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IMI
02-12-2008, 05:22 PM
I'm just wondering what people around here do as far as maintaining and cleaning your computers at home?
I have a dust problem here, even though my computers are in my home office, which has a tile floor and no carpet. But it still gets in from the rest of the house.
I've been opening up my two main machines every few weeks and blasting the dust out, but of course that gets to be a pain, considering all the connections and everything. Obviously, too much dust buildup can restrict airflow eventually. My fans have grills over them, but still enough dust gets in to bother me.
I've looked at fan filters online and see alot of people complaining about them restricting airflow and raising temperatures inside, obviously not a good thing for those of us with multiple HDD's and powerful videos cards, RAM, and CPU's which are constantly being pushed to their limits.
Is there a cooling solution for a dusty area that doesn't involve having to open it up every few weeks to clean it? Non-restrictive filters which are external and easy to clean?
I've never tried it, but I wonder how bad it might be to make it where all fans are blowing out, with none sucking air in?
I don't have a huge dust problem, as long as I clean it regularly, but I'd rather only have to worry about doing a complete internal cleaning once or twice a year, not once every month.
Any suggestions? :)

Hopper
02-12-2008, 05:40 PM
Liquid cooling is the most effective cooling system, but it's also the most expensive and over-engineered.

Something that quite a few people don't realize is that some of those fan filters built for case fans are both expensive and more restrictive than a standard air filter you would use for your home. Just because it says "specially built for your computer fans" doesn't mean squat. You can build an effective filter for your case fans for less than a couple of bucks.

We created small 3 sided frames out of balsa wood and attached them to the server cases over the fans. Then slid a standard home air filter into them. Our temperatures were an everage of 29 degrees cooler and in a month, the systems had less than 1/2 the dust they had before. The rest of our data centers started doing the same. Over a one year period, the total cash outflow for building these filters for three data centers (over 120 systems each) was about $400.

And on the subject of dust... If you live in an area of high humidity like I do, blowing the dust out is great, but make sure you wipe down components (including the cpu). It sounds silly, but humidity and dust create a real nifty paste that sticks to components and doesn't come off with a regular compressed air can.

IMI
02-12-2008, 05:53 PM
Oh cool, thanks for the idea. I might be able to whip up something myself.
Humidity? Yeah, Florida is big on humidity too. ;) But I installed a window A/C unit in here for that reason, to keep it drier and cooler than the regular central A/C does. No humidity problem in this room at least.

Hopper
02-12-2008, 06:02 PM
I put a bag of silicate in all my PC's. just tape it to the inside cover. Sucks all the humidity out. Does a pretty good job. I put one of my small digital hygrometers in a case for a day to see the difference. Not a huge amount, but it dropped it by 15 or so on average.

ted
02-12-2008, 06:05 PM
At the studio we have a large enclosed AC room but still get dust. :D

Here at home I have a huge dust problem.
One suggestion is that I use a shop vac to SUCK the dust off internally rather then blowing it back around the room. (Gotta watch the sucking power though). :hey:
I don't do it every couple weeks, but when I do there is a LOT of dust.
I clean the filter grills more often than internal cleaning and that helps, but other than a room filter, the home is tougher.

zapper1998
02-12-2008, 06:08 PM
still looking for a good registry cleaner for WINDOWS XP 64 bit Profressional..

IMI
02-12-2008, 06:10 PM
Thanks, Ted. You think a good room filter would make a substantial difference? I hadn't considered that, but my mom has a couple at her house and they seem kind of weak - makes me wonder how effective they really are.

Hopper
02-12-2008, 06:26 PM
They are good for very small rooms, but unfortunately they can't push enough air in your average room. I thought about getting one of these a couple of years ago (I have wicked pet allergies, but will never get rid of my puppies) and checked them with Consumers Reports, and several other review forums. They all said the same thing... great for small areas (like a coms closet or medium bathroom, but that's about it.

Now if you placed on in every corner of the room! :hey:

AbnRanger
02-12-2008, 06:32 PM
Thanks, Ted. You think a good room filter would make a substantial difference? I hadn't considered that, but my mom has a couple at her house and they seem kind of weak - makes me wonder how effective they really are.I was about to suggest that. It does make a difference if it's left on all of the time, and near your desktop. The larger the room, naturally the larger the air cleaner you need. Not only for your system, but your lungs too (when you consider the stuff it traps would otherwise go into you bagpipes)! :D
If you can find one, try to get the kind that has the UV light that kills bacteria...considering how much time you spend each day behind the monitor, would help you avoid some of the nasties flying around that make you sick a few times each year.

