You are probably wondering if a PC can sit on a carpet due to space being at a premium, or you would like to keep the area tidy.
It’s completely understandable. You may not have the computer case of an enthusiast that loves looking at their machine with all the fancy lights and impressive hardware inside to go with it.
A desktop PC could run just fine on the carpet. However, dust will be drawn into the computer case, resulting in more frequent cleaning of the system.
So if you are willing to keep your PC clean by cleaning the filters, fans, heatsinks, and everything else regularly, it will be an option for you.
What happens when a PC sits on the carpet or floor
Normally it would be fine for a PC to sit on the carpet. But one thing that any floor is notorious for is holding the dust that comes from the air and off other objects.
Every time you walk past your computer or create enough movement to churn up some dust out of the carpet or floor, the particles rise up slightly, just high enough for the cooling system of your PC to draw them in.
When a PC is higher up off the floor, the dust particle density will be less by the time it gets near the computer.
A computer’s cooling system relies on air to drawn into the case and expelled in order to keep the internal air temperature low enough for other cooling fans, and other components to be cooled sufficiently.
So, in essence, you have a box with fans drawing air in and blowing air out. When dust particles are more prevalent in the air, they will get drawn into the case rather easily.
A computer will still function fine, for some time
So dust on a short term basis won’t do much harm. All that begins to happen is dust starts to settle on your intake filters, and if you don’t have any of those, directly along the flow path of the airflow inside the case.
Cooling fans and other components cope just fine with lesser quantities of dust.
For systems with intake filters
As time passes, dust starts clogging the intake fan’s filters. This means that fans work harder to draw in more air, and starts drawing more current from the power supply.
Air starts to get drawn in from other openings around the case instead, bringing in more dust straight into the case.
As the situation gets worse, it becomes harder for the intake fans to draw in cool air efficiently and the system temperature starts going up.
With the internal temperature of the PC rising, components are harder to keep cool.
For systems without intake filters
Over time, the dust that gets drawn in by the intake fans or from the exhaust fans drawing air into the case starts settling everywhere inside the PC.
Components like the CPU cooler will be noticeably worse due the fan blowing more air from the inside of the system onto the CPU heatsink.
The intake and exhaust fans as well as the power supply will also be one of the areas with more dust deposits. If you have a graphics card, its cooling fan and heatsink will also be affected.
The dust will continue to build up, make it very difficult for these components to do their job, and overheating will occur. Overheating could happen for any of the components individually, and quite possibly, simultaneously.
Seating a PC on the carpet or floor comes with some responsibility
As mentioned earlier, sitting a pc on a carpet or floor is fine, as long as you set aside the time every once in a while to clean the system.
Obviously, the time intervals will vary depending on each situation, but every 3 to 4 months for a cleanout will prevent any long term damage that can be caused by too much dust.
But the best way, is always to check the amount of dust that is collecting every couple of months or so.
You can do this by opening the case lid while the computer is turned off, to inspect the dust levels.
If anything, try and clear a space large enough for your PC to sit on your desk, or some other cheap item that you can get your hands on.
This way, you will most likely only have to perform a clean twice a year and save yourself some time.