It doesn’t matter if you have more than 5 fans, have just as much dust filters, or cover your computer case every after use (yes, some people do that), the insides of your PC will always collect dust and dirt especially if the case is open. There’s no escaping from it to happen. Since preventing dust is possible but will always have its validity, what you can do is to treat this issue. Clean your computer.
The goal is simple. Cool air has to successfully enter the case and hot air has to come out. This won’t happen if the filters are obstructed with dust and debris or the exhausts are blocked. If this happens, the computer or the components inside the case can overheat. And if that happens, you’ll be facing a bigger problem, if not the biggest.
To prevent this from happening, you want to do your best in removing all dust from the system so it becomes a good ground for cool air and clean environment.
Whenever cleaning your PC or its components, you need to take extra special care about static damage. Using an anti-static wristband is ideal, but if you don’t have one to hand, make sure to regularly ground yourself by touching your case or PSU housing.
- Wear a dust mask or respirator if you want to avoid breathing in any of the dust and dirt you remove from your case.
- Turn off your PC and unplug the power cable from the rear. If you want to be extra safe, unplug everything.
- Move your computer to somewhere well ventilated if possible, or at least open a window or door to let fresh air into the room.
- Remove the side panels and (if possible) the front panel of your case.
- Use a lint-free cloth or can of compressed air to clean the dust from any dust filters, as well as any obvious collections in the base of the case.
- Use a can of compressed air—we don’t recommend trying to blow forcefully yourself—to clean the dust from any heatsinks like your CPU or graphics card cooler.
Now that dust is everywhere, use a vacuum to clean the loose dust particles only on the floor. Anywhere but inside the case.
Once you’ve knocked all the dust loose, use a vacuum cleaner to clean up any dust that ends up on the floor. However, don’t use the vacuum directly on the interior of your case, as there is a real risk of static damage. (You could use one as a blower in a pinch, which Jarred regularly does, but don’t get the tip close to sensitive components.)