Hopper
02-12-2008, 06:36 PM
I was about to suggest that. It does make a difference if it's left on all of the time, and near your desktop. The larger the room, naturally the larger the air cleaner you need. Not only for your system, but your lungs too (when you consider the stuff it traps would otherwise go into you bagpipes)! :D
I would imagine if you placed it next to your system, and blew the filtered air into the intake fans it would probably make a significant difference (but probably not for your allergies!) :D

IMI
02-12-2008, 06:43 PM
Now if you placed on in every corner of the room!


.... I'd look like some kind of nutcase dustophobe. ;)
I think I'll just go with the home-made fan filter idea. It would be pretty inexpensive to experiment with different types of filter.



would help you avoid some of the nasties flying around that make you sick a few times each year.


Nothing drives me crazier, quicker than when that one moth or gnat in the whole place manages to choose my main monitor over *all* other light sources available. ;)

AbnRanger
02-12-2008, 06:55 PM
.... I'd look like some kind of nutcase dustophobe. ;)
I think I'll just go with the home-made fan filter idea. It would be pretty inexpensive to experiment with different types of filter.



Nothing drives me crazier, quicker than when that one moth or gnat in the whole place manages to choose my main monitor over *all* other light sources available. ;)I'm talking much smaller in size, like cold and flu germs floating about (at least that's what the UltraViolet light on some filters are supposed to zap).

IMI
02-12-2008, 06:59 PM
Oh, right. I knew that. :D

serge
02-13-2008, 05:23 AM
...I have a dust problem here, even though my computers are in my home office, which has a tile floor and no carpet...
Domestic dust is mainly dead skin cells from humans (or pets), and not so much from carpets/cloths. It might help if you cover your whole body in skin cream before entering your computer room.

Steamthrower
02-13-2008, 06:59 AM
Also use disinfectant to cleanse your hands before touching the mouse or keyboards, as this can both "oil up" your peripherals and induce the spread of infectious diseases/viruses.

IMI
02-13-2008, 04:14 PM
I think it mostly gets in through the central air conditioning vents from the rest of the house, and plus I don't usually shut the door all the way. Cat hair, too...

CreatvGnius
02-13-2008, 05:41 PM
I think it mostly gets in through the central air conditioning vents from the rest of the house, and plus I don't usually shut the door all the way. Cat hair, too...

TIP: I cut a piece of foam marketed as a window air conditioner filter to size, then double it up and place it behind the front bezel of my workstation PCs, so as to provide a washable filtration device for incoming air.
-PeterG

CreatvGnius
02-13-2008, 05:47 PM
I've never tried it, but I wonder how bad it might be to make it where all fans are blowing out, with none sucking air in?

My first impression of that notion is that depending on the computer's case design, and some other factors -- implementing that idea is likely to yield the undesirable effect of causing those fans to attempt to work harder -- but to little avail, since there'd be too little air to suck thru each fan, potentially slowing them down -- all this, while drawing more current from the power supply, and adding to the ambient temperature inside the case!

Bad idea, IMHO. :devil:
-PeterG

Hopper
02-13-2008, 06:02 PM
TIP: I cut a piece of foam marketed as a window air conditioner filter to size, then double it up and place it behind the front bezel of my workstation PCs, so as to provide a washable filtration device for incoming air.
I think this would be just as effective and easier to do (quickly) than the frame/air filter trick. As long as you get the same airflow rating, you get the same results. Excellent idea.

Hopper
02-13-2008, 06:05 PM
Also use disinfectant to cleanse your hands before touching the mouse or keyboards, as this can both "oil up" your peripherals and induce the spread of infectious diseases/viruses.
But more importantly, don't go from using your computer to playing your guitars unless you clean first! (Unless it's your beater guitar of course). It's easier to medicate than it is to refinish! :D

CreatvGnius
02-13-2008, 07:46 PM
I think this would be just as effective and easier to do (quickly) than the frame/air filter trick. As long as you get the same airflow rating, you get the same results. Excellent idea.

