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I have a home office, and so my PC is on pretty much the whole time. I tend to leave it on overnight during the week, as it saves time when I start work the following day.

I always seem to have huge amounts of dust around my PC. The PC itself gets blocked up with the stuff, and the air around is dusty. I imagine this is from the static electricity that builds up around computers.

Anyone know a way of avoiding this? Apart form the health issues, it's really unpleasant. Thanks

  • I have the same problem and due to this my keyboard will also get affected(keys stuck several time due to dust). So to avoid this I used to flip down my keyboard whenever I left home. – Co. Aden May 11 '17 at 5:25
  • Do you mostly use natural air in your home, rather than central? – jCisco May 30 '17 at 22:59
  • @jCisco We live in England, so the windows are closed most of the year. I have the heating off in my office, as with two PCs, it gets plenty warm enough for me. Don't know if that answers your question or not – Avrohom Yisroel Jun 2 '17 at 14:21
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Dust collects not due to static, but due to the computer fans drawing in air. The only way to avoid this, is to buy a computer that doesn't need fans (passive cooling).

For now: don't place your computer on the floor. If you want to place it under your desk, put it on a shelf or plinth. This way, the dust at least collects on the floor underneath the computer, instead of inside the computer. That makes it much easier to keep the area clean.

Bundle the cables together (with tie wraps, for example) and keep them off the floor as well, to make it easier to run a vacuum cleaner around the computer.

You can reduce the amount of dust that collects by not leaving your computer on overnight. There are two ways to do that and still avoid the long delay that starting the computer from scratch (cold boot) entails:

  • put the computer in Sleep mode. It will stay powered up, but in a low-power state where no fans will need to run. Wake-up is pretty much instantaneous.
  • put the computer in Hibernate mode. This saves the current state of the computer to harddisk, then switches off. Wake-up takes ~30 seconds. You may have to enable this mode first.

In both cases, all your open programs and documents from yesterday will be there, and you'll be up and running much faster than with a cold boot.

If you have a Mac, there is a third way: you can set the system to reopen all your open documents after a shutdown/restart. My 2012 Mac with an SSD boots, and starts 4 GB worth of open programs, in 30 seconds.

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    +1 for sleep mode. Isn't leaving a computer fully on without reason, a bigger fire hazard than one at standby, apart from the benefits of power saving? – DS R May 11 '17 at 12:27
  • @Hobbes Thanks for the great answer. As it happens, I already do most of what you say. As for keeping the computer on, it's not the startup time (I have an SSD and Windows 10 starts in a lot less than 30 seconds!), it's remembering what I had open, and where I was in each document. I do put the machine to sleep though. Thanks again – Avrohom Yisroel May 11 '17 at 12:49
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There's not really a hack for this -- you just have to vacuum the area frequently. It's the nature of living in a home that dust (clothing, upholstery, and carpet fiber, skin flakes, and hair) will tend to collect. The only way to keep it from building up is to collect it and remove it.

It is possible to reduce the rate at which dust settles (and the amount flying in the air) with various kinds of filters -- HEPA filters are one kind, electrostatic precipitators are another -- but neither is completely effective, both have installation costs and require maintenance, and the electrostatic type uses hazardous voltage (10,000 to 30,000 V) to do its job. And, with either, you'll still have to vacuum around your computer and, from time to time, open it up and vacuum inside.

  • Thanks, that's helpful. Been looking at HEPA filters. There are a load of home ones, but with very varying reviews. Any idea what to look for? Thanks again. – Avrohom Yisroel May 10 '17 at 17:19
  • Can't really suggest any particular one. HEPA is a standard for particle size that will pass; lots of different machines meet the standard but to better or worse jobs. – Zeiss Ikon May 10 '17 at 19:25
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    It would also be easier to move your pc to a place that it is not blocked by stuff, thus easier and faster to clean . – papakias May 11 '17 at 8:21
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A good way to avoid the dust buildup in the computer casing is to keep it asleep or hibernating. I use WinSleep by MollieSoft - also shows a nice timeline of when the computer was awake or asleep.

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