We don’t often think about how dust might be affecting our computer, especially if we keep a clean house. Still, dust happens and when it builds up in your computer (this includes laptops) it clogs the air vents and fan keeping them from doing their job: cooling your system. The resulting heat can wreak havoc. From slowing things down as the system struggles to cool itself, to a full-on shutdown because the components have overheated and now require repair.

Here are some tips to keep things running smoothly:

Desktop computers:

  • Make sure the computer’s vents aren’t against a wall. Leave at least two inches for circulation.
  • If the computer sits directly on a carpeted floor think about raising it up using old books. Carpet fibers get pulled into the air vents adding to clogs.
  • Unplug the computer and wipe the vents with a damp (NOT wet!) cloth once a month. Especially in households that have pets.

Laptop computers:

  • Laptop computers have little room to circulate air so please don’t block the vents by sitting it directly on a bed or your lap. Yes yes, I know…”I have a LAPtop I should be able to sit it on my LAP.” Get a lap desk if you like having your laptop on your lap.
  • Clean your desk. I don’t mean shuffle the papers around, I mean take a cloth and wipe your desk down once in awhile. If you can write notes to your spouse in the dust of your desk it’s time to clean.
  • Don’t use your laptop if you have the sun beating in on it through a window. For a short period of time it’s fine but again, there’s not a lot of space in a laptop to circulate the air. Don’t add to the heat by using it while it’s sitting in strong sunlight.

For both:

  • NEVER use a vacuum to remove the dust from your computer or laptop. Not only can you damage the fans, the vacuum may cause a static charge that can adversely affect the device’s motherboard.

Need help keeping your computer or laptop running cool? Contact us by calling 201-327-0830 or emailing us through our Contact page. We’re here to help!