Why is My Computer Loud?

My computer is not loud. But I get this question a lot. Your computer is usually loud because the case is full of dust. Over time, dust collects inside the computer case and clogs up the air flow through the computer. This insulates the components and makes it very difficult for the fans to keep the computer within its operating temperature. The computer then runs the fans at high speed to try to bring the temperature back down. If the computer cannot bring the temperature down, it may then slow down the CPU so that there is less heat being produced. The user sees this as their computer getting slower. If left in this condition for too long, the user runs the risk of damaging their computer or experiencing power failures. When the temperature gets too high the machine will either destabilize and start crashing or will shut itself off very abruptly to avoid damage.

I recommend users get the inside of their computer cleaned every year or so. If you are in a particularly dusty environment you may want to do it sooner than that. Just listen to your computer. It if sounds like it is straining, then it is. Also, if your computer is getting clogged with dust in less than a year then you may want to consider an air filter for your work space as this isn’t good for you either.

To clean out your computer case you will need only one of the following tools:

  • a soft bristle brush
  • a can of air (preferred)
  • an air compressor (must allow the computer to dry after using)

If you have a warranty that would be voided by opening your computer case then do not open your computer case unless you wish to void your warranty. Contact your warranty provider to find out how to go about cleaning out your computer. At the very least you can clean the dust that is accessible from the outside of the case.

DO NOT USE A VACUUM! unless you know what you are doing.

The strong magnetic field produced by a typical vacuum can damage the data on a common magnetic hard drive. If you wish to use a vacuum then make sure the motor is as far from the computer as possible and use the longest hose attachment you have. I do not know of any reason why an SSD would have problems with a magnetic field but using any device that produces a strong magnetic field (ie. motor) near a computing device of any kind will be done at your own risk.

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