Computing

How to Properly Clean Your Laptop Fan

Let’s be honest: Laptops can get pretty filthy. We’re not just talking about the exterior, where sweat and grime tend to accumulate. The truth is, the inside of your laptop can get dirty too. That’s because laptops have a thermal system that pulls in air to keep everything cool. Unfortunately, this means that dust and other particles can get sucked inside and clog up the fans.

Having a clogged fan can lead to a range of issues, with the worst one being thermal throttling. When your fans are gunked up, they can’t effectively move air, causing your laptop to slow down to prevent damage to your components. That’s why it’s crucial to regularly clean your laptop’s fan or fans as part of your maintenance routine.

Is it Safe to Clean Your Laptop Fan?

You might be wondering if it’s safe to clean your laptop fan. Rest assured, the method we’re going to discuss here is entirely safe and doesn’t require you to crack open your laptop case.

If you’re comfortable with opening up your laptop, you can certainly do so. Maybe you’ve already done it in the past to replace the factory CPU thermal paste or to ensure your laptop is dry after a water spill. However, keep in mind that laptops come in various designs, and most of them use hex screws that the average person doesn’t have the tools for. Additionally, accidentally stripping the case screw can make it impossible to open the case without professional assistance. So, if you want a thorough cleaning that involves opening up your laptop, it’s best to take it to a professional technician.

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How Often Should You Clean Your Laptop Fan?

Now, the question you’re probably asking yourself is, “How often should I clean my laptop fan?” Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The frequency of cleaning depends on your individual circumstances, habits, and working environment.

If you work in a clean office or live in a pristine environment, you can probably get away with cleaning your fan a few times a year. However, if you work in a construction zone or other exceedingly dirty or dusty locations, it’s best to clean your laptop fan once a week.

In any case, if your laptop starts to slow down, dirty fans could be a contributing factor. In such instances, it’s a good idea to give your fans a quick cleaning just to be safe.

How to Clean Your Laptop Fan Using Compressed Air

Now that you understand the importance of cleaning your laptop’s fan, you’re probably wondering how to do it without opening up your laptop. The answer is simple: locate the vents on your laptop and grab a can of compressed air or an electric blower specifically designed for this purpose.

Step 1: First, make sure your laptop is turned off and unplugged.

Step 2: Find your exhaust fan. You’ll know it by feeling the airflow. Use your compressed air or blower with an extension to spray air into different areas of the vent. In the following images, we’re using an electronic blower, but the process is the same if you’re using a can of compressed air.

Blowing air in an exhaust vent
Image credit: Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Step 3: Locate the intake vents, usually located on the bottom of the laptop. Blow air into various spots on this vent, focusing on the fans if they’re visible through the vent.

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Blowing air in an intake vent
Image credit: Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Step 4: Return to the exhaust vent and blow air again to remove any dislodged particles from the previous step.

Step 5: Only blow air into the exhaust and intake vents. Be careful not to blow air into speaker grills, as they may resemble vents. Blowing air into the wrong places can damage your speakers.

A speaker vent
Image credit: Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

How to Clean Your Laptop Fan Using a Vacuum Cleaner

If you prefer, you can also use a vacuum cleaner to suck out debris instead of blowing it out. The steps are the same; just use the appropriate vacuum extension.

That’s it! By following these simple steps, you should be able to remove a significant amount of built-up debris from your laptop. However, if you feel that your laptop is still too dirty, it’s advisable to seek assistance from a professional technician who can open up the case and give it a thorough cleaning.

For more helpful tips and advice on maintaining your laptop, visit OnSpec Electronic, Inc.. Your trusted partner for electronic solutions.

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