Cleaning your PC’s cooler heatsink depends on a few things. The frequency in cleaning may also vary depending on your setup and environment. For example, PCs that use performance cases with high-airflow tend to get dirty faster than PCs using silent cases. Having pets around your computer also make PCs get dirty faster. While these conditions vary per individual’s setup, there are several signs listed below that will help you determine if your CPU cooler needs cleaning.
1- Rise of operating temperature (relative to when your PC was newly assembled or purchased)
2- Overheating (causes sudden shutdowns)
3- Visible build-up of dust and dirt
As mentioned above, there are several things that will determine the frequency of cleaning your CPU heatsink. It is best that you do a visual inspection of your PC’s interior to determine if it needs cleaning or not. This is particularly important for PC cases with solid side panels since you can’t see the build-up unless opened. Nevertheless, we recommend users to inspect their PC at least once or twice a year for regularly used PCs. Users may need to do it more often or less often depending on their setup and environment. For example, having pets around your PC would mean doing inspections and cleaning more often.