It doesn’t matter if you’re a hardcore gamer or just a casual PC user – the one thing everyone owning a PC suffers from is dust. Dust degrades your performance; it can get your processor to overheat (never a good thing) and other nasty things. If you want to be able to use your computer for as long as possible, as much as possible, you should clean it regularly, apply thermal paste on your processor, keep the unnecessary files to a minimum and some other useful things.

First thing you have to know is that, although it’s not a hard task, cleaning your personal computer the right way requires you to open it up, to disassemble some of the parts and then reassemble it. It’s not too complex but for the first few times it would be good if there is somebody who knows his way around just to teach you what is what and how to operate certain things. If you’re not feeling confident, don’t try this on your own. Personally, I taught myself on an old computer of mine. It was quite fun, actually.  Just be cautious – wouldn’t want you to destroy your new PC.

The area where dust is most problematic is generally the fans. You should keep your fans clean at all times. Dust prevents them from cooling down the components which, in turn, leads to overhearing. So, you take of the fans (where you can) and clean them with a brush. Take off your processor and clean it too. Apply some thermal paste. This is essential for the proper working of your computer. Clean the RAM also, while you’re at it, although that’s not a matter of life and death; still, having dust deposits anywhere in the computer is bad. After you’ve cleaned it from the dust, take a vacuum cleaner and carefully go through it once more (including the PSU). Assemble and you’re done.

You should clean your hard drive, too. Get rid of the unnecessary files. Scan for viruses. There is a ton of specialised software you can use in order to optimise and clean your hard drive, so don’t be stingy.

If you’re not feeling comfortable with carrying on experiments with your computer, take it to a professional but always remember – keep it clean.