Gaming computers love dust! No matter where you place them and how little you use them dust will inevitably get inside along with coating the outside with unsightly grey fluff! It is important to clean your computer from time to time. How often that is all depends on how often the system is left on.
A computer that is used heavily (on every day for at least 15 hours a week) will need maintaining every 2 to 3 months, systems used much less often (under 15 hours a week) should be cleaned every 4-5 months. The Environment that the gaming PC operates in also plays an important factor, using it in a room with thick carpet, pets or smoke will require maintenance more frequently. Leave it too long between cleans and the dust build up will be much harder to remove, or worse cause overheating issues.
For example we have seen systems that were barely a year old where the customers had never maintained their computers which were under heavy use and placed in a room with thick carpet, pets and smokers – The result was the systems were shutting down because they were simply getting too hot, they had to be returned and we had the physically scrape off the clumps of yellow dust from each component. It’s not a nice job I can assure you!
Thank fully cleaning your PC is a simple process and should not take more than 5 minutes each time it’s done.
External PC Cleaning
With any PC cleaning a little common sense is needed, in this case make sure the system is switched off and unplugged from the wall. Find an old cloth (lint free is ideal as it won’t leave anything behind) and give the system a quick wipe. Once wiped, clean the cloth or use another and then dampen the cloth, when I say dampen it must be as close to dry as damp can be as you do not want any drops of water going where they shouldn’t and then give the external of the PC another wipe down.
Make sure the computer is completely dry before plugging it back in and switching it on. You may wish to also use a can of compressed air on the system before attacking it with the dry cloth but more on the can of compressed air shortly.
Wiping down the exterior of a computer is easy, the insides are a little trickier so will still require some common sense along with a vacuum cleaner and something that blasts air out at pressure. The common ‘air blasting tool’ used is a can of compressed air with an extended nozzle. They look like this;
You can get them from any kind of electrical shop or online and should set you back no more than £5, if you shop around you can pay nearly half that!
It is important to remember that our systems are protected by a warranty seal so full on access to the PC is not allowed unless you don’t want our warranty, so please don’t go pulling the side panel off however this should not hinder a good clean. Each computer case varies from case to case so it’s impossible to describe how to clean every case out there but the same kinds of rules apply. Dust is light so all you really need to do is to dislodge it.
Once again, switch off the PC and unplug it.
- Dust filters
Many of our systems have these and often you can access them without breaking your warty seal. Find them, remove them and attack them with a vacuum cleaner. Your case manual should give you some nice indication of firstly if your PC has any and how to remove them. If you can’t gain access to them than simply attack them best you can with the vacuum cleaner and the odd blast of compressed air to dislodge any dust that has built up. You can also scrape the dust off by hand if you have let it get to the point of it forming a carpet like layer.
If the dust filters are removable you can also wash them with a bowl of water, once clean allow them to dry before putting them back in place. Cleaning dust filters is the most important job as dust filters are always placed in airways and vents which suck air (and dust) in. Their job is to allow air through and not dust and they would have caught 95% of the dust that is destined for your custom PC. Essentially you have now completed all you really need to do to keep your system in good working order.
- Intakes, Exhausts and vents
Computers are full of vents and openings that that may or may not have a fan which pushes or pulls air around, simply offer the vacuum cleaner to these openings to remove any built up dust and again use a can of compressed air to remove and stubborn clumps left over. Don’t worry if you blast dust inside the PC as when its switched on, air will circulate and eventually remove said dust through a vent/exhaust.
- Further Cleaning
The can of compressed air combined with the extended nozzle will help dislodge anything else. Simply poke the extended nozzle through the vents and openings to dislodge any dust sitting on parts that are inside the PC, provided the cleaning process is frequent there will be hardly any build up so you may find this does not need to be done as often. Once dislodged, the computer will expel most of that dust out the vents and exhausts when the PC is switched on. Repeat this process of clean, switch on if necessary.
If your system does not have a warranty or you simply don’t want it then by all means take of the side panel and continue the use of your compressed air. DO NOT use a vacuum cleaner on any of the components as it generates static electricity.
- Extensive PC cleaning
You may notice that dust builds up on components that have fans, on a gaming computer this is commonly the processor fan and graphics card. Same rule applies as the further cleaning method – Compressed air, nozzle, poke, blast, and switch on in the general direction of this build up. Be careful as these parts a very sensitive so don’t go poking the nozzle right up close to said components. You can also attack the graphics card by poking the nozzle through the graphics card vent on the back of the PC, again you are only trying to dislodge dust so only a light application is needed.
That’s it! Keep on top of the regular cleaning of your computer and you will never run into a problem or have an unsightly build up of fluff and dust. Of course, if you have left it too long and cleaning becomes difficult then you are welcome to bring/send it in to us and we can carry out a thorough clean.