Dust control and the cleaning of equipment

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Everett Painter, Jan 14, 2003.

  1. Everett Painter

    Apr 25, 2000
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    I have a problem with dust in my current location and have to dust evey day or so just to keep my equipment clean...and it's not even in an "open" rack.

    Any ideas on dust control? Can it hurt the components?
  2. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator

    Jul 31, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Cees Alons

    It depends. "Normal" household dust isn't too dangerous in general, but certain types of dust (e.g. construction work dust) could quickly begin to seriously harm your equipment.

    Here are some of the dangers:
    - dust can change the warmth radiation characteristics of surfaces
    - dust can close ventilation holes (-slits)
    - dust can contaminate moving parts
    - dust can obscure lenses (projectors, LEDs)
    - dust can attract moisture and thus form unwanted paths on circuit boards
    - dust can obscure optical surfaces (CDs, DVDs)
    - the act of removing accumulated dust can damage things (surfaces).

  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Jun 3, 1999
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    Odd that your dust situation should be so severe.

    I clean and dust my equipment frequently, several times a week. And it too is covered when not in use (we're talking two separate systems here). Use a soft cloth for daily dust removal. For smudges and fingerprints, a combination of distilled water and detergent, along with a Q-Tip works wonders.

    And for hard-to-get-to areas (between heat sinks, for example), a camel's-hair brush is good.

    A small, brush-ended attachment to a vacuum cleaner helps also.
  4. Sonnyc

    Sonnyc Extra

    Dec 5, 2002
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    You could have your heater vents clean. You'll be amazed how much dust is collected in there.

    I use one of those Swifter dry sheet that pick up almost everything.

  5. Randolph Damore

    Jan 3, 2003
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    Personally, I'd be concerned about were the dust comes from.
    Sonnyc is pretty well on the right track. His idea for cleaning your vents is good, but with the amount of dust you have it might be necessary to go a little deeper.
    Most buildings erected in the last 50 years have some kind of duct work for the HVAC system. These ducts (should) have filters in them at various points. Usually the filters are not maintained by the tennants of the building, and most residential buildings don't have regular HVAC maintenance. Chances are you have many years, if not decades, of dust and hair sitting in your ducts and being shaken off these filters whenever you run the heat or AC.
    It should be fairly easy to at least get to the filters and wipe them off. If they're really grungy you might want to replace them though. 3M makes a pretty good HEPA filter that blocks a fair amount of dust.
    If you live in a rural area or urban/industrial you might want to pick up some very fine screens for your windows or just keep 'em closed around the HT equipment. I live about ten miles from a few refineries and can personally attest to the huge amount of dust that comes in through my windows due to those things.
  6. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    May 8, 2001
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    also, don't use any of that regular dust furniture polish stuff. it leaves a waxy reside.
    for me, a very mildly damp cloth works best. i basically wet my hand, then pat the cloth. someone mentioned q-tips...that's another really good idea for the nooks and crannies. i've also used a short-bristled painting brush in the past. it has to be short-bristed so you can "scrub" the area.
    finally, if you've got that much dust, you may want to open the component up and give it a good shot of compressed air. just be sure you're comfortable taking off the case. and (obviously) make sure it's not plugged in. i usually blow out my gear at least once or twice a year.

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