Is It Bad to Have Your Desktop PC on the Floor?

Water cooling system inside a gaming PC case
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Despite the name, a desktop PC doesn’t have to be on a desk. That huge tower PC would fit nicely on the floor, sure. But you should think about ventilation and dust so that your gaming PC doesn’t overheat.

Carpet Can Block Airflow

Modern PC cases usually aren’t completely flat on the bottom. They have feet so that their base is off the floor a bit. There’s airflow underneath the case. All PC cases have fans that expel hot air and vents that allow entry for cool air; some cases even have additional intake fans that further facilitate drawing in cool air.

That’s how it’s supposed to work, anyway. If you place your case on some thick plush carpeting, the carpet might block some of that airflow. This is very bad if the air is supposed to flow into or out of the computer through the bottom of the case. It’s bad even if air doesn’t flow into or out of the case here, however—if your PC sinks into the carpet a bit, heat can build up underneath due to the lack of airflow.

Of course, if you have short carpet on your floor, the PC may be able to sit on that carpet with plenty of airflow underneath. And, if you don’t have any carpet at all, this isn’t a concern. Your PC will be just at home sitting on a flat floor as it would on a flat desk.

Before placing your PC on the floor, be sure to think about airflow. Avoid placing your tower PC on thick carpet. If the carpet is a problem, consider putting it on a platform or stand on the carpet. You can buy rolling stands for precisely this purpose that also make it easier to move your desktop around. Heck, even laying a piece of wood on your floor and placing the PC on the wooden platform will solve this problem, although it may not be pretty.

Your PC Will Suck in More Dust on the Floor

Dusty PC case fan
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Your floor almost certainly has more dust, hair, and other detritus on it than a desk or table. This matters—your PC’s fans pull air in and blow air out. Those fans can suck dust, dirt, and other junk into the PC.

This happens no matter where you place your PC. Even if you have your PC on a desktop, you’ll want to dust it occasionally with some compressed air. But your PC will likely suck in more dust and debris when it’s on the floor. Dust gets in the way of cooling your PC, and it will run hotter if it needs to be cleaned out.

It’s easier to dust and clean around a PC that’s on a desk, too. If it’s in a corner, how often are you going to move the PC’s case, vacuum, and dust the cables back there? It’s easy to put off cleaning and have dust build up where your PC is sitting.

If you do keep your tower PC on the floor, remember to dust it out regularly—probably more often than you’ll need to if you keep it on a desk. It depends on how dusty your floor is, but you may want to check every few months. You should also remember to clean around and behind the case to avoid dust buildup.

Aside From That, the Floor is Fine

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