Small Business Owners: Why Outsourcing Computer Services Matters

Understanding Maintenance Needs For Business Computers

Unless your company has a documented maintenance plan, cleaning out computers is usually a reactionary issue. Many people avoid cleaning their systems unless they see dust, or if the computer seems to be running slow with no noticeable software issues. Unfortunately, by the time you notice the symptoms and see the signs, you've already let some accelerated wear and tear run its course. Here are a few computer cleanliness issues, along with ways to take care of the problem properly.

Dust, Computer Performance, And Computer Failure

Dust is one of the great limiters of computer performance because of the way it interacts with heat-generating parts such as the processor. When the computer gets too hot, it could burn up, and there are a few safety measures in place to reduce that risk.

Processors, for example, can get hot enough to start a fire. This is a major cost risk, since the processor is one of the more expensive components and the damage can bleed over to other components. To stop such fires from happening in all but the most rare, unlucky situations, modern computers will slow down their performance and shut down at certain critical heat measurements.

Dust makes this slowdown happen at a faster rate by acting as an insulator. It basically becomes a sweater that coats parts inside the computer and blocks the airflow vents and pathways from moving hot air out and cooler air in.

This is the main reason to clean your systems on a regular basis. It's best to clean on a monthly basis, but you need to know the right techniques to stay efficient in your business tasks and avoid damaging your systems while trying to keep them in good working order.

Cleaning Concerns For Computers

There are three major risks when cleaning computers without proper experience:

  1. Physically breaking components by using too much pressure in the wrong place.
  2. Corroding, rusting, and shorting out components by using unsafe liquids such as tap water.
  3. Burning components with static shock.

Your cleaning technique needs to get dust away from the components without rubbing too hard against some of the more sensitive parts. Capacitors are a good example, since they're sometimes held in place by thin wires and only a basic amount of lacquer filler for minimum stability.

Vacuum cleaners offer a hands-free option, but the movement of the air can cause static. Static may as well be a direct lightning strike because of the size of computer components in relation to the electrical charge, so your components can be burned easily, rapidly, and in massive numbers.

Finally, don't use water. Don't use any liquid, really. Although there are some electronics-safe cleaning pads with a type of alcohol that can dry quickly, it's better to used canned air and a dry, lint-free cloth.

Contact an IT services professional to get help with maintenance planning for your hardware and to schedule cleanup for the software side as well.