Air purifiers or Air filters for PC casing (simple explanation pls)

landmark

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My computer started acting very sluggish and is taking eons to start . I got a computer technician to take a look and he said its due to lot of dust which made my PC heat up . He asked me to use compressed air to clean it every month . To be honest I just use a very good Antec case and presumed it would keep dust at bay but then the technician tells me its just not enough and I need to use compressed air to clean it every month . I have no idea how to dismantle the PC and how to use that compressed air equipment . I am no good with technical terms either so I just looked online an figured out that i can use air filters or room air purifiers. I

Is it ok to use this room air purifier ? I think the users of this forum are more tech oriented so they can help me better.Also kindly explain in simple terms I get overwhelmed by technical terminology ...
 
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leeshor

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Using compressed air every now and then is a better idea. Some systems, no matter the case, are prone to accumulating dust no matter what case you're using and depends on the environment in the room. An air purifier won't help much. Not leaving the system on 24/7 helps, not having pets, especially cats, helps. Every month may be a little extreme but that depends on the amount of dust in the air. Do NOT clean the room, vacuum, with the system on.

The dust is attracted some plastic parts due to a static electricity buildup, mostly fans and if it gets hot the processor will throttle down. Do not use compressed air on the fans with the system running. And do not intentionally spin the fans while cleaning.
 

Jonny Kansas

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^^Agreed. Pets, if you smoke in the house, if you have windows open a lot.

Another thing to keep in mind, if it's a desktop PC, DESK is the keyword here. Many people are quick to put a tower on the floor next a small desk. This is a bad idea. They need to be up and have open air around them so they can properly vent and circulate.

I agree with leeshor though on all of the advice offered above.

An air purifier might help a bit, especially if you do have a lot of dust in the house. If you notice a lot of dust collecting on shelves and etc after you've just cleaned them, it might help take some dust out of the air, but your direct problem is dust collecting on the fan and vents as leeshor also said, so canned air really is your best bet for direct cleaning.
 

grenefroggie

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If you have access to an air compressor, turn the pressure down or stand far away and blast it. Spending money on air in a can is rather silly.

You can buy filters to place over your fans which helps immensely. Also, as mentioned make sure the PC isn't in a "computer desk" be all it is doing is circulating hot air which will prematurely age the processor and memory, even with heatsink and fan.

Also, if your PC is custom built, having the proper fans in the case pointing in the proper direction is extremely important. If airflow is not set up properly for your case and motherboard, heat will be a constant issue.
 

94lt1

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Also.. I should add.. If you have a central air conditioning system.. You should look into swapping out the filter every few months.. Don't use the cheap ones.. Spend the extra 3 or 4 $ and get the ones that filter down to microns.. It keeps the dust down in your home..
 

leeshor

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Those posts bring to mind 3 more potential issues. The systems I sell have an opening on the left side of the case to funnel processor fan air out. Make certain the case is not pushed against the side of a desk so it restricts air flow. Some cases I have used also have vents on the top, don't put papers on the top of the case in that situation, (story below). This doesn't always apply but if the case was intended as a tower case don't put it on its side - as it was designed for proper air circulation standing up. Many cases have the P/S at the top and air and heat rise to the top and get exhausted though the P/S but also pulls air through the rest of the case to keep components cooler.

Story:Many years ago I took on a customer for consulting only. I had never actually visited their office. After several months they invited me out to actually put eyes on their systems so that I would have a better idea of what I was discussing with them. As we passed one of the offices I did a double back and took another look. I asked them how frequently they had replaced the CRT monitor on that desk. They looked at me like I was Mr. Wizard and said "pretty frequently, how do you know?" The user in that office had a really big stack of papers on the top of the monitor that looked like it had been accumulating there for some time. How stupid can you get. They never thought that trapping the heat in that CRT was frying the internals. As soon as they would replace a monitor the user would put the stack right back where it had been. Duh!
 

dezymond

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I use these at least once a month, especially with my dog who sheds like crazy:
Dust-off-dpsxl-main.jpg


Just open up the case of your desktop tower and these things come with a straw to get into the nooks and crannies of your tower. I usually have a vacuum running too when I dust my tower with this stuff to prevent things from flying everywhere too.
 

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I use these at least once a month, especially with my dog who sheds like crazy:
Dust-off-dpsxl-main.jpg


Just open up the case of your desktop tower and these things come with a straw to get into the nooks and crannies of your tower. I usually have a vacuum running too when I dust my tower with this stuff to prevent things from flying everywhere too.
Use burst shots though. Don't just hold the trigger down. The can will get really cold and liquid will shoot out. Has to do with the compression, but definitely squeeze it for a little, let go for a little. (Follow instructions on the can)
 

dezymond

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Use burst shots though. Don't just hold the trigger down. The can will get really cold and liquid will shoot out. Has to do with the compression, but definitely squeeze it for a little, let go for a little. (Follow instructions on the can)
Very important to use burst shots. And it's a pretty good burst of air that comes out when you push the trigger too. You'll be surprised at how much dust collects inside a tower.
 

