Extending The Life Of Your Computer With Air

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Your Computer and Extending the Life of It

In this installment for Computer Maintenance tips I am going to teach you the importance of a clean computer and how it serves in extending the life of your computer by using compressed air on the inside to help keep it running in tip top shape. This tip primarily applies to desktop users since most laptops are more difficult to reach the insides.

Extending the lifeThese little dust bunnies, as pictured on the left, can lead to the death of any desktop computer. Think of it as cholesterol buildup in your arteries. If enough of this stuff builds up, it can cause parts to fail or cause components to work harder than they really have to, leading to early failure.

The only bad part about this article is that I really didn’t have a good example to show you of a dirty computer. Makes me wish I had taken a picture of my mother’s computer the last time I cleaned it out because she was complaining about the fan noise.

Dirty Computer

Dirty Inside

Clean Computer

Clean Inside


I really hope that when you open up your computer that it does not look like the picture on the left. If it does, still try the compressed air method to clean, but the life of your computer has already been heavily diminished. With routine hardware maintenance, as well as software maintenance, it can drastically help with extending the life of your computer. The image on the right is of my computer, which is now over 4 years old, and it is still running great. Oh, did I mention it is sitting in our basement running 24/7 where I have been doing drywall work for the past 2 years?

Extending the Life With these Steps

Step 1: The first step is to shut down your computer and disconnect the main power cable. The rest of the cables are optional; if you do remove them make sure you remember where they go. Now we need to determine how to remove the case to your desktop tower. Most towers have screws on the back that you remove. When you are looking at your tower head on it is most like your left side of the case that will be removed. The motherboard is generally mounted to the right side of the case.

Step 2: Now that the inside is exposed you will want to take the can of compressed air w/ the nozzle on the end and start from the top and work your way down. Never turn the can upside down and spray, as this will spray straight liquid from the can instead of the gas.

Step 3: While spraying the compressed air, you shoot it in short bursts and use the straw to get into those hard to reach areas. If you see a lot of dust come out, you may want to focus on that area with extra air. These cans of air are expensive, but a 3-pack should last you a very long time.

Step 4: Now that you have cleaned the main motherboard, do not forget to clean the fans, including the CPU fan, which is the big one in the middle of the motherboard. There is typically a fan in the power supply that is at the top. Usually there is also a fan located in the front to bring in cool air and another in the back to blow out the hot air. While cleaning out the front fan make sure to go ahead and spray over the hard drives and CD-Rom.

Step 5: That’s it. Now you will put your case back together in reverse order of how you took it apart and reconnect the power cable. You should be able to turn your computer back on and listen to the difference. In most cases the computer should run quieter and much cooler.

extending the life Spray Computer extending the life

You should probably do this for your computer at least once per year or maybe twice depending on your environmental factors such as kids, pets, smoking, is the computer on the floor or on top of desk, etc. All of these pose risks for shortening the life of your computer.


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