and crevices of your computer, a canister of compressed air blasts tiny dust particulate out of your computer without placing excess stress or pressure on its delicate internal components. To clean your computer, take it out into a ventilated area and use the canister to spray out vulnerable areas like ports and connections.

Wipe the Computer Regularly

With regular use, dust can get ground down into the spaces between your computer’s keys, which can eventually interfere with the signals to the keys, and lead to a breakdown of your keyboard. To prevent this from happening, give your computer regular wipe-downs with a clean, slightly damp cloth. You can also use your canister of compressed air to blast dust out from between the keys.

Keep the Computer in Clean Areas

While some level of dust is inevitable, you can prevent long-term dust damage by striving to use your computer in clean areas. If you can, avoid using your computer outside. You should also avoid putting your computer loose into a bag or backpack. Instead, use a zippable case to keep your ports and connections clean, and to prevent small dust and debris from getting into these sensitive areas.

How to Tell if Your Computer Needs Cleaning

Has your computer already fallen victim to dust damage? While it can be tough to tell, catching the signs of dust early is one of the best ways to avoid long-term damage. Here are a few signs your computer needs a cleaning:

  • Your Computer Fan is Running Loudly. If your PC’s internal fan is operating at high speed or a loud pitch, that’s a good sign that it’s not removing heat as well as it once did. Use a canister of compressed air to spray dust out of the fan compartment and restore the computer to its previous functionality.
  • Your Computer Feels Hot. If your laptop feels hot in your lap, it’s likely being affected by dust. Again, dust makes it hard for your computer to discharge heat. If you’re not sure whether your computer is running hot, download a program that measures the core temperature of your computer and alerts you when it’s above normal.
  • Your Computer Looks Dirty. If you can see visible grime on your computer’s surface, it’s very likely that there’s dirt on the inside of the computer, as well. Clean it at home or take it to your local computer repair professionals for a full cleaning.

A Dust-Free Computer Starts Here

While dust may seem like a small threat, it can do some serious damage to your computer. Fortunately, following the above tips and learning to clean the dust out of your PC is an excellent way to keep your system fast, functional, and safe from damage.

If you have additional questions or want to bring your computer in for a full cleaning, contact the techs here at Computer CPR today!

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