I own a Netgear GSM7224v1 (link) 24-port gigabit switch at home. The switch is about 2 years old and works just fine. The two exhaust fans however, are making quite a bit of noise even after I've cleaned them out with an air can, the fans constantly change their noise, pitch and squeakiness.
Most of the time, this wouldn't bother me but it's gotten to the point where the sheer volume of the noise is unbearable so I need to do something more drastic to fix the issue. My question(s) to SF:
1.) Can I completely replace the fans? The hardware manual for the unit doesn't mention anything specific enough about the fans that are being used.
2.) Can I substitute fans of a similar size? Assuming I can't find the exact replacement exhaust fans, any reason I couldn't use another brand?
3.) Can I go without the fans? I realize that network hardware can get hot, but being such a large switch with only 14 or so of the ports being used, I wondered if I could get away with it. I realize this might not be a wise choice, but I thought it would be worth asking.
4.) Can anyone recommend specific practices/techniques into cleaning fans? I've never had an issue like this before so I'm a bit cautious on what to do next.