General dusting and cleaning

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mapleleafer, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. mapleleafer macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2009
    My late-2009, 21.5" iMac runs fine, but the temperatures have crept up over time. I'd like to open it up and clean out all the crap that is probably plugging up the intakes and/or fans. I've already tried vacuuming the intake vents and letting the fans run a while at max rpm, neither of which helped much. My problem is that I only have an upright vacuum cleaner that has no hose or attachments, so I'm a bit hesitant to try to use it on the guts of the machine. Does anyone have any tips or tricks? Compressed air? Garden hose? Also, are suction cups absolutely necessary for removing the glass? I don't like buying things if I don't have to.
  2. mapleleafer thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2009
    An update for anyone interested. I opened up my iMac, and it was indeed quite filthy. I removed and cleaned all three fans (with compressed air - I decided against the garden hose), and cleaned all vents and surfaces of everything removed or exposed. The main thing I had been concerned about was the temperature of the hard drive, which had been idling at 55º, generally considered to be the MAXIMUM operating temperature for hard drives. The hard drive now idles at 51º. The most disk-intensive thing I ever do is to make clone backups, which today maxed out at 55º (a warm day today - iStat Pro reported an ambient temperature of 30º). The adventure of opening this thing up was definitely worth it, and I would recommend a cleaning for anyone experiencing abnormally high temperatures (but first try just vacuuming the intake vents).
  3. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    99% of the time unless you live in filth (hey for all I know you're some teen age kid who's bedroom hasn't seen a vacuum in years) all you need to do is remove the RAM cover and vacuum out the intake. DO NOT repeat DO NOT blow air into the computer!!!!!
  4. Lord Xeb macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2010
    Someplace in the Nor' East
    Blowing air into the computer will not hurt anything at all. I regularly clean out customer's machines (because while I am in there, why not) with a high powered blower (DataVac). Blowing up through the vents or down onto the board really is no different.

    Also, in regards to "filth", if you get enough fine dust into a system, it can plug the heat sinks, so vacuuming the vents will do little to help this.
  5. mapleleafer thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2009
    Please don't warn me about doing something I neither did nor contemplated doing.

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