Should you worry about dust buildup in your DIRECTV receiver?

Let’s face it, home electronics have it tough. If it isn’t dust, it’s humidity, and if it’s not humidity, it’s heat… and we expect these complex devices to behave 100% of the time even though we never bother to maintain them.

So the question is, should you worry about dust buildup? After all, if you’ve had that receiver for three years or so in the same location, it’s bound to have some dust inside it. Dust coats the chips and makes it harder for heat to dissipate. The problem is that you’re not allowed to open up your receiver or DVR, that’s against DIRECTV rules and you could end up getting charged the full retail value of the product if you break something.

If you suspect dust is an issue inside the receiver, we recommend a little bit of canned air, with the straw pointed at the ventilation slots on the top or side of your receiver. We can’t tell you to put the straw inside the receiver because that would be a breach of warranty. We also recommend unplugging the receiver and letting it sit for 20-30 minutes to drain any residual electricity because… you never know.

DIRECTV receivers and DVRs are tested to stand up to extra-harsh conditions and require no maintenance, but there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of dusting now and again.

By the way… if you want to clean the outside of the receiver we recommend unplugging it and using a little bit of denatured alcohol on a lint-free wipe or makeup sponge. Don’t pour any liquid straight on the receiver.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 5,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.