:hijack: Hey, Hopper? What's a Nooberamus? :confused:

Don't tell me that's a contraction for Newbie and Ignoramus!! The latter is a term I used to hear a nun use on us grade school students way back in the day)
-PeterG

Hopper
02-13-2008, 07:55 PM
...Don't tell me that's a contraction for Newbie and Ignoramus!!...
On the nose. Until I can post a decent W.I.P. or finished render that's worth posting (and not a tutorial result), I consider myself to be both as it relates to this voodoo magic you guys call CG. I'm an excellent problem solver, but that just shows my lack of right brained abilities. :)

CreatvGnius
02-13-2008, 08:07 PM
On the nose. Until I can post a decent W.I.P. or finished render that's worth posting (and not a tutorial result), I consider myself to be both as it relates to this voodoo magic you guys call CG. I'm an excellent problem solver, but that just shows my lack of right brained abilities. :)

:D Well, now -- to publicly flaunt just how much of an ignoramus I can be, eh -- What's a W.I.P.? Here's my best attempt at a dunce hat: :hat:
-PeterG

Steamthrower
02-13-2008, 08:17 PM
That's the William Vaughan emoticon, there.

Hopper
02-13-2008, 08:20 PM
Multiple Guess Test:

a) W.I.P. = Wish I could Play

b) W.I.P. = Wish I could Produce something

c) W.I.P. = Wish I could Progress

d) None of the above. This test is a work in progress... :hey:

Hopper
02-13-2008, 08:21 PM
That's the William Vaughan emoticon, there.
And as far from dunce as you can get.

CreatvGnius
02-13-2008, 09:22 PM
Multiple Guess Test:

a) W.I.P. = Wish I could Play

b) W.I.P. = Wish I could Produce something

c) W.I.P. = Wish I could Progress

d) None of the above. This test is a work in progress... :hey:

e) Oh, thanks to item c) above --
I got it! Work in Progress. :hat:
-PeterG

TripD
02-14-2008, 01:57 PM
still looking for a good registry cleaner for WINDOWS XP 64 bit Profressional..

Give glarysoft a shot. :thumbsup:

Defiance
02-14-2008, 02:21 PM
I've never tried it, but I wonder how bad it might be to make it where all fans are blowing out, with none sucking air in?


Won't work for keeping the dust out. You'll create a negative pressure environment (very slightly lower pressure than the outside) inside the case, which will cause air from the outside to go into the case through any possible gap in order to equalize the pressure. This means that the air, and the dust, goes through the cracks in your DVD drive, any extra intake vents, panels and even the holes around each fan.

The best way is to filter the input air stream (air being sucked in by the fans) and create a positive pressure environment by having slightly more air input than output. This means that any air going in is filtered while no unfiltered air gets sucked into the gaps.

Hopper
02-14-2008, 06:40 PM
The best way is to filter the input air stream (air being sucked in by the fans) and create a positive pressure environment by having slightly more air input than output. This means that any air going in is filtered while no unfiltered air gets sucked into the gaps.
:agree:
We have air pressure sensors in our Sun V990's that monitor the inside/outside differences and change fan speeds accordingly. Seems to be doing the trick. $24 to save a $80k box is well worth it.

IMI
03-14-2008, 02:04 PM
As an update, in case anyone wants to try this, I found a quick, easy and cheap solution to my dust problem.
I bought some velcro and some black fine mesh nylon screen at Wal-Mart. I cut the one side of the velcro into strips to surround my fans which suck air in and stuck them around the fans. Then I cut the nylon screen into squares to cover the fans, and stuck the "business end" of the velcro around the edges of those screen pieces.
Then velcro the screen over the fan intake and I have very effective, instant dust filters which can be easily removed for cleaning. I'd say more than 80% of the dust particles don't make it past the screens, and I've not noticed any increase in internal temperatures at all.
I think the nylon might be slightly static charged and trap the dust particles, because honestly I can't believe how well it's worked. And you really can't easily tell the screen is there, since my case is black to begin with.

art
03-14-2008, 02:07 PM
hmm, interesting. My p182 case came with two build in filters that also catch quite a bit of dust, but your idea is definetely worth trying.