Unlike flaming Lamborghinis you don't hear desktop PCs catching fire, but there's still the potential for the dust bunnies in your PC to clog up heatsinks, fans and even intake ports to slow down your machine - unlike retro processors that burn up, processors today are so advanced they automatically throttle down performance in what's called 'thermal throttling'. So it pays to keep your rig clean.


What you'll need:

For this how-to, you'll need an air compressor - the bigger, the better. We're using a Swan S-series 2hp, 85-litre just because that's what we have on hand, but a smaller one will do just fine - apart from working pressures, the only real difference is the time it takes to refill the tank once all the compressed air is used up.

Set at 100psi pressure, the Swan 2hp S-series delivers 225-litres of air per minute and handles air dusting perfectly with minimal cut-in (that's when pressure drops and the motor starts up) and cut-out during our 10 minute of usage. For comparison's sake, we had to stop every 3-5 minutes for sufficient pressure to build up when we cleaned one of our rigs few months earlier with the 1.5hp, 22-litre Swan DR-series oil-less air compressor during heavy dusting application. It's a minor annoyance when you're working in your garage but in a shop environment, it can literally cost you money from lost of productivity.

Other optional accessories includes an air gun, adaptors, a coiled air line (free with the S-series) and optionally, an air-oil separator. This is only really a problem if you find water and/or oil in the air. Also, don't forget your ear plugs, N95 face mask and safety glasses!

CT Hardware Top-tip:

If you constantly find oil in your air line, you might want to check your oil level via the sight glass. Chances are, it is likely overfilled. You can choose to either vacuum out the access using a small hose and a makeshift (but air-tight) empty container through the filler port or via the typical drain plug and oil catch pan - just don't drain everything out.

While you can basically go crazy with the air gun vs dust bunnies, the thing to look out for are the spinning fan blades. When they spin, there's the potential for bearings to get damaged. Speaking of damage, take note that the air gun nozzle is made of metal and can scratch or damage components inside your PC.


Either plug in the PC (with mains off) or place the case directly to the ground to prevent static electricity build up.. It doesn't take a lot to kill an NVIDIA Quadro FX580 or any graphics cards for that matter.

Finally, be sure to drain the air tank after use. Moisture from the atmosphere will usually end up as water droplets inside the air tank and will rust if the tank is not coated.