With our busy homes and offices, the foot traffic brings in the dust. Pets and fabrics, even our own dead skin add to the dust created or brought into our environments every day.
Inevitably this contamination ends up in our computer systems and peripherals more than most items. This is often because of the length of time we use our computers for, and that they require cooling air to be drawn in from the surrounding space. The volume of this air movement over time is staggering. An unobstructed 120mm fan will move up to 80 cubic feet of air every single minute.
The Importance of A Clean Machine
From this you can see, even over a few hours of running, the cooling system will have processed many thousands of cubic feet of air. When you shine a torch at night in a dusty room, you see hundreds of individual dust particles in the beam.
Imagine these going through your computer. This is what is happening. It leaves a surface deposit of dust and grime on the pathways the air takes through your machine. It is especially noticeable on the grilles and fan intake. What is less noticeable from a visual inspection is that that deposit of grimy dust is hindering the computer’s ability to transfer its waste heat to the cooling airflow. By doing so, the temperature of the components within your computer goes up.
This includes most importantly heat dissipation, the computer’s CPU, or processor. For safety, most modern processors reduce their clock speed in response to excessive temperatures. This reduction slows your whole computer down. To prevent this from happening it is important to keep the area your computer works in, well ventilated and dust-free.
Keeping Everything Clean and Tidy
Our keyboards and mice work so much more efficiently when they are clean. A sticky keyboard can slow typing to a miserable pace – a sticky mouse can be equally frustrating. Cleaning these items is most successful when they are not very dirty in the first place, so cleaning little and often will give good long-term results. Mouses can get extremely dirty – according to recent research, a computer mouse picks up the majority of bacterial material.
Printers too, need to be kept clean to prevent poor quality prints or paper jams. Often if a printer is unused for long periods, a cover for it can prevent unwanted dust from settling and be ingested by your printer. Keeping your desk free of dust and washing your hands before using your computer will help its peripherals work far better and more efficiently.
For us ourselves to work efficiently and happily, seeing the screen or monitor clearly, is essential, so wiping the screen often so it is clear and easy to read will help us have an efficient time whilst working on our computers.
Making Sure The Software Runs Smoothly
When we are cleaning, we should not forget the software and operating system. This needs a different kind of cleaning. Removing unwanted programs and files, and keeping those we are using updated, all helps for a smoother, faster-running computer system. This is not difficult as most operating systems offer a scheduled maintenance routine that you can tailor to suit your own systems requirements.