Why Should I Have My Computer Cleaned?

Computer Team Service Technician Dave Belville explains why you should keep your computer clean to keep it performing at it's best...and what could happen if you don't.

Imagine living in an environment where the temperature is between 90 to 100 degrees all the time. Imagine that the only "air conditioning" to speak of is in the form of a small fan in a window. It would be all you could do to stay cool enough to function, let alone be productive.

Now, imagine what it would be like to have to put on a piece of clothing every day - without ever being able to take anything off. It wouldn't be too long before things became uncomfortable. Eventually it would become too warm for you to even function, or worse it would become too warm to even survive.

Dusty PC in very bad need of cleaning!This may seem a bit dramatic, but this situation is not far removed from what goes on inside your computer's case. Your PC works hard for you day in and day out. It, like you, generates substantial amounts of heat as it works. Two fans that circulate the air inside the case to cool the components - unfortunately it also blows in dust and dirt. The dust is attracted to the electrical charges that your computer's component's carry, much like the way dust is attracted to the screen of your television. As the dust and dirt builds up on the tops, bottoms, and sides of the components, it insulates them, much like the additional clothing we spoke of earlier.

Just as you would become increasingly warm as you added clothing, your computer becomes warmer as the layers of dust gather and become thicker. As it gets warmer, the computer loses it's ability to function well and becomes less productive. When you get too hot, you sweat, slow down, and eventually pass out - in other words you quit functioning. Why would your computer be any different? You'll see evidence of your computer heating up and losing performance in the form of random error messages, lock-ups, crashes, or in the worst case scenario - "pass out" - in other words: component failure.

If the component that fails is the hard drive (hard disc) you can lose all of the information - data and programs - that is stored on it. If it is important data that must be recovered, it can cost thousands of dollars to send the drive to a company that specializes in data recovery. Even if it isn't your hard drive that fails, the cost of replacing/repairing the damaged components is far more than cost of simple preventative maintenance.

You take measures to maintain the performance of your car, house, even your lawn mower. Your PC may have cost more than your lawn mower - you use it more and depend on it just as much. Doesn't it deserve the same treatment as any other investment you've made?

Computer Team's Service Technicians can clean and maintain your system for you. The unit is completely disassembled and sprayed throughout with high-pressure dry nitrogen gas to remove all traces of dust and dirt. Dry nitrogen gas is used because it is clean, dry, and does not create static as it blows across the components. Compressed (canned) air is not as clean, and contains moisture and other contaminants that cause friction (and in turn, static) as it blows across the components you are cleaning.

All of the contacts on the memory modules and add-in boards are cleaned then reassembled, each cable is securely reseated in it's proper connector, the case is cleaned, the cooling fans are checked and cleaned, and the computer is tested.

Cleaning your computer will not guarantee that it will never fail, but it makes it much less likely. All things considered, that makes cleaning pretty cheap insurance.

Computer Team, Inc. recommends that home users have their computer cleaned once every year. If your PC is kept in particularly harsh conditions (dusty, moist, or exposed) you should contact your Service Technician for advice on how often maintenance needs to occur.