The summer is nearly upon us and we’ve already had a few warm days.

One of the driving factors behind computer failure and premature hardware faults is overheating.

Computer components are designed to work within a given temperature range and they manage this by using fans. Unfortunately these fans suck in a lot of debris and dust (you can purchase filters to help reduce this) and overtime this dust can clog up fans and heatsinks.

Much like a car requires a regular service, so does a computer or a laptop.

Here is a step by step guide on cleaning your PC.

Before you begin: Install temperature monitoring software to record your initial temperatures. Run this again after the work has been carried out for comparison.
We use HWMon which you can download here.

1) Remove the side panel of the computer by removing the screws at the back and sliding the panel off. Some computer cases have clips to release the panel.

side-panel-screw-locations side-panel-clips

2) Identify the fans and ensure they spin freely by gently rotating them with your finger. If they make any unusual noises then they may need replacing. Replacing fans with upgraded ones can help reduce noise.

3) While the computer is open, check for any unusual marks on components. These can include burn marks and bulging capacitors. If you spot anything, be sure to get an experienced PC technician to take a look.


4) Using a can of compressed air, blow the dust away. You may want to have a vacuum cleaner on standby to collect the dust. Make sure you clear the dust from between the heatsink fins.


Important: Don’t use the hover directly inside the machine as this can create static electricity which has the potential to harm components.

5) Some computer cases have removable fan filters. If this is the case you can take these out and clean them separately.

dust-cover-2 dust-cover

6) Using an alcohol based cleaner dab this onto a cotton ear bud and gently wipe the fan blades clean.

7) Other components inside the case may have fans attached to them e.g. graphic cards. You can certainly use compressed air on these items but we recommend seeking assistance before attempting any more advanced cleaning of these objects.

6) Reassemble your computer.