Reliability Is Top Priority So I Clean My Computer Regularly

I like to clean my computer every couple of months to ensure my system stays reliable, even under the heaviest workload.  If your computer system is clean on the inside, the case will continue to move air through keeping all of your components cool.  It may look like a big job at first, but rest assured, after you've done this once, it's about a 15 minute job.

If you have your motherboard controlling fan speeds, your system will also run louder because the temperatures end up being to high as a result of poor air flow.  The motherboard compensates and runs the fans at full speed, all the time. Eventually, airflow becomes so poor your system will start overheating.

TIP! A common problem I see when servicing other peoples computers is poor airflow.  As a result usually the video card or the CPU end up running to hot, this causes system crashing, blue screen Windows errors, and just an overall performance loss.

How I Clean My Computer


Never use a vacuum to clean a computer, they often generate a lot of static electricity. A single shock can cause a computer component to become useless.

To clean my computer, I use a star screwdriver, a can of compressed air or an air compressor with a blow nozzle.  If you use an air compressor, make sure the air is dry by spraying a piece of wood first, and checking to see if it is damp.  If there is any moisture in your lines I recommend you pick up a can of compressed air and use that instead to avoid damaging any of your electronics.

  • Step 1 - Turn off the computer, and remove all the wires connecting to it.
  • Step 2 - Take the covers off of the computer case, this is usually done by removing the 4 screws on the left and right side of the case. 
remove computer case cover
  • Step 3 - Slide the covers back, they stop about a half inch back.  Then the panel is free to remove.
  • Step 4 - If the front panel on the computer case is removable, go ahead and take that off as well by gently prying with a flat screwdriver.
remove computer front
  • Step 5 - Remove the video card, it's where your monitor was plugged into.  If your video card is part of your motherboard, skip this step.  Removing the video card will not only help you to clean the heatsink and fan on the video card, but it will give you more room to clean out the heatsink on the CPU.  Give the video card compressed air from both sides.  Make sure you hold the fan to keep it from spinning as you blow out the fan side.

TIP! Front this point forward, if you need a better look at the pictures, click on them for a larger image.

clean video card fan

clean video card back
  • Step 6 - Blow out the front case fan.  Since you can't easily stop the fan from spinning, short air blasts here will keep you from over spinning this fan.
  • Step 7 - Blow out the rear case fan, holding the fan again to avoid spinning it too fast.
clean rear case fan
  • Step 8 - Blast air between all of you hard drives to free the dust there as well.
clean hard drives
  • Step 9 - The power supply needs to be cleaned as well, blowing air both from the back of the case and from the inside of the case through the power supply.
clean power supply
  • Step 10 - The heatsink for the CPU should be cleaned by passing air from as many different sides as possible.  Keep in mind again not to over spin the fan.
clean heatsink

clean heatsink fan
  • Step 11 - Once you're all finished put the video card back in, put the panels back on the case.

TIP! In my experience the worst spots for dust to build up are, the front case fan, the cpu heatsink, the video card, and the computer power supply.  Give these some extra attention when cleaning.

To make sure I always have a clean computer, I like to clean my computer every 4 to 6 months.  It will help keep your system running its best, reliable and fast.  Also, a wipe off of the front of the case to keep the air intake side clean is a great idea anytime you think of it.

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