DIY Computer Fan Dust Filter

I've not considered using desktop dust fan filters because they're unheard of in where I live as far as I know. I didn't even know they existed. If they were commonplace, I would have seen them being peddled as freebies bundled up in computer package promos.

Anyway, this topic wouldn't even have come up had it not been from a noisy exhaust fan from the computer case. I've had plans on having it replaced because of the irritating sound, but I somehow just kept putting it off.

That is until an even bigger problem suddenly popped-up.

Power Supply Fan Stopped Turning

One day, as I was working on a project, I noticed when saving my work on the computer's hard drive. The created files were big at around 20 to 30 MB, but all would be saved in files sized at 3 KB, which of course were not usable at all. I also kept receiving the dreaded "NOT RESPONDING..." message. And this is from a simple text editing software.

I say "dreaded" because when I get that message and it takes very long to resolve, like 30 seconds or so, something's breaking down. That seems to be my experience.

As I was waiting for these messages to disappear, I noticed the fan of the computer's power supply unit has stopped turning. Not good, I thought. And I that had something to do with the deterioration of the computer performance.

I thought of backing up my work. But the computer wasn't even able to copy the file folders to my external drive. It showed the "PREPARING TO COPY..." message. And that was it. Nothing copied.

Now, I was sure to bring the computer to the shop for repair.

Computer Repair Technician Assessment

When I told the computer shop technician that the power supply fan stopped, he immediately suspected a busted power supply. When he turned the power supply fan blade with his finger, he noticed it wouldn't readily turn. To him, the power supply was working after all. The power supply fan just seemed stuck-up.

Dust, he said, is the primary culprit for the computer case fans' stopping or getting stuck. So he proceeded to clean out the dust from the computer fans (air-intake, power supply, exhaust, and CPU).

For the air-intake and exhaust fans, he put a lubricant inside the center of the fans. And he made sure that the lubricant went deep into the fan's ball bearings while the fans were turning. It seems that that made the exhaust fan a bit quieter.

Signs of Overheating

He said the computer case's exhaust fan probably saved the power supply from getting busted after its own