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How to Use an Air Compressor for Cleaning PC and Computer

Published Categorized as How To Guides 2 Comments on How to Use an Air Compressor for Cleaning PC and Computer

Do you need to clean your computer? What comes to mind first? Using a cloth? Using a vacuum? Well, let me tell you, you should be using neither. Both of those solutions can result in scratches and other damage occurring to the computer’s components.

So what should I use? An air compressor for cleaning PC, it’s simple. The right air compressors are very well suited to cleaning your pc without causing any damage to it. This page will reassure you how and why air compressors are best suited for this application.

Table of Contents

How to Clean PC With Air Compressor

  1. Turn off computer
  2. Use air compressor
  3. Use rubbing alcohol
  4. Get rid of the dust
  5. Clean the heatsink
  6. Clean the ports

For computers to operate successfully, they must not overheat. Heat can be very damaging to them, they don’t like it. Dust is very common in every household, and if it was to build up inside a computer, the cooling components of the computer could be sabotaged. This will then cause the computer to overheat, reducing the life span of itself and its components.

To avoid this life span reduction, and allow your computer to function correctly, it is advised that you clean the interior of your computer every 6 to 12 months. You may now ask, but how do I clean my PC with an air compressor? Well, this step-by-step guide should provide you with enough help to successfully do that.

Step 1: Turn Off Computer

Step 1 of course is to turn off your computer, ensuring you have removed its plug from the mains, and then open its case.

Step 2: Use the Air Compressor

Now into the fun stuff, step 2. Use your air compressor for computer cleaning to clear the interior of the computer of dust. It’s important to keep the torque low and the distance of the dust blower for pc some way away from key components like:

  • Motherboard
  • Processor
  • Memory and expansion cards

Use the air compressor for computer dust cleaner to get rid of all the dust build-up on the fans of the case. It’s important to place your finger on the fan when blowing at it to stop the fan from rotating. This allows the dust to be freed. Also note that you should not allow the fan’s blades to rotate too quickly if at all, due to their fragility they may chip if spinning fast.

Step 3: Use Rubbing Alcohol

Step 3 incorporates using rubbing alcohol and the aid of a cotton swab to wipe the blades. If you struggle to clean them properly, you can take them off the case to do a better job.

Step 4: Get Rid of the Dust

Step 4 is focused on removing the dust build-up from the power supply with the dust blower for pc. This step is sometimes forgotten, but it is certainly important. Sometimes the power supply can have a dust filter underneath it, if so, make sure you clean it to your best capability.

Step 5: Clean the Heatsink

Step 5 is to clean the heatsink, as this is sometimes disregarded, it is as important as the fan on the processor. It is crucial to again, get the dust off the heat sink using a low torque, like with the fan.

If the dust build-up is significantly high, you can take off the heat sink and the fan to complete a better job on the part. Note, do not forget to wipe the thermal grease that is on the heatsink and processor. After wiping the thermal grease, apply some new before connecting the heat sink back to the processor.

Step 6: Clean the Ports

Finally, step 6. Here you should use the air compressor for computer dust to clean all the ports on the PC. You can again use the rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab to wipe down any external vents.

Now that these 6 steps are completed, your computer is back ready for daily use, and most importantly, dust-free!

The Best Air Compressor for Cleaning PC

Now you’re wondering what air compressor is best for cleaning your PC. Well, look no further. If you really do desire to have the BEST air compressor, we recommend the XPOWER A-2 Series Multi-Purpose Powered Air Duster. It boasts a significant power rating of 500 Watts, making it a very popular choice for most people’s cleaning applications on their computers.

This mini air compressor for computer comes with 9 very easy-to-use nozzle attachments making it the ideal solution for cleaning computers due to its flexibility. Its airflow is 90 CFM (cubic feet per minute), again another ideal amount for cleaning a variety of devices perfectly.

This air compressor for PC is not limited to just computers, it is suitable for car interiors and other applications. The device weighs a very small amount of 2.3 pounds, which makes it ideal for cleaning computers as it is lightweight and easily portable.

Not only this, but this lightweight portable air compressor has a 2-speed control built-in to it. This allows for flexibility during cleaning operations so that it’s working at its optimum.

The filter of the XPOWER air compressor is easy to change and washable, allowing the maintenance of the device to be kept at a high standard, for a satisfying result. The air compressor for cleaning pc also includes a 10-foot power cable, making it possible to conduct cleaning a fair distance away from your power socket. It is also possible to wrap the cable around the machine when storing it.

Air Compressor to Clean PC Advantages vs. Disadvantages

2-Speed control built-in for ease of useIt ‘may’ not be efficient on computer and laptop fans
It’s easy to change the filter, and is washable,
making it possible to have optimum performance
It comes with a 10-foot power cable for
undemanding storage
It also comes with 9 easy to use the nozzle
attachments offering multiple functionalities
Lightweight design making it easily portable
Advantages vs. Disadvantages of the XPOWER A-2 Series Multi-Purpose Powered Air Duster

The table below is provided to summarise the advantages and disadvantages of this XPOWER A-2 Series Multi-Purpose Powered Air Duster.

