Don’t let the heat bring your system down

by Lou Horton on March 29, 2012

Now that Summer temperatures have arrived in full force, it is a good time to take a look at your computer to make sure it is not still wearing a Winter jacket made of 100% dust! Computers by design run at extremely high temperatures. The processor (CPU) and some graphics cards and chips typically generate the most heat. In order to keep the heat of these components under control, your computer is equipped with a variety of fans and heat sinks. When free of dust these devices work well but when you throw in over 6 months of dust accumulation, many of them cease to be effective. The problem is compounded when computers are operated in rooms in excess of 75 degrees F during the Summer months. The end result can be computers that run slow, crash often or in the worst cases are permanently damaged due to the excessive heat.

What can you do to clean out the dust? On laptop computers not a whole lot with completely disassembling the system. There are a lot of delicate parts so this is not recommended for most users. Desktop computers are much easier to clean however. Below we will describe the process for cleaning a desktop computer and provides some tips and tools for troubleshooting heat related issues.

Things you will need: Screw Driver, Can of Compressed Air.

1. Shut down the computer.

2. Unplug the power cord and all other cables.

3. Take the computer into a non carpeted area where it will be easy to clean up the dust.

4. Remove your computer cover (see owner’s manual for exact instructions). There is typically a side panel that slides off after removing a few screws on the back.

5. Spray compressed air on fan blades and heat sinks to remove dust. pay careful attention to a layer of dust that often accumulates under the fan but on top of the processor heat sink.

6. If you have a difficult time removing some of the dust you can use a dry toothbrush or other small delicate brush. Be gentle.

7. Brush any remaining dust out of the case.

8. Replace the cover and reconnect all the cables.

Do not use vacuums or air compressors to remove the dust. There are several ways that these devices can damage your computer.

Computers have temperature sensors in various locations that can be accessed to check the system temperature. One handy utility that can be used for this is called SpeedFan . After you download and install this free utility, you will be able to see the current temperature of your computer. Running this program while performing a processor intensive task such as playing a game or editing video will give you a good idea of how hot your computer is getting.

As always if you need any assistance or help with a laptop computer, you can always contact us at: or at 630-444-7220.

Enjoy the Summer and try to keep yourself and your computer cool!

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: