Any computer user should know how harmful dust can be to their PCs. That isn’t all they should know. If you own a computer, you have to know the ways to keep it clean and dust-free. It’s not just hygiene; dust accumulation can actually affect the performance and, ultimately, the lifespan of your PC. We consulted experts in the tech world to help us out here;

“Keeping your PC dust-free requires the right equipment and following the right routine. Investing in devices such as filters and fans and making sure that they’re properly maintained helps you manage the amount of dust that gets into your device. This being said, one shouldn’t be complacent and solely rely on these gadgets. One must also be well-versed in the do’s and don’ts of cleaning and establish a cleaning routine that allows them to keep their PC in check.”

Simon Elkjær, Chief Marketing Officer, avXperten

Now, let’s get started on those Dos and Don’ts;

Raise Them Off the Floor

“I have 3 PCs in my business, and one of them is overclocked and needs to be kept cool, so lots of airflows, which also brings in the dust. I’ve found a simple way to reduce the amount of dust collecting inside the PCs is to raise them off the floor. Dust naturally falls to the floor and collects there. So putting a PC on a plinth, or on top of a desk if there’s enough space, really helps.  It needs to be solid support – not something that will vibrate. What you obviously can’t do is put the PC in a cupboard because it needs lots of airflows to keep it cool.” (Laurence Jones)

Compressed Air Cans and Cleaning the Air Filters

“I also find that opening the side panel of the PC and carefully blowing off dust inside with a can of compressed air helps a lot. I do this once every 2-3 months, and it only takes a few minutes.

If your PC has removable air filters, then cleaning them at the same time is essential. Take them out (with the system turned off), wash them under a cold tap, and let them dry for a few hours before replacing them.”

Laurence Jones, Business Owner at KidsNaturally Photography

“A small amount of dust won’t harm anything, but if left uncontrolled, a few particles will grow into a large number of particles, and our computer heatsinks will be caked with debris before you realize it. This restricts airflow to hot components like your GPU and CPU, causing them to heat up faster and throttle more frequently. “ (George Mouratidis)

Dust Filters

“So, what are your options? ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’, as the adage goes. The best offense, or defense, is a competent defense. In either case- dust filters are the most effective way to keep dust out of your system in the first place. Don’t use a vacuum, as it can cause freezer burn. If you have an old computer, you may need to replace it with a new one. It’s a good idea to clean your computer on a regular basis.” (George Mouratidis)

Clean Regularly

“Finally, it’s a good idea to clean your computer on a regular basis. The frequency is determined by how quickly the dust accumulates. Pet owners, for example, may need to clean their systems more frequently, perhaps once a week or once a month, as opposed to once a month for others. This does not need to be a thorough cleaning. A few carefully placed compressed air blows will suffice. Turn off and disconnect your computer, then take it outside for the greatest effects. This prevents the dust from settling back into your home.”

George Mouratidis, Marketing Professional at SIM Tourist

“Dust build-up in a PC can threaten its performance in the long run, as it causes overheating that, in turn, leads to hardware damage. Besides regular PC case cleaning (once every eight months), it is also important to prevent dust accumulation,” says  Mark Hensley, “There are a few universal tips that will help to keep a PC dust-free;

Keep Away From Dust Attractions

“First of all, keep the computer case away from the window, as it draws all of the dust from the outside – dust can reach the computer and build up. Secondly, don’t place your computer case on the carpet, as the carpet accumulates a layer of dust. It is also difficult to clean the carpet area around the PC case. It’s much easier when a floor can be wiped clean. Last but not least, come up with some form of elevation for your PC case. After all, simply raising the device by a few inches will decrease the amount of dust build-up by 80%.” (Mark Hensley)

Use In-take Filters

“A great idea to decrease dust accumulation is to use intake filters for the fans. Modern PC cases have intake filters, but if you are the owner of an older case, it is worth adding them. Intake filters will prevent dust from getting into the PC case and reaching the hardware. They should be picked based on the type of pressure cooling system: intake or exhaust. The intake type is when fans blow in more air than they blow out and with exhaust, and vice versa.

“The most optimal option is when fans take a bit more air than they give out. In such a case, all of the air (with dust) redirects through filtered intake areas, avoiding any dust build-ups.”

Mark Hensley, Founder of Povverful

Air Purifier

“The most draining chore I have experienced with computer upkeep is, without a doubt, cleaning the dust and bits that accumulate inside the case every now and then. I have worked for years with computers and it seems like using a can of compressed air simply moves the dust until it inevitably settles inside the computer again. My personal piece of advice: Invest in a good air purifier. This has been my saving grace honestly and has cut down on the number of cans of compressed air I have to go through and the amount of cleaning I have to do. Whether you sit it in the same corner or simply in the same room as your computer, this will undoubtedly reduce the amount of dust you see in your hardware overall. 

“Sure, I still definitely encourage doing the deep clean and making sure to get into the case itself to be safe. With an air purifier, however, you are bound to have to do this less often and spend less on cleaning supplies and find more time working on the jobs you enjoy or your hobbies overall.”

Carla Diaz, Co-founder of Broadband Search