It is clear that the advantages heavily outweigh the disadvantages, making this air compressor a desirable choice for cleaning your computer. The fact that it only ‘may not be efficient on computer and laptop fans is not sufficient enough reason to not use this air compressor. If you use it correctly following the steps presented in this article, you should have no issues cleaning all components of your computer.

Benefits of Using Air Compressor to Clean PC

As mentioned, using an air compressor to clean your PC computer can help protect its components from overheating. This overheating is a very non-desirable issue. Preventing it, can certainly boost your computer’s lifespan, no brainer right?

Using an air compressor to clean your computer instead of other methods can guarantee the safety of expensive components of the pc. Any small errors with some components can result in significant costs. Costs you certainly don’t want to have to face, so, clean your computer properly with an air compressor!

You must be very careful in the cleaning process of a computer. Most people would quickly turn to something handy, for instance, cloth. Using a cloth to clean your pc can cause numerous scratches on components that are delicate like the motherboard. These little scratches can lead to bigger scratches, and make the device fail at some point in the long run.

People think cotton or cloth can get to the very small spaces or holes in the device, but so can an air compressor. If anything, it will do a far better job. Not only does it protect your computer from scratches but it also will be done A LOT quicker, meaning you can move on and focus on other issues.

Another key benefit would be that the air compressor can be used to clean other components that aren’t too easy to get to otherwise. For instance, components like graphics or sound cards.

How Much PSI Do I Need to Clean My Computer?

This is equally as important as the torque setting on the air compressor. Applying too high of a PSI when using your air compressor for cleaning PC could potentially cause a significant amount of damage to it and its components. You must be delicate when blowing the fans as they can chip easily if sped up too fast.

It is therefore recommended that you do not exceed 125PSI when removing the dust from your pc. This is a sufficient amount to clear the dust without causing any unnecessary damage. Most home and shop compressors will produce about 125 PSI because the majority of air tools like to work on pressure between 90 and 125 PSI.

175 PSI is also very commonly found in home and shop compressors, but this causes air tools to destroy themselves sooner rather than later due to excess pressure. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid 175 PSI air compressors.

When using your 125 PSI air compressor to clean your computer, it is vital to remain a suitable distance away from the device, say, around 6-8 inches. This will help reduce the likelihood of damage occurring.

Is It Safe to Use an Air Compressor to Clean a Computer?

A simple answer to this question is yes. It is certainly safe to use an air compressor to clean a computer, you just need to be wary of the amount of torque the air compressor is set to. It is important to keep this torque value low.

Another important consideration is the distance at which you’re using the air compressor from the PC. Do not use it too close to the computer, and do not allow the fan’s blades to aggressively rotate from the force of the air compressor dust blower.

Can I Clean My PC With Air?

Yes. By now you should be able to answer this question! Air is certainly an extremely suitable choice for cleaning your PC. In fact, it’s probably a better option than anything else you have considered up to this point.

Some people prefer to use canned air, as they believe it is safer than compressed air. Both are as effective and safe as the other, as long as you correctly use them.

Do You Need a Standard Air Compressor to Clean a PC?

Our top visitor and contributor, Doug has been using an air compressor to clean his PC for at least 20 years and never encountered any trouble, even allowing the fan to spin while cleaning. His recommendation is to use the following:

  • A short blower attachment
  • 90 PSI
  • A distance of 6-8 inches

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can compressed air damage a computer?

Yes, it certainly can. It’s important to ensure the torque setting is low, the air compressor itself does not have too high a PSI, and that you’re using the air compressor at a suitable distance from the computer. Otherwise, you risk serious damage being done to components. Damage such as chips, bending, and bearing damage on the fans is possible.

How do I clean my computer without compressed air?

There are multiple possibilities, not necessarily good ones, however. It is recommended to use an air compressor if possible, to avoid damaging your computer. Some possible methods include: taking out the heatsink and cleaning it with a brush, using a silicone blower as a cheaper alternative, using your vacuum cleaner, reversing it to act as a blower, and using a hairdryer. Probably the best alternative is described in the step guide presented in this article… using a cotton swab and rubbing alcohol to clean as much as you can.

How often should I clean my PC?

It is recommended that you deep clean your computer and all its components every 6-12 months. The sooner the better, don’t forget! This will add to the lifespan of your computer. Do not wait around for 6-12 months for every component however, the screen and keyboard and other easily accessible components can be cleaned more regularly.. say every 1-2 months? Just use a cotton swab and rubbing alcohol for these parts.

If you have any questions regarding using an air compressor for cleaning your PC, please leave a comment below, with a photo if applicable, so that someone can help you!

By Aidan Weeks

A passionate Mechanical Engineer with endless enthusiasm for fluid power - building off the back of over 18 years of high quality contribution and discussion stimulated by Bill Wade here at About Air Compressors. With both practical and theoretical experience in pneumatics and hydraulics, I'm putting my knowledge to work - and working my grey-matter through my research, assistance and publishing work here at About Air Compressors. Feel free to reach out any time! P.S. A HUGE shout out to Doug who really offers such great value to all visitors to About Air Compressors - once again, feeling like I'm standing on the shoulders of GIANTS by getting to work alongside such a great community

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