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Using Compressed Air to Clean Computers and Electronic Components

written by: Vandana Singhal • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 1/31/2011

Compressed air for electronics cleaning is used commonly everywhere. Though it is the easiest and quickest method to clean the delicate components of electronics, it has its own pros and cons. Before you use it with your electronics, be sure to read this article.

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    Using Compressed Air Can for Cleaning Electronics

    compressed air can Electronics, being an important part of our daily lives, need to be maintained and cleaned to keep them working longer. Whenever you go to a place where they sell computers, you will see compressed air cans for cleaning electronics. These cans contain gas or air, compressed under pressure. They recommend the use of this compressed air for electronics cleaning. Before you purchase one, you should actually know if it is the best option.

    Compressed air for electronics is one of the easiest and fastest ways of cleaning. If you want your computer to last longer, keep it clean. Depending on the environment where your computer and other electronics are placed, they will gather different types of dirt in their components. Though using compressed air can for cleaning computers is the best solution for any kind of dirt, it has its own advantages and disadvantages, too.

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    Need for Cleaning Computers and other Electronics

    Computers and other electronics quickly attract the dust and dirt particles. This accumulation of dirt particles on any component raises the temperatures and results in failure of those components, especially the fan. For this reason, it is important to keep your computer clean, inside and out. You can these little cans having compressed air though; they have a few problems too. However, first let us look at the advantages of using this compressed air can for cleaning.

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    Pros of Using Compressed air for Electronics

    Using compressed air for electronics can protect the components in your devices. They prevent them from overheating and shorting out. It is not just components, but your computer gets an extended life.

    Using this compressed air for electronics ensures safety of the components, since most components in an electronic item are quite expensive and even a small error can be costly. When you clean your computer, be very careful. Using anything like cloth may create scratches on delicate components like motherboard. Even a small scratch can result in a failure. While cloth or cotton cannot reach the tiny spaces and holes inside the computer, compresses air can having a nozzle easily can. Moreover, this method helps you clean your electronics quickly and hence saves time. You can use it to clean even the hidden parts of sockets that are very important for the functioning of different components such as sound cards, graphic cards and more.

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    Cons of Using Compressed Air For Electronics

    Though using compressed air for electronics cleans the computer and electronics quickly and easily, it does have several disadvantages. Using this gas may leave a good amount of moisture inside the computer that may eventually corrode the delicate components. It may lead to water build up in the circuit boards in the electronic equipments. Furthermore, using this compressed gas at high pressure for cleaning can damage the circuits of your machines.

    In addition, using compress air for electronic also has some environmental concerns. Most of these cans use a GHG, that is greenhouse gas, as the propellant, referred to as HFC. They indirectly contribute to the stratospheric ozone layer depletion and are thus becoming a cause for global warming.

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    Tips To Clean the Computer Using Compressed Air

    Before you start cleaning your computer from inside, it is important to turn it off, unplug it to remove it from power source and open its case carefully. Also, before using compressed air that is a refrigerant on the computer components, make sure that internal temperatures are allowed to cool off. In addition, to avoid scratches when putting the computer upside down, place a towel or paper under it. When you open it, avoid touching its components and keep your fingers away from cards and cords. Keep the nozzle of compressed air can at least four inches away from the machine. When blowing fans inside the computer, take special care as excessive pressure can cause over spinning and may damage bearings or crack a blade. Instead of steady blast, use short bursts. To avoid any damage to a fan, you can immobilize it using your fingertip.