How to keep dust off inside the PC
I have a 4-month old custom built PC. My case is a Cooler Master Centurion 5. I noticed that a lot of dust accumulates inside the PC. Since then I have twice disassembled the PC components to clean them especially the fans of the case, the processor, and the video card. I use a damp cloth and cotton buds for the hard to reach areas. My question is: What is the best way to keep dust off from the PC? My other specs are: Q6600, 8800 GT, 2Gb DDR2 800, MSI P35, 320Gb SATA, 20X DVD-RW, 550W PSU.
Heh... My dad systems off the floor. Still get dusty.
I'd say in the environment of a bedroom or house room, it might be best to just go water cooling, and use low rpm fans with dust filters, but have the radiator out of the case.
But... air cooling.. whelp that just one of those cons you have to deal with. . o O (at least air cooling is cheap)
you can get wiremesh filters for your fans which help tremendously. search for mesh filter fans. i have them on all of my intake fans, dust still gets in there but i have to clean far less frequently.
here's an example:
Aluminum/Stainless filters offer high levels of air passage while efficiently filtering contaminants and shielding EMI/RFI. Their tightly woven stainless corrugated mesh screens offer the highest performance. Designed to fit all 120mm fans, filters may be mounted directly onto the fan or to any other housing
As noted above, there are some things you can do to help cut dust down from getting into the pc. IE filters.
However, this is only combating the symptom and not dealing with the bigger issue and that is eliminating the dust source.
The problem is we all emit dust, carpet as noted above does not help the matter, pets, smoking all add to the problem.
If you don't have any pets, don't smoke, removed the carpeting those are all big steps to cutting the problem out.
The next step above all these that may help much more relates to the HVAC system in the house. If the computer room is situated in a bedroom that is closed off from the rest of the house and the door is closed alot consider putting in a return grill with a filter. Normally computer rooms in a home are small and most likely a 12x12 return grill is adequate.
These filter sizes are generally hard to find unless you shop for them over the net and buy them a dozen at a time.
The reason why this is important is if the room you are in is closed up most of the time there is a natural draw from the room even though the door is closed. Air is being pushed into the room.
If your HVAC system return is undersized... which by most standards this is the case 99% of the time; even if the house is new, this is very much often the case.
When the HVAC system first comes on if the door of the room is closed the room goes under a negative pressure, which more or less means air is sucked in anywhere that there are cracks and crevices, this is either at the base of the door, windows etc.
Because there is no filtered return in the room dust will accumulate in the room because it has no way to get out, by adding a return to the room, you equalize the pressure and thus don't suck in more dust and what dust you do have is sucked into the filter of the HVAC system.
Additionally once this return is installed you could run the HVAC system with fan on to keep the air circulated and keep dust accumulation to a minimum.
This won't cut dust out entirely but it will greatly reduce the dust bunnies to an absolute minimum.
Additionally duct work leaks can cause the same things or worse to occur, and depending on the age of your system this could drive the implementation cost up quite a bit if you need more than just a new return... as it makes little sense to add one thing when the entire duct system is shot.
I have major dust problems in my office as well. My old Opty system used to collect some major dust bunnies (with fangs and rabies). My new Intel system is housed in an Antec 900, which I already knew would collect serious dust being so open and vented. So, with my new PC purchase, I ordered a case of air duster. I don't know how I ever lived w/o it. Every 2 weeks or so, I'll take the case outside, open the side, and let the dust fly. It generally takes 2 cans per cleaning, but I figure over time, I'll save more money than replacing fans like I used to.
I'm a smoker as well, and miraculously the air duster is able to keep the leading edges of the case fans very clean. As long as I don't allow everything to really build up and get stuck on, the air duster is perfect.
My Parents' computer had the same problem. If i'd saved all the dogs hairs that accumulated in the lower fan filter, i'd be able to construct a second one.
I solved it for a great part by letting the front fan (which is on "floor level") act as an exhaust fan, and the rear fan (which sits higher up), act as an inlet fan.
It did have a small impact (approx 2°) on overall temperatures though. But the fact that the pc stays clean and almost dust free was more important to me