Understanding and Preventing Computer Dust Issues

Mar 11, 2021

There are both potential hardware and software risks that face computers if they aren’t properly cared-for, and one of the single most common types within this former category is widely-known: Dust. Even more common than issues like computer viruses or malware, dust that finds its way into the interior components of your computer can create several issues.

At FixIT Mobile, we’re happy to provide a wide range of computer repair, laptop repair and related device repair services for any issue that may have cropped up, including dust concerns taking place. How does dust impact a computer, why do these effects take place, and what can you do to prevent dust and keep the computer clean at all times? Here’s a primer to keep in mind.

Effects of Dust on a Computer

To understand why dust is harmful to the interior of a computer, you have to know about the fan nearly every modern computer uses. This fan is in place to cool interior components of the computer, and it’s typically very effective at this job.

However, over a period of months or years, this same fan movement may push dust into various cracks and crevices of the computer. When the dust builds up to high enough levels, it becomes something of a magnet for electrostatic shock. It often creates sudden failure of major parts within the body of the device, or interferes with other electrical components.

What can you do to stop this from happening? Here are several basic tips.

Compressed Air

For computers or laptops that have dealt with dust issues in the past, or if you know your home or office is particularly dusty, one great tool at your disposal is the compressed air can. This can, which comes with a thin nozzle that will fit into various crevices of the device, blasts dust away from important locations without stressing or moving any other components, which may be fragile. Always be sure to use compressed air cans in a well-ventilated area.

Regular Wiping

Another area where dust will often build up on the computer, sometimes before making its way into the interior: On the keys, the spaces between them, and other surface areas. In many cases, this issue will begin interfering with the signals your keys send the rest of the computer – in fact, this is often one of the first signs you may get that dust issues are present to begin with.

To hold off this potential concern, regularly wiping the computer is a simple remedy. Just use a clean, very slightly damn cloth – anything more could risk water damage. In coordination with this, you might also use your compressed air cannister to blast out dust from between keys.

Computer Area

While some amount of dust around the computer likely can’t be avoided, another good way of preventing long-term issues here is keeping the computer itself in a clean area. If you use a laptop, try not to use it outside, as there is far more dust here than inside a properly-filtered home or office building.

Also try to avoid putting your loose computer into a bag or backpack that’s open to the elements – instead, use a case with a zipper to keep all ports and connections free of dust invasion. Especially if you live anywhere dry, such as various Salt Lake City and other Utah locations, you might be surprised at just how much dust is able to get into your bag or laptop carrier if it isn’t sealed to the elements.

General Cleaning Need Signs

Are you worried about your ability to catch dust buildups or related dust concerns impacting the computer? Luckily, the device itself will often give you several clear signs that it’s begun to deal with dust buildups. While these issues may also indicate certain other minor problems, dust is among the most common – and the solutions are all similar anyway. Some of these signs include:

  • Fan running loudly: Have you begun to hear much more noise from the computer, specifically from the fan component we discussed earlier? This is often a sign that the fan is operating at a higher speed than it used to, which tends to mean that it’s not removing heat from the interior of the device as well as it should be – and dust is often the primary culprit causing this reduction in efficiency. This is one area where those who are confident with the interior of their computer should use compressed air to spray dust out of the fan compartment – but if you aren’t comfortable here, bring the device to our computer repair specialists for assistance.

  • Device temperature: If you’ve begun to notice the device getting extremely hot, such as a laptop that’s too hot to put in your lap, dust is again the most common culprit here. The same thing is happening as above: The dust on the inside of the computer is making it hard for the device to expel heat, even as the fan runs. If you’re unsure whether your computer is above the normal operating temperature, you can download one of several programs that measures internal core temperature and alerts you when it becomes too high.

  • Visual issues: And if you can visibly spot dust buildups, grime or other issues on the surface of the device, it’s highly likely you have greater dust deposits within the device. If things have reached this point, you may want to bring the computer in to our team for professional cleaning and repair.

For more the impact of dust on a computer, or to learn about any of our computer repair, phone repair, tablet repair or other device repair services, speak to the staff at FixIT Mobile today.