PC Components

How to Clean a Laptop Fan (2 Quick Methods)

Cleaning A Laptop Fan

It’s Monday morning, and you’re getting ready for the day. The moment you turn on your laptop, you sense something is wrong. Oh no! A pop-up!

Your palms are sweaty. “Warning!” it says. There’s a problem with the cooling system. You start to panic. 3 – 2 – 1, Breathe.

When was the last time you cleaned the laptop fan? This article explores the benefits of cleaning laptop fans and some easy ways to do it.

Why It’s Important to Clean Your Laptop Fans

The fan of your laptop must be cleaned regularly in order to prevent overheating.

Whenever a computer runs, it generates heat, and dust will stick to the fan as a result. When this happens, the fan will not move air properly, affecting overall performance.

The parts that generate the most significant heat in laptops are the Central Processing Unit (CPU) and the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). The CPU and GPU will be used the most during activities such as streaming videos, gaming, and watching movies.

As a result, it’s essential to keep the fan clean. 

Are you ready to make fan cleaning a part of your routine? Let’s learn some easy ways to bust the dust.

Method #1 – Using a Can of Compressed Air

A can of compressed air is a simple yet powerful tool. You probably already use it to clear out crumbs and dust from your keyboard. Let’s talk about how we will use it to clean the fan.

Most laptops are not designed to be opened by the consumer. We can use compressed air to clear out the air vents in this case. This isn’t the best technique to clean a laptop fan, but it could be the only option.

Step #1 – Find a Workspace

If you’re going to do this, it’s a good idea to choose a location where you don’t mind a little mess. Consider putting a piece of paper towel down to catch any dirt and dust. This makes for an easy clean-up.

Step #2 – Unplug and Shutdown

Before you begin, unplug the laptop’s power supply and disconnect it from the wall. Ensure the laptop is entirely shut down.

Step #3 – Short Bursts of Air

Next, position the compressed air can at the laptop’s cooling vents and release short bursts of air. This should loosen any dust particles sticking to the vents, restricting airflow.

Warning!

A constant air stream should not be directed towards the fan inside the vent. This may cause the fan to spin excessively fast. Blow quick bursts of air.

Method #2 – Clean the Fan With a Cotton Swab

This process is more time-consuming, but it allows for greater attention to detail and a cleaner result. You will need to remove the laptop’s back panel to access the fan. However, this process is not recommended if your device is still under warranty.

Step #1 – Find a Workspace

Make sure you’re working on a flat, clean surface. You’ll also need a T5 Torx screwdriver to remove most laptop screws. An anti-static mat is also recommended to prevent electrostatic discharge.

Step #2 – Unplug, Shutdown, Remove Battery

Before you begin, unplug the laptop’s power supply and disconnect it from the wall. Confirm that the laptop has been completely shut down. Next, remove the battery from the laptop if possible and set it aside.

Step #3 – Remove Back Panel

Most laptops are held together with small screws that can be removed with a T5 Torx screwdriver. Remove the screws and store them in a safe place. Next, carefully detach the back panel to find the cooling fan.

Warning!

If your laptop is under warranty, do not remove the back panel. Follow method #1.

Step #4 – Remove Dirt and Dust From the Fan

The exciting part comes next. Using a cotton swab, it’s time to clean the fan.

It’s good to keep a couple of cotton swabs on hand. If the one you’re using is caked in dust and filth, replace it with a new one to avoid spreading the dirt.

Also, try holding the fan in place with your finger so it doesn’t spin around while cleaning it with the cotton swab, clean each blade. You may also clean the air vents by wiping away any dust or dirt with a cotton swab.

Step #5 – Replace the Back Panel

You’re almost finished! It’s time to replace the rear panel and screw it down. After securing the panel in place, replace the battery, attach the power supply (if needed) and power it up.

Summary

You’ve got it now. There are two simple ways to clean and maintain your laptop’s fan.

You can use a can of compressed air or remove the rear panel for a deeper clean. Maintaining the cleanliness of the fan will extend the life of your laptop, giving you years of productivity.

Your CPU and GPU will remain calm, cool, and collected regardless of which method you use. You won’t have to worry about the dreadful pop-up on a Monday morning, and you can continue conquering in your online game.

How Do I Care For A Laptop Fan?

Cleaning the dust and dirt from the fan and vents is the best way to care for a laptop fan. This will ensure adequate ventilation, which will keep the Central Processing Unit (CPU) and Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) cool.

How Frequently Should You Clean Your Laptop Fan?

It would help if you cleaned your laptop fan as frequently as you replace your car’s oil.

If you use your laptop daily and keep it running 24 hours a day, you should consider cleaning it once a month.

Where can I purchase a can of compressed air?

A can of compressed air can be found at many different retail locations. Try looking on Amazon.

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