Str8Aro

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All good advice above. Another consideration is the indoor humidity. Dry air will promote the circulation of dust in the room. Given that much of the country is heating homes and offices, the air humidity is lower. Getting your rooms up to 45 - 50% humidity can help reduce the dust circulation.

I, too, have an Antec case that has the fine mesh screens over the air intakes. I gently vacuum the screens and grilles on the case when I clean the floors. I use the soft brush on the vacuum hose. Our house has an expensive air purifier (doctor recommended) due to my wife's unhealthy lungs and compromised immune system. As leeshor stated, the purifier will do little to help with the dust problems. Also as 94lt1 recommended, good air filters if you have central air / heat (we do). I buy 4" thick corrugated filters for our system and replace them several times a year. I mark the install date on the filter. Anal, maybe but it helps. There are companies that will clean your central duct work, which will help, too.
 

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May I suggest that you do the compressed air dusting outdoors, or instead sucking it out with the hose and wand of a vacuum cleaner instead. Blowing it out of the case and into the room will do several things... Cause the dust to become suspended in the room air and you, your family and pets will be breathing it in, it will adhere to statically charged surfaces, the tops of appliances, screens of monitors and TVs, curtains and blinds, ceiling fan blades, etc., and it will eventually fall to the floor where your shoes will both grind it into your carpets and also kick it back into the air only to get sucked back into the computer case again, recreating the problem.

Also, make sure you clean the dust out from between the fins on the heatsinks positioned on key board components, processor, coprocessor, video accelerators, etc. See images below. Essentially anything that looks like a comb type metal apparatus is a heatsink. They are typically made of Aluminum and can be delicate and prone to bending so if you can, use the brush attachment, and NEVER do any of the above while the computer is plugged in.

cpu-cooling-01.jpg


diy9.jpg


install1155_DSCF3481.jpg


Heatsink4.jpg


f376f7ee6e6cf54de63f5255512dcd80.jpg


diamond_3850_heatsink.jpg


MSIP6NSLIPt_d4.jpg


DSCF6350-copy-big.jpg


Don't forget to clean the openings of the case (often on the lower front), and where fans are positioned and fan grilles including the main case fans, and power supply fan (usually located at the top rear of the computer tower)

tower-case-back-view.jpg


FAN9MP1FOVXPCTE.SQUARE2.jpg
 
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grenefroggie

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Also.. I should add.. If you have a central air conditioning system.. You should look into swapping out the filter every few months.. Don't use the cheap ones.. Spend the extra 3 or 4 $ and get the ones that filter down to microns.. It keeps the dust down in your home..

Central air systems should have their filters, regardless of make or model, changed every 30 days. I do mine every 15 days because I have four dogs and two roommates.

Air flow in cases is important. Mostly, just keep it clean and open.
 

94lt1

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Central air systems should have their filters, regardless of make or model, changed every 30 days. I do mine every 15 days because I have four dogs and two roommates.

Air flow in cases is important. Mostly, just keep it clean and open.

Exactly.. But you'd be surprised how many people go several months and longer, without changing them. I've seen em so clogged with dust and hairs.. That I was shocked that the fans were able to do anything.. And in those cases they blow that stuff all around the house..


And ours says to change it every 3 months.. So.. Idk..
 
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FoxKat

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Exactly.. But you'd be surprised how many people go several months and longer, without changing them. I've seen em so clogged with dust and hairs.. That I was shocked that the fans were able to do anything.. And in those cases they blow that stuff all around the house..


And ours says to change it every 3 months.. So.. Idk..

Not only that ^ but the heater is FAR less efficient at transitioning the energy from the heated air from the burner that moves up past the heat exchanger in your heater, and into the air that's moving through your ductwork resulting in a great percentage of heat wasted up the chiminey flue. Efficient heat exchange depends on good airflow. Reduced airflow will cause the bulk of the heat to pass quickly up the chiminey flue and into the air outside instead. The hotter the air, the faster it climbs and so the more is wasted. Proper air flow will suck the bulk of heat out of that chiminey exhaust and into the ducts instead.

What is strange is that reduced airflow causes the temperature of the air that does manage to come out of your vents to be considerably hotter (since it moves slower across the heat exchanger), fooling you into thinking the heater is working great. Unfortunately what's really happening is that far less BTUs are actually making it into your living space since the volume of air (cubic feet per minute) will be dramatically reduced so the total BTUs that you wind up benefiting from is alarmingly very low. Heat wasted translates to an increase in consumption of fuel and therefore increase of your heating expenses.

Furthermore, if the heat is moving across the heat exchanger too slow, it results in the heater running too hot and excess heat is bad for basically everything. This will cause the fan motor to strain and overheat causing it to fail sooner, the heat exchanger will break down sooner, the flue and chiminey can overheat and possibly crack, it can increase the risk of a flue fire and it just make matters worse overall.
 

grenefroggie

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We buy cheap filters, but change them every two weeks. While we buy twice the filters, and service it twice a year, we have amazing heat in the house in the winter, and great AC in the summer.

Our servers in the garage generate more heat and consumer more power than our central air unit.


EDIT: We did the cheap two filters a month based on what our HVAC lady told us. She said the super pollen blocking filters like we used to use actually restricted air flow as much as pollen. So we do cheap ones.
 
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