Are there any reusable alternatives to compressed air?

Ecological issues around computing. This is an experimental forum.

Moderators: Ralf Hutter, Lawrence Lee

Post Reply
gdr
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:39 pm

Are there any reusable alternatives to compressed air?

Post by gdr » Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:56 pm

Buying cans of disposable cans of air to clean computer parts seems pretty wasteful. Is there a reusable alternative? I'm wondering if you could fill your own can of air somehow. I know bike shops and gas stations have air compressors for filling tires, but those units are probably too large and expensive.

edh
Posts: 1618
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 1:49 pm
Location: UK

Re: Are there any reusable alternatives to compressed air?

Post by edh » Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:42 pm

And if you have your own compressor, how are you going to power it? This will also have it's own environmental impact. An industrial, mass produced method will always be more efficient (and more environmentally friendly) than making it yourself.

You do not need compressed air. I've never seen the fascination. A light weight brush is good for removing dust, blowing also works well and you can get special electronics vacuums which avoid ESD issues. Professionally electronics vacuums are well used as it removes the contaminents rather than just moving them somewhere else. This will also be more efficient than your compressor idea.

washu
Posts: 571
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:20 am
Location: Ottawa

Re: Are there any reusable alternatives to compressed air?

Post by washu » Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:57 pm

A shop vac-that allows you to connect the hose to the outlet or reverse the airflow. I wouldn't suggest buying one just for that, but it works great.

yakuman
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:05 am
Location: Canada

Re: Are there any reusable alternatives to compressed air?

Post by yakuman » Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:17 pm

I use this. Non-environmentally destructive and likely cheapest option.

porkchop
Posts: 496
Joined: Thu May 25, 2006 1:19 am
Location: Australia

Re: Are there any reusable alternatives to compressed air?

Post by porkchop » Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:23 pm

i've used an air blower pump thingy before (the ones for cameras) and they work well enough.
they're super weak, but beat trying to blow out the dust yourself, the tip also goes right into psu vents!

Spoon Boy
Posts: 168
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2005 11:44 pm
Location: London

Re: Are there any reusable alternatives to compressed air?

Post by Spoon Boy » Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:19 pm

How about something like this http://www.amazon.com/Micro-Vacuum-Atta ... 491&sr=1-1
if you have a home vacuum with round hoses its probably the cheapest $7.15 and if it has adjustable suction all the better.

mkk
Posts: 687
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 1:51 pm
Location: Gefle, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Are there any reusable alternatives to compressed air?

Post by mkk » Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:34 pm

When used correctly a single can of compressed air is good for a lot of cleaning and has the bonus of being perfectly safe for the electronics. Something like a compressor would be wasteful unless you have some other uses for one.

xan_user
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 2269
Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 9:09 am
Location: Northern California.

Re: Are there any reusable alternatives to compressed air?

Post by xan_user » Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:34 pm

paintball canister, fittings and some hose.

http://www.northamericanmotoring.com/fo ... -tire.html

check post #8


my google search string was,

'paintball canister to fill bike tires'

gdr
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:39 pm

Re: Are there any reusable alternatives to compressed air?

Post by gdr » Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:35 pm

I think a foot powered bike pump might do the job. It also has the benefit of being useful if you have a bike. I think a automotive tire pump or a leaf blower would also do the trick. You'd have to lock the fans down though and I'm not sure if these appliances could discharge static.

Here's a video of a guy using a leaf blower on a computer which gave me the idea.

bonestonne
Posts: 1839
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:10 pm
Location: Northern New Jersey
Contact:

Re: Are there any reusable alternatives to compressed air?

Post by bonestonne » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:03 pm

Where I work, we have a 10gal electric air compressor, and I haven't had any problems with it. In all of my experiences, it makes no difference if the fans are stopped or if you let them spin. For fans with special bearings, this may be different, but 95% of the computers I work with are generic OEM machines that have never even been opened.

I wouldn't use a leaf blower, it gives you no control over where you blow the dust (don't want it coming up at your face do you?). I use a smaller 110PSI electric compressor at home, no tank though. It all works well enough.

fastturtle
Posts: 198
Joined: Thu May 19, 2005 12:48 pm
Location: Shi-Khan: Vulcan or MosEisley Tattonnie

Re: Are there any reusable alternatives to compressed air?

Post by fastturtle » Wed May 08, 2013 7:10 pm

Get one of those refillable spray cans (uses compressed air) as they need only s small compressor or even a bicycle tire pump (get a good foot pump). No more expensive then the canned air and certainly just as effective when using a nozzle to direct the air.

Nice thing about them is you can buy multiple cans and use them for to spray different stuff (wd-40 pumps make good refills for them) I've also used windhsield washer fluid in one for cleaning car windows. Lots of possibilities and so long as you don't get to creative/dangerous you can even fill them with cooking oil to use in place of those garbage cooking sprays.

Post Reply