Question What kind of dust filters should I use? and are fans affected by them?

carocuore

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Jan 24, 2021
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Hi everyone.
I'm having a dust problem with my computer and been thinking of adding some filters because even after a month there's an even layer of dust on all components and fan blades are covered with a thick layer of black dust, the kind you'd see in a ceiling fan if you don't clean it for an entire year. smh.

I've been doing some research and found out there are thin washable filters that resemble those of an A/C or thicker foam filters that I could vacuum, would any of those work?
My case only came with one that's somewhat good quality for the power supply and I get to wash it weekly.

Also how would I need to position them? before or after the fans? if they're covered with dust would the fan still be able to blow fresh air in?
Would the exhausts need to be covered too?

I have 3 intakes (2 front 1 left) and 3 exhausts (2 top 1 rear) and my case is a Corsair C70. I know, it originally came with filters but I bought it used for $10 because it was missing some parts like drive bays and, well, filters. The downside of this case is that dust would still be able to simply enter the computer through the top because of the mesh pattern it has, I could cover it at night tho as I turn it off.

Wouldn't mind cleaning only the filters weekly instead of half the computer.
 

carocuore

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If there are NO dust filters, then you need some on the intakes.
Not on exhaust.
Nothing at all except for the one below the PSU.

The nylon mesh filter seems to be better than the cotton/foam one as it has larger openings but wouldn't that let more dust get into the computer as well?

-not considering originals as I doubt corsair still makes them or someone's selling them used.
 

BogdanH

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Don't use any foam (or similar structured) material, because PC fans don't make enough air pressure to push (or pull) enough air through such material -even you can breath trough it easy enough, if you put such material on your mouth.
Go to some store where they sell Do-It-Yourself stuff and look.. they sure have some mesh materials that you can cut and adapt to your PC case. For example, mesh against mosquitos for windows and similar.
When you decide for material, keep in mind that you need to see through it -if you can't, then it would make too much resistance for air.

PS: If possible, always put filter in front of fan -that way fan is protected against the dust too.
 

Paperdoc

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Yes, you need dust filters on the OUTside of the INtake fans only. No filters on exhaust fans. And yes, they will reduce the intake capacity as they get clogged, so you need to clean regularly.

All filters work on the "Filter Principle". Surprise! They consist of a fine mesh of wires or other filaments across the space, establishing holes between. When clean, the filter will trap any piece of junk larger than the opening. Normally this does not block that opening, but it does partially block it and make it smaller. So the next time a particle comes to that opening, it will be trapped even if it is SMALLER that the original clean opening. As time goes on, the filter becomes more efficient at trapping progressively smaller particles, BUT it also restricts air flow more since its open holes are smaller. So you want a balance of holes small enough to be effective when clean and open, versus how long it takes to clog up before you MUST clean it off and start again.

Very fine metal or nylon screening like a window screen MAY be fine enough as a starting clean mesh. Urethane foam sheets about 1/8" thick often are used for this, but they need to be the correct type of foam. Urethane foams come in two types: closed cells in which each air bubble is completely closed in by urethane film (used for padding and floating blocks), and open-cell in which there ARE openings between all adjacent air bubbles so that air CAN flow though them easily. Obviously for a dust filter you need the open-cell type, so don't try to use just any unidentified sheet of foam.
 
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carocuore

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PS: If possible, always put filter in front of fan -that way fan is protected against the dust too.
That's what I was thinking, otherwise the fan would get dirty plus the filter would be harder to clean

Corsair case? no filters? looks at case, sees hdd cages, understands why.

https://www.pccasegear.com/products/22444/demciflex-magnetic-dust-filter-custom-set-for-corsair-c70
Yup... it came with the filters though, years ago I guess. I bought it used, it's a pretty decent case, no glass or LEDs and it comes in a nice olive green colour.
I doubt I could find those filters in my country though, the mosquito net sounds better

Are you (or some in your household) a smoker?
If yes, filters will only help a bit.
Not at all.
 

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