Hello, everyone! (1st post ;-)

Background: I have been an independent computer technician, working out of my bedroom, since about 2003. The business started out pretty good to begin with, but things started slowing down around 2006. Since then, I have been working on an electronics technician "degree" at a local technical college. I got accepted to an internship that alternates between 6 months at work and 6 months at school. I started working last August. Since that time I have worked on very few computers at my house.

I'm sure you other technicians have seen how dusty a computer can get after several years of build-up. A lot of my customers were ignorant home users that didn't know their computers were dust magnets. I had always suspected that exposure to all that dust (and whatever else is in it) was causing me to have minor but prolonged sinus problems. Well after many months without a foreign computer in my house, I brought 2 computers home to do backups and re-installs. One was dusty and the other was VERY dusty. I cleaned the comps outside (as always) with canned air before I brought them in to work on them. A couple of days afterward, my nose started running and I was sneezing constantly. Thankfully, that has finally passed after 2 days.

My brother is also a comp tech working for a small business (~50 computers). I was talking to my sister-in-law about my sinus problems and she said my brother also seemed to have recurring sinus issues.

My question is, have any of you other techs had similar experiences with sinus problems related to dusty computers?


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I work on lots of computers (including cleaning them), and I have found the best way to clean the inside of the case is with a vaccuum and a brush. I bought a very powerful vaccuum that came with lots of cleaning attachments that are very small (perfect for the job). One of the attachments even have a little brush to help you dust off the equipment. Since I have used this method, a lot less dust spreads around, which is better for your sinuses. I used to use compressed air, then I noticed that on really dusty computers, the compressed air was causing the heavy dust to clog up some components of the computer. With compressed air, you simply just blow the dust around, and it will sometimes even ruin an optical drive. So, just as a suggestion, try vaccuming the dust out rather than blowing it around-it may save you more work and might even help with sinus issues!! Have a good one!

The one thing I hate about compressed air is exactly what they said, it just blows the dust around. Plus you pay $5 for the can, and it gets super cold due to the CO2. Vacuuming is the best!

yes...had the same problem...best would be to vaccum up the dust...but not to disturb components.

if you so want to keep using compressed air then you should just get a mask like painters use when they paint its a nice thought to have but they do give great advice as why not to use compressed air.

Yep, I get bad allergies frequently.
You can try using an air compressor spray.
Of course, vacuuming often helps too.

Althought the dust doesn't seem to bother me, it does actually bother my sister and brother...so when I have to clean my computer I use the vaccuum cleaner....I just make sure and not to bother the components...

Besides....it would be cheaper...you wouldn't have to constantly buy the compressed air...

I work for tech support in a building holding about 500 computers five minutes into work half of us have sinus issues some have full blown attacks where they can't breathe right and need medication to keep coming to work

i think the idea of masks is a good thing while working on others computer-i prefer vacuum as well-

hmmm...risky business....

Vacuuming definately keeps dust down. Use a dust mask when if you're blowing, and it wouldn't hurt vacuuming if the dust still irritates you.

It does sound like this is an isolated incident so it might not be a problem with other computers. It could be because you're not used to it or because of the particular dust in the system. The thing about cleaning out other peoples computers is that you enver know what kind of allergents are floating around their house.

I'd suggest vacuuming if you have a shopvac with the right attatchments, and only blowing air of you have an air compressor, the cans are a waste of money and don't work very well.

Itdupuis is right about dust jamind if you blow it around, if you're going to blow, always blow away from the optical drives and use the compressed air to spin all the fans once the system is clean to make sure they're not jammed up.

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