How Computer Fans Can Be Cleaned? (8 Steps)

Your computer's performance is greatly impacted by dust in the fans and heatsink. The designated RPM of a dirty PC fan will not be reached.

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Computer Fans

Your computer’s performance is greatly impacted by dust in the fans and heatsink. The designated RPM of a dirty PC fan will not be reached (Rotation Per Minute). The system’s reduced airflow prevents the heat from the heatsink from dissipating. This has an impact on the system by lowering performance and, in severe circumstances, shortening the hardware’s lifespan.

Without even removing the fans, you may efficiently clear dust from the computer fans with a can of compressed air. On other components, nevertheless, dust from these components could fall. We went into great length in the post on how to thoroughly clean computer fans to increase system performance. Why Do My PC Fans Scrub Up So Frequently?

Particularly the intake fans, computer fans are one of the parts of a PC case that attract the most dust. Most dust particles that may enter the computer are typically captured by the dust filter. If these particles, however, get past the dust filter, they first come into touch with the case fans and settle on those, as well as the system’s internal fans and heatsink.

  • Here are some other causes for the filthy PC fans.
  • Dust filter has dust particles in it Fans are running at their highest RPM (Rotation Per Minute).
  • The computer system’s CPU casing is on a carpet.

Read More: 6 Steps for Connecting a GPU to a Motherboard

How Can Computer Fans Be Cleaned?

We advise removing each fan from the PC case before using compressed air to properly clean the fans within your computer. As was previously noted, utilizing compressed air while the system’s fans are still attached may cause dust to collect in different PC components. In exchange, the dust not only raises the system’s temperature overall but also erodes its interior parts.

There are many different types of computer fans available and in use for computer systems, depending on their functioning processes. We have described how to take out each type of computer fan in the sections below.

  • Prior to getting started, keep the following in mind for secure access to your computer fans.
  • Disconnect the PC from the wall outlet.
  • To discharge the capacitors, press and hold the power button for five to ten seconds.
  • To prevent your body from discharging electrostatic charges, make sure you ground yourself.
  • All of the side panel’s screws should be removed.
  • From the PC case, remove the side panel.
  • Never use a hair dryer, vacuum, or any appliance that blows air using electricity. Static electricity will be produced by these electronic gadgets, which might harm internal PC components.

Take away PC case fans

Typically, the front, rear, or top of the CPU case is where these fans are situated. These fans are in charge of drawing cool air in and expelling heated air from the system. These fans are the first to gather dust since they are angled toward the dust filter. Make sure you are familiar with the header or controller to which the fans are connected before pulling the fan cord from the motherboard.
To remove the fan from the casing, follow the instructions listed below.

  • Take the cord out of the CPU fan’s connection to the motherboard’s SYS FAN header. It’s possible that an RGB CPU fan is attached to a controller rather than the motherboard if you’re using one.
  • From the four corners of the CPU case fan, remove all four screws.
  • Remove the CPU fan from the CPU with care.
  • Check to see if any cords are still attached if the fan won’t budge.

Take out the CPU fans

The CPU heat sink and cooling fans are often linked to each other. We advise you to clean them both.

  • First, disconnect the connection that links the motherboard’s CPU cooler to it. The motherboard’s CPU FAN header is where the cooler’s cable attaches. Take this cable off.
  • The motherboard is secured to the heatsink by four plastic screws in each of the four corners of the heatsink. Pull the plastic screws upward after counterclockwise turning the screws.
  • Once all the screws are removed, carefully grasp the heatsink and pull it outwards.

Read More: 8 Best Intel Z 690 Motherboards for 12th Generation CPUs

Take AIO Cooler Fans off

You must take off the fan from an AIO CPU cooler if you want to utilize one in place of an air cooler. The cooling fan is housed in the radiator of an AIO cooler. We advise you to clean them both.

  • All of the screws holding the radiator to the CPU case should be removed.
  • Remove the cooler and radiator from the case with care.
  • The cooling pad that is linked to the CPU may or may not be removed.
  • If you take it out, you must reapply the thermal compound before reinstalling the pad in the CPU.
  • Now take off every screw holding the fan to the radiator.

Take away GPU fans

Since there are certain wires you need to remove behind the GPU heatsink, removing the GPU fans might be very difficult. You must first remove the graphics card from the motherboard before continuing.

  • To remove GPU fans once the graphics card has been removed, follow these instructions. Multiple screws hold the GPU fan and its heatsink to the GPU plate. On the GPU’s rear, there are two screws that must be removed.
  • If there are any screws under the heatsink that you can see, be sure to remove those as well.
  • The GPU plate’s heatsink and fan may be removed once you have taken out all the screws.
  • Disconnect any cables that link the GPU and the fan. Two wires should be present, one for the LED and the other for the GPU fan.

Delete PSU

Internal fans can be found on the power supply unit (PSU). Remove any wires that link the PSU to the motherboard or any other PC component before removing the PSU. It’s time to remove the PC’s PSU once you’ve removed all the components. Once the PSU has been taken out of the computer case, you may completely remove the PSU casing to fully clean the PSU fans. This is not advised, though, because short circuits to the capacitor might pose a serious risk to human life.

Keeping Computer Fans Clean

Clean the fans using compressed air. When cleaning computer fans with compressed air, bear the following points in mind.

  • Use pressurized air at an angle if possible.
  • Make careful to utilize brief bursts of air while blowing from the can. Avoid continuously spraying the fan with air.
  • The computer fan may be damaged if you continuously spray air at it because it may spin more quickly than is safe.
  • To clean the fans, use ethanol.
  • When you’re through using the compressed air, take the following actions to clean the fans.

To completely clean all the corners of the fans, use a clean microfiber cloth or a cotton swab dipped in ethyl alcohol at a 70 percent concentration. Clean all the areas that the compressed air couldn’t reach by soaking the cotton swab in the alcohol. If the microfiber cloth becomes soiled, re-clean the fan after dipping a little section of the fabric in the alcohol.

Fan bearings should be cleaned and lubricated. Parts that make the fans spin are called fan bearings. One of the main causes of fans running at low RPMs is dust in these components. To reach the bearing and clean it, Place a drop or two in the center of the fan and spin them just a little. Make certain that the fans can spin freely.

Read More: What Is a Sleeper PC and How Does It Work?

Heatsink cleaning

Heatsinks will also be connected to the CPU and GPU fans. Cleaning these heatsinks is a good idea as well. Blow a significant volume of air into the heat sink using the compressed air can’s nozzle. As soon as a dust particle starts to come out, make sure to keep blowing air at it.

You may clean the heatsink with soap and water if you’ve taken it off the CPU or GPU fan. You may wash the heatsink with water because it doesn’t have any electrical parts.
The heat sink should be thoroughly cleaned, then allowed to air dry. Reconnect these components after they have dried.

Connect the computer fans again

  • After removing the CPU case fans, reattach them.
  • Back where they belonged, screw all the case fans.
  • The air/AIO cooler’s wires go into the CPU FAN header, whereas the CPU case fans go into the SYS FAN header.
  • All the connections that link the graphics card’s GPU fan and heatsink should be connected.
  • Also, reattach the backplate and GPU fan to the graphics card using all the screws you previously removed.
  • The graphics card and motherboard are now connected.
  • Screw the PSU into the computer case, then attach wires from the PSU to the motherboard.