The next time you spring clean your house think about dusting the inside of your computer. Dust can prevent a computer from operating at its' best. There are fans inside a computer case that help keep the system and its' components cool. Sometimes a large build up of dust can slow down or completely stop the fans. When the fans become "clogged" system overheating can occur. Overheating parts can cause system instability (frequent "freezing" of the computer), sluggish peformance or complete hardware failure that would require replacement of parts.


If you are a smoker the problem gets worse. Adding smoke to the mix causes the dust inside a computer to turn into a paste like grime. This grime prevents the fans used for cooling from rotating. This leads to hardware failure. This is what happened to the computer shown on the right. The power supply, heatsink/fan combo and processor (CPU) had to be replaced. An avoidable expense if the owner had taken care of the inside of their computer.


To dust your computer you can use a can of compressed air which can be purchased at any computer or office supply store. Make sure your computer is turned off and unplugged from the power source. Most computers have a couple of screws located on the back end that hold the side panel in place. Remove the screws and slide the panel off. You can now blow out any dust in the case and fans with your compressed air. You can also use an air compressor if you have one.


Dusting your computer should be down every 6 -12 months. If you smoke in your home / office or anywhere near your computer we recommend you dust it at least once every 3 months. You may have to use a scraping tool (flathead screwdriver or similar) to remove the grime from the fan blades as you dust.


If you are not comfortable opening your computer, this is a service that can be performed during your next House Calls appointment.


Remember - DO NOT shake the can of compressed air before using.

These are actual pictures from a computer we recently worked on.
Click the images for a larger view


Front Panel

This is the front panel of the computer. The plastic cover containing the buttons has been removed to show the amount of grime and dust that has built up in the ventilation holes. Clogging of the ventilation holes prohibits proper air flow to help keep the computer at a normal temperature.

Power Supply

The power supply is located on the back of the computer. This is what your cord from the wall plugs in to. The power supply provides the needed power to your computer. If the power supply should fail due to overheating because of a clogged fan, the computer will no longer turn on.

Heatsink/Fan Combo + CPU

This fan sits on top of the processor (CPU). Think of the CPU as the "brain" of the computer and also one of the more costly components to replace. The fan helps keep the processors from overheating. Without a fan to keep it cool, the processor would fry like an egg. No processor = no computer.