That YouTube video is LOUSY!!!! It clearly demonstrates how NOT
to use an air compressor to clean a computer!!!
Sears, Lowes, Home Depot, Auto Zone, Pep Boys - just about any place that sells hardware has compressors. I've been using air compressors for almost 40 years to clean electronics and there are couple things you need to be aware of before even thinking of using one.
The first is safety. This may seem obvious, but make sure you unplug from the wall and take the computer outside before blasting. Ensure you understand and ensure ESD management. Use eye and ear protection. And ensure you understand and comply with the compressor maintenance and draining requirements. Make sure observers, especially kids who tend to be at eye level with the computer, stand way back.
I prefer using Popsicle sticks to hold fans still - no metal or sharp ends. And they don't conduct static electricity, unlike your fingers. You can buy bags of them at your local hobby or crafts store, and they work great for applying glue and all sorts of other projects.
Make sure the air compressor is an "oilless" compressor and preferably a vertical one like one of these
. The oilless are better at preventing spewing oil on your electronics, and I prefer the vertical tanks because the inevitable condensation that forms inside the tank during compression runs to the bottom and the greater distance minimizes the risk of spewing out. Also, vertical tanks take up less floor space and are easier to roll around.
And most importantly, you MUST
use an in-line moisture and particulate filter such as one of these
. During compression, the air is heated and when it cools the moisture in the air condenses on the side of the tank. Rust forms in the process. This rusty water mixes with oil residue left over from the manufacturing process and other contaminants drawn in during the compression process. You don't want that spewed into your computer, or eyes, lungs, etc.
Although most compressors are rated at 120 - 150psi, that is pretty high for electronics. Most compressors allow you to dial down the pressure. 80 - 90psi is better suited for blowing out dust. If you cannot adjust the pressure, keep the nozzle distance back another 6 - 12 inches.
Much of house dust is not dirt, but hair and dander, microscopic critters that eat dander, and all the microscopic fecal matter they leave behind (a compelling reason to blast outside, huh?). This hair, dander and other organic matter is oily and can cause the dust to stick. If there's smoking around the computers, or cats in the house (which have very oily dander), it will likely be a dirtier mess and can be very difficult to remove. I carefully
use a soft, natural fiber (not nylon or other static producing synthetics) brush to help break it loose when blasting.
Finally, before reconnecting and powering on, inspect the interior thoroughly to ensure all wires are routed to minimize impacting front to back air flow and that all connectors, cards, and RAM modules are securely fastened or slotted, and that nothing was knocked loose during cleaning.
So, back to that stupid
video. What was wrong with it?
- No eye protection
- No ear protection
- No in-line moisture and particulate filter
- Did not fix (hold still) the CPU fan before blasting, except to clean heatsink fins, then used fingers
- Did not fix the graphics card fan before blasting
- Did not fix the PSU fan before blasting
- Did not fix the case fan before blasting, except to clean vent