DIY Computer Maintenance Trick – Canned Air

Cans of compressed air are no stranger to many households today. They can be used in a variety of different ways, but, most notably, they can be used to perform light maintenance on your computer. Whether you use a laptop or a desktop, a can of air can clean parts of your computer that, if left unchecked, could lead to costly repairs.Dust is one of the leading causes of hardware malfunction for computer equipment. Dust can blanket the heat-producing components and restrict airflow, trapping enough heat to cause damage. Fans and vents can get clogged which will prevent your device from cooling properly, which can drastically reduce the life of your technology.

The solution? A cheap can of compressed air can be used to clean case fans or laptop vents. These parts are prone to getting clogged up with dust, hair, pet fur and other assorted debris. The more clogged these get, the less air flow those heat-generating components receive. Less air flow means more heat on the inside which could cause your computer to overheat in any number of places or, in extreme instances, can even damage some hardware and require a replacement. To avoid this, just clean out your fans and vents with some canned air. If possible, you will want to open up the computer first so you can blow the dust out of the machine rather than into it. While you have the machine open, you should use some of the canned air on your power supply as well.Additionally, many CPUs and VGAs come with heat sinks or fans to keep them cool while your computer is running. Let these go too long without some cleaning and you may have to buy some new hardware. A good indication of how dirty your fans are is how loud they are. A clean fan is generally much quieter than one that is layered with dust. If your computer starts sounding louder than usual, you may want to try carefully blasting away some of that debris.Finally, a can of air can be quite useful in cleaning your external devices like your mouse and keyboard. If you use a roller ball mouse, you can clean the inside where the ball stays as well as underneath the mouse buttons themselves. If you use an optical mouse, you only need to clean under the buttons. Keyboards are more prone to collecting debris than a mouse is. When cleaning these out, you will want to hold the keyboard upside down and allow gravity to help you out a bit. Removing debris and dust from under your keyboard and mouse buttons won’t save you any costly repair bills, but it should help to ensure that you don’t get any of your buttons stuck.A can of air is a very useful tool for all computer owners to have. They are easy to use and easy to store. If you keep your computer dust free, it will only serve to help you in the long run. Why spend hundreds of dollars on new hardware every other year when a few dollars on a can of air can extend your computer’s life.If your computer is in an environment that has a lot more dust than the norm, you may want to invest in some specialized case add-ons or a breathable dust filter to protect your investment. Be sure to remember, if you do open up your computer to dust it, there are a lot of sensitive components in there; do so at your own risk. It never hurts to contact us at PACE Technical Services every 6 months or so if it looks like your computers are picking up a lot of dust. Of course, our technicians are equipped with compressed air when they do go on site in order to dust out any workstation or server they open up.

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