You have limited table space and you barely have enough room for your massive rig. You’re contemplating about buying a larger computer table, but you figured you could always put the rig on the carpeted floor.
What could go wrong, right?
Well, a lot of things could go wrong, and you don’t need to be a computer enthusiast or expert to figure out why it’s a bad idea to put a PC on carpet.
Basically, your computer’s cooling system is reliant on air being sucked into the casing and expelled just as soon as it goes through. This helps keep the ambient temperature of the PC relatively average, meaning it’s not too hot and it’s not too cold either.
The danger of placing your PC on the floor is minimal, but you might end up damaging your internal components. You see, the floor, carpeted or not, is home to millions of dust particles. The intake fans that pull in cool air from the room might also pull in dust particles into the PC. These particles stick into whatever surface they could stick themselves into, so they’re not expelled.
As dust particle density accumulates, the intake and exhaust fans will start to slow down due to the weight of the dust accumulation. You could argue that your PC could use a dust filter to prevent dust accumulation, but the filter can only do so much.
The Big Question: Can You Put a PC On Carpet?
Computer architecture is varied but the placements of certain components are more or less similar. For example, there are always fans placed near processors and graphics cards. When you place your PC on carpet, you put the entire at system at risk for overheating and dust accumulation.
Cooling fans and other components function optimally when there’s less dust. Dust accumulation is inevitable as intake fans will pull in dust from surrounding surfaces but not expel them because they stick to the internal components’ surface.
When there’s too much dust, the intake fan’s filters and exhaust fan’s filters become clogged, which forces them to work harder in order to draw in more air. This results in fans demanding more power.
Now, modern motherboards and computers are protected against electrical damage, but placing them on carpets can cause static electricity. And you don’t need to be a computer expert to know that static electricity can damage your components.
When possible, place your PC on your desktop, or at least six inches away from your floor. Make sure that there’s enough room between the floor and your PC if you don’t have enough desktop space.
Can You Place Your PC On The Floor?
Your PC will generate a lot of heat, even if it’s just doing office tasks. You’ll generate more heat if you do intensive tasks such as gaming and video editing, so your intake fans will work twice as hard.
Your PC at this point will probably sound like a car going through the highway at about 60kph. But don’t worry. Everything’s normal.
When you place your PC on the floor, you’ll still need to make sure that the PC is dust free. A non-carpeted floor will still have a steady accumulation of dust, even if you vacuum constantly.
Your computer’s cooling system relies heavily on pulling in air and exhausting it at the same time. Placing it on the floor will force your cooling fans to suck in cool air and dust at the same time.
If you have no choice and you’re forced to place your PC on the floor, then you just need to make sure that the PC is on an elevated surface. Placing a thick book in between the PC and the floor prevent dust accumulation.
What If You Place a Laptop on the Carpet?
Similar to PCs, laptops shouldn’t be placed on carpets for the same reason. Now, laptops don’t really have a lot of ventilation compared to a desktop PC, or a gaming PC even. As a result, air doesn’t really have a lot of place to go when placed on a carpeted surface.
Placing your laptop on carpet will end up collecting more debris and dusts. Laptops are notoriously difficult to clean, and the absence of dust filters will make them accumulate more dust than your typical gaming PC.
It’d take a lot more than just a can of compressed air to get rid of all the dust because you need to open up the chassis first.
Depending on the laptop model, some exhaust fans might be smaller than a typical CPU fan, so they’ll end up working hard to take out hot air from the unit.
What Are The Reasons for Not Putting Your PC or Laptop On Carpet?
Whether you have a PC or laptop, there are several reasons why you shouldn’t place them on the carpet.
Electrical damage is the biggest reason why you should never place PCs or laptops on the carpet.
Again, PCs and laptops today are pretty much protected from electrical damage, but not entirely from static electricity. Your PC going through a power surge might still end up perfectly fine, but static electricity can fry the small internal components, or the integrated circuits of the entire motherboard.
Static electricity can cause an overflow of electrons, which forces other components to malfunction, which is what makes it more dangerous than a power surge.
There’s also the risk of physical damage when you place your PC on the carpet. Human mistakes such as dropping something on it, or even tripping and bumping over the PC cases, are common causes for damaged PCs.
A small bump might dislodge other components such as graphics card, RAM, or HDD.
Vacuuming too close to the PC or laptop might cause the dust particles to fly around and attach to the surfaces of the internal components.
Dust particles can end up corroding your PC’s parts over time, so you’ll need to clean the PC with a can of compressed air every now and then.
For laptops, dusts can end up clogging the CPU heatsink and intake filters, resulting in overheating and other problems.
How Do You Remove Static Electricity From Carpets?
Okay, you have no choice and you really need to put the PC or laptop on the carpet. Is there a way for you to remove static electricity?
There are certain steps for you to do just that.
Use a Humidifier
A humidifier can greatly affect static discharge during the summer and winter. In summer, high humidity can cause rapid electron flow, or simply more electrons will flow. In the winter, static electricity is caused by low humidity.
A humidifier can help balance the humidity of the room as the air will be dry during both seasons. When the dry air is removed, humidity removes the static electricity.
Use Anti-Static Chemicals
Using anti-static chemicals on your carpet is a great way to minimize static electricity. These chemicals are meant to minimize the flow of electrons.
But with different carpet materials, you’ll need to use specific anti-static chemicals. Don’t worry as they’re easily accessible and can be purchased easily in stores.
How High Should Your PC Be Off From The Floor?
There’s no exact distance as to how high your PC should be off the ground. Ideally, you want it to be at least 6 inches off the ground, or at least enough space between the floor and the PC case.
Placing your PC off the carpet or ground can help you avoid dust bunnies as best as you can. PC cases today already have built in dust filters and bigger intake filters. Cleaning shouldn’t be an issue anymore for modern computers.
What’s The Best Surface To Place Your PC On?
The best answer is a clean and flat surface, such as a table or anything that doesn’t have the tendency for static electrostatic discharge.
Wooden or plastic desks can be bought easily in stores for cheap. Or if you have a gaming PC, you can purchase one of the newer gaming desks with a large surface area so you’re sure to have enough room for your rig.