Dust filter for iMac air intake ?

Discussion in 'hardware' started by SweX, Mar 14, 2016.

  1. SweX

    SweX Registered Member

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    Hello,

    I have been searching on and off for some time and still haven't found what I am looking for, possibly because it simply doesn't exist or I use the wrong search terms.

    And why I would like to have some kind of filter is because the iMac is so difficult to clean unless you take the display off and open it up, which is a good way to get more particles inside it and also behind the display. (that will happen if some hardware breaks inside, but that's another topic)

    My plan is just to place some filter on the air intake to minimize the amount of dust that may end up inside, I was hoping (in my dreams) to find something you just "click" on in a simple way, and then clean or exhange the filter once in a while depending on what the filter would be made of, my dream was good but it doesn't exist in the real world.

    Hmmm...Is there some good material used for dust filters that one can buy and simply cut into pieces with a scissor that one can use as a dust filter for the air intake ? Don't ask me how I would fit it onto the iMac because I haven't figured that part out yet :rolleyes:....

    Just feels like it is better to have something that can pick up a least a little bit of the dust particles than nothing at all. It would be one thing if it was easy to "blow out" when/if needed, but it isn't.

    I am really just thinking out loud about what may be doable so....
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2016
  2. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Just use material from an HVAC filter. You want something that catches junk in a 3D structure, so it doesn't clog as quickly.
     
  3. act8192

    act8192 Registered Member

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    Swiffer, fuzzy side out. Does a good job on laptop. Taped corners.
    Yes, HVAC filter from a vacuum cleaner bag might be great.
     
  4. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    I meant more like furnace filter. Good ones are washable.
     
  5. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    There are products made just for computers that fit common size case fans. These are nice because they are washable and reusable. Some use just a fine mesh like this, and others use foam. Either (or both together) work fine but none will totally prevent dust from getting in because dust is drawn in through every crack and crevice - not just through the fan vents. For example, dust creeps in around the CD/DVD drive, USB and sound ports, and most cases have other vents, too. But having filters will greatly reduce the frequency you will need to clean the insides.

    I do warn you, however, that even when new and completely clean, these filters do restrict air flow a bit so watch your temps. And note as they get dirty, they restrict it even more. So when I see my temps hitting higher than normal levels and sitting there longer than a couple seconds, that is usually my signal to clean my filters.
     
  6. SweX

    SweX Registered Member

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    Thanks to all answers and suggestions. I did actually read an old article where someone said they did use some filter used in vaccum cleaners on their iMac 2003-ish. It sounded like a crazy idea when I read it due to the air flow and so forth, but maybe it's not then.

    @ act8192, Thanks.

    @ mirimir
    Our vac is quite old so I am not exaclty sure I am up-to-date on what those filters with 3D structures are, perhaps you could post a link for a filter/product that has that, just so I somewhat know what I am looking for incase I try out that idea, cheers.

    @ Bill_Bright
    Thanks for the links. Yes, it feels like it would be great if it is washable, and clean it once a year or so, depending on how good it catches particles of course, the more effective it is the faster it will clog up I guess. But I don't see that as a bad thing since it only does a great job then.

    But I must research more before I decide, will try to find info about filters for AIO computers in general, there must be more folks than me that have been willing to try a few things through the years. It's not like AIO's are new on the market.
     
  7. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    http://www.mobilehomerepair.com//media/img/nordyne/669363.jpg
     
  8. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Of course, YMMV. Pets generate lots of dust and dander. Microscopic creepy crawly things that eat dander, and the waste they leave behind make up large percentage of what is commonly called, "house dust". Kids (and pets) running around stir up lots of dust which get drawn in. If you leave your windows open, you may experience more dust. And of course, the number of hours a day your computer runs (fans sucking in dust) is a huge factor too. So having to break the system down to clean the interior once a year may be wishful thinking. On the other hand, if your computer is in a low-dust environment, you may get away with once every 2 years.

    With no filters, I recommend monthly inspections, cleaning when dust bridges start to form across heatsink fins. With filters, inspect every 3 months - at least until you figure out how often internal inspections are needed. That said, regular inspections are good anyway, just to make sure all your fans are still spinning. I used think side-panel windows on cases were just a fashion statement, but being able to look inside and see if fans are spinning without having to remove the side panel is a big plus in my book especially because of how my computer fits in my desk's computer compartment.
     
  9. Bob D

    Bob D Registered Member

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    I covered all my chassis openings with this stuff (cut to size) & recommend.
    Yup, I shop-vac all orifices every month or so.
    Been at least 2 years, and my puter's innards are relatively clean (home office enviro.)