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Risks And Avoidance of a Dusty Computer

Risks And Avoidance of a Dusty Computer

Risks And Avoidance of a Dusty Computer

There are a few risks to our computers and other devices that can be found in our daily lives, and one example that sometimes doesn't get the attention it deserves is dust. While dust is all around us and most people are familiar with cleaning it from various surfaces or areas, some forget about the risks it can create in computers, especially in high quantities.

At PC Laptops, we're happy to offer a wide selection of computers and computer repair services to clients around Salt Lake City, Sandy, Murray, Riverdale and nearby parts of Utah. Here are some of the reasons why high levels of dust can be a risk for both laptop and desktop computers, plus some basic tips for avoiding any of these problems.

Halting Airflow

One of the first and most notable risks posed by dust to computer systems is that it can accumulate and block, or at least significantly impede, airflow through the system. Many computers have fans both inside and outside their cases that are designed to keep the machine cool while it's running.

If too much dust accumulates in either of these areas, the fan has to work harder than usual to keep the system cool and can struggle to do so. This can cause overheating within the machine, which can lead to hardware damage or even a complete system failure.

Causes Processor Throttling

Within computers, a process known as processor throttling is sometimes used to help cool off the system by slowing down the processor when it's running at full power. Dust buildup within the computer can trigger this process too early, resulting in slower performance than is intended and often without any real cause for concern.

When this happens, the user experience a lag in their performance and, if left unchecked for too long, it can lead to more serious problems.

Dust Increases The Risk of Short Circuits

Another risk posed by dust buildup within computers is that static electricity created from dust particles can cause short circuits. A short circuit is when electricity takes an unintended path through a system, resulting in damage to the system's components. This usually happens when a computer's internal cooling system is blocked or obstructed by dust particles, causing it to heat up and create sparks in the process. If left unchecked, this can cause serious damage to the system and even result in a complete failure of the machine.

Fan Wear-Down

In some cases, too much dust can even begin to damage the fan itself, resulting in it running slower than normal. This can lead to an increased risk of overheating and potentially even a complete failure of the fan, which is incredibly important for keeping a machine cool.

Noise Levels

Often as a result of the fan slowing down, excessive dust buildup can also cause a computer system to become louder than normal. This is often because the internal fans are struggling to keep up with cooling off the system due to obstruction from dust particles, resulting in them working harder and creating more noise as a result.

Signs Dust is Impacting Your Machine

Here are some possible signs that dust could be having a negative impact on your device:

  • Loud fan: If the fan is running louder than usual and you haven't recently added any new components, then dust could be the cause.
  • Overheating: If your computer is getting much warmer than it usually does when in use, this can also be an indication that dust buildup is blocking the internal cooling system.
  • Slow performance: If your machine is lagging in performance for no good reason, this could also be an indication that dust is the culprit.

Avoiding Dust Buildup Risks

Luckily, dust buildup is fairly easy to prevent, and there are some basic steps you can take to keep your computer safe from any of these risks. Here are a few tips for avoiding dust buildup in laptops and desktops:

  • Periodic Cleaning: A good rule of thumb is to clean out the dust inside your machine at least every six months. This is a simple process that only requires a few items and can be done by most people in just a few minutes.
  • Cabinet Dust Covers: Placing dust covers on the outside of your laptop or desktop can help to keep out any external dust that may find its way inside.
  • Ventilation Holes: Make sure there is ample ventilation in the area where your machine is located, as this will help to keep the dust levels down.

Overall, dust can be a real risk for computer systems and it’s important to take steps to ensure that you’re not putting yours at risk. Regular cleaning, good ventilation, and cabinet covers are all good ways to help prevent any potential issues with your machine and dust.

For more here, or to learn about any of our computers or computer repair services in SLC, Sandy, Murray, Riverdale or nearby parts of Utah, speak to our team at PC Laptops today.