One of my pc's has a health check program, which supposedly checks the
pc for problems. The last time it ran, it gave me a message that the pc
should periodically be cleaned. I've been doing this with a vacuum, but
they suggested a can of compressed air. Cans of compressed air are
surprisingly expensive, so I started thinking of using my air
compressor, or a politician.
Would an air compressor work? I'm wondering if I can set it low enough
to insure the computer is not harmed.
Nah, you're not going to harm anything in the computer with compressed air.
You might try the blower end of your vacuum first. When you first blow your
computer, you'll be convinced it just elected a new Pope.
i've used compressed air for decades. Just open her up, and blow away.
Just use your head about how close you get. It doesn't take much to
dislodge dust. You can get close to the power supply fan and the
processor fan. I used a rubber tipped blow gun on a 150psi shop line.
If you want to pussy foot about it, you can use the exhaust from your
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I'm going to have to disagree with the others. Do Not use compressed air
an air compressor.
First, there is often moisture in compressed air from you air compressor,
and this small undetectable amount can certainly harm your computer.
Second, too much pressure can damage components.
Best bet, buy the expensive compressed air.
On Mon, 27 Feb 2012 09:26:47 -0600, "Bob-tx" <Live Spam free> wrote:
Why does everyone think these PSs are so sensitive?
A little water vapor or oil will not do a thing to them. More
dangerous would be static from air that was too dry. (vacuum cleaner)
Don't touch the nozzle to the parts.
On Mon, 27 Feb 2012 12:14:59 -0500, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I agree. The boards are washed with water (think: dishwasher). A little
moisture isn't going to hurt anything. The only problem with oil is that
it'll attract (capture) more dust. Be sure to throttle back the blast,
Moisture and oil in the compressed air will not harm a computer. What
moisture there is will evaporate before you even finish closing up the
computer case. Oil is an insulator and otherwise harmless if the minute
quantities present in normal compressed air.
Been doing it here for 15 years, hundreds of times, on dozens of computers
without so much as one hint of trouble. I don't have an inline oiler, but
since water sometimes comes out of the bottom of the tank I have to assume
it is at 100% humidity.
I see the humidity as a good thing, as it helps to keep static from building
up; don't know if that is true, but it's never caused me any trouble.
Do try and make sure you don't overspin the fans though, and obviously, do
Always use A vacuum cleaner,
to suck up dust and dirt out of a computer,
For the fans suck up dust and dirt in to the computer,
and the right way is to suck out..
it ok to use a low compress air on the out side of a computer,
This is just plan old computer know how, one on one.......
Compressed air cans are not that expensive when you consider the
amount you will use to clean your computer. As another has suggested,
your vacuum can also work but let it run for a moment to get the crud
out of the hose. You can then reconnect the hose to the suck side and
remove loose debris
Periodic cleaning can work wonders. Mine was starting to make a
humming noise a few months ago and I assumed it was a loose case
connection. However, I opened it up and started cleaning one of the
big fan cooled heat sinks on the graphics processor. I turned the
machine back on and the buzzing was gone. I did have to remove the
heat sink/fan assembly (simple latches) to get the rest of the lint
out. The rest was easy and the machine was quiet afterwards.
Shop air compressors have oil and water vapor in them. Canned air
You might consider an airbed pump, like this one from Coleman:
I have one of these and the small tip provides a pretty decent blast
of ambient room air. It will easily blast most dust from a computer.
I'd suggest you use the suction side of a vacuum cleaner first, with
the crevice nozzle, specially for yer keyboard. Otherwise, yer jes
driving the dust deeper into the keyboard innards. Between the two
methods, it should be easy to clean up your PC.
As for canned air, I know it's absurdly expensive. I used to get 'em
fer about $2 can. Lately, I'm seeing $5-6 per can, even at Walmart.
Yikes! OTOH, they last a longggg time. I have a tall can I've yet to
empy after 4 yrs use. Another advantage, turned upside down, that
canned air comes out as a liquid sub-zero refrigerant and greaseless
PCB cleaner. There's even youtube vids on how to use 'em to remove
small dents from yer car. Pretty handy tool to have around for $6.
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That's what I do.
But I tape a small 1/4" - 3/8" rubber or plastic hose to smallest
vacuum nozzle. Auto vacuum or aquarium hose works.
Biggest danger is static created by air flow, so be careful about
grounding so you don't fry a components.
Just don't touch components with hands.
You are the ground, not the vacuum.
That's been my experience, anyway.
But what you want is a set of cheap dollar store artist brushes.
A 3/8" flat brush does most the work, so you can just get that.
Dust get's grunged to parts, especially fan blades.
Dislodge the dust with the brush first and you can suck it all up
without even touching components with the vacuum attachment.
Most of the dust will fall to the bottom of the case.
I've seen cans of compressed air shoot plenty of water vapor,
so I'd trust a regular oil-less air compressor that's been cleared
more than a can. But that's overkill for me.
I have very big PC cases and can reach everything with a brush.
The best procedure is to use the blowgun from your air compressor *and*
your shop vac. Hold the shop vac hose down into the target area from one
side and use the blowgun to loosen the dust and send it in the direction
of the shop vac hose. This avoids most of the mess, otherwise do it
outdoors and stand upwind.
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