ASIC preservation best practices and recommendations
ASIC miners are expensive machines. You need to take good care of them to avoid spending a lot on replacements. Luckily, there are some practices to make the most out of your miners.
How long do ASIC miners last?
Application-specific integrated circuits (or ASICs for short) are the most effective and powerful mining hardware we have today.
Manufacturers build these machines with the sole purpose of mining a specific crypto algorithm, which is why ASICs are so effective.
However, mining is an intensive and competitive process, and as such, it pushes these machines to their maximum capabilities.
The average lifespan of a well-kept, maintained machine can be around 3 to 5 years. Nevertheless, if you keep ASICs in harsh or poor conditions, they can deteriorate in as little as a few months.
Contrarily, taking good care of an ASIC miner can prolong their lifespan for more than 5 years. Many miners are still running their Antminer S9s — a model from 2016 — at a profit.
Your ASIC miners’ worst enemies
As we’ve said, ASICs are very powerful machines, but they’re also pretty delicate. Several external factors can easily damage their components if exposed to unfavorable conditions.
The most common causes for ASIC damage and deterioration are:
- Little or no airflow: ASIC miners release a considerable amount of heat, so it is crucial to keep and run them in a well-ventilated location that keeps air moving and refreshing to avoid overheating.
- Humid, damp, or moist environments: Like any other electronic device, ASICs’ internal components are damaged by humidity, which can cause rust and corrosion.
- Extreme temperatures: When the temperature is extremely hot, it can shorten your hardware’s lifespan by chipping away its internal components. Cold tends to be less critical, as ASICs release heat that can counter-balance it. However, quick swings from below-zero to warm temperatures can cause condensation, provoking irreversible damage.
Exposing your mining hardware to environments and conditions that fit these criteria will lead to them underperforming, suffering progressive damage, and even breaking down or burning out.
Best practices for preserving ASIC miners
Now that we know what harms your mining hardware, let’s look into some recommendations to protect it against those adverse conditions.
Choosing a suitable location
The first thing you should consider is the location in which you will run your miner. Remember that it must be a dry room with good, constant airflow, so wide and open spaces should be the first choice.
If you don’t have access to any places like that, you might want to consider installing additional fans to keep the air moving, maintain the room dry, and avoid condensation.
Mitigating the heat
Secondly, treating the heat generated by the miners is another critical aspect of preserving your ASIC machines.
There are many ways to mitigate the heat from mining hardware. Many mining facilities have specialized and advanced cooling systems that reduce temperature, especially those with several ASIC miners next to each other.
Other miners have come up with innovative ways to repurpose the heat produced by ASIC machines, like heating pools or hot tubs, dehydrating fruit, or redirecting it to greenhouses for growing crops.
These methods not only reduce or even eliminate the damage high temperatures have on miners, but also enable increased profitability either by reducing costs or adding another source of income.
However, remember that the primary priority is treating the excess heat to preserve your miners.
Regular maintenance and cleaning
It is essential to perform regular maintenance and clean the mining hardware. Removing accumulated dust not only prolongs lifespan, but also keeps performance high.
As we mentioned above, ASICs are very delicate hardware, so you should be extremely careful during the cleaning process. Look for the manufacturer instructions in the user manual and follow them strictly.
Ideally, you’d have an air compressor and gun to blow the dust from the ASIC fans and interior. However, you can also disassemble the miner and brush the fans manually — if you do this, remember to be extra careful!
Take care of your mining equipment
ASIC miners are expensive. Their price is the most significant part of any mining operation’s initial investment. The more you can make them last, the fewer expenses you’ll have in the long term.
That said, it is crucial that you can ensure the most favorable conditions possible for your miners. Remember to keep and run them in a well-ventilated area with good airflow, controlled temperature, and no humidity.
Along with regular cleaning and maintenance, that will do the trick and allow you to enjoy your ASIC miners at maximum performance for several years.
On the other hand, if you are still unsure about what mining hardware you should get, we recommend you read our comparison article: ASICs and GPU mining rigs; which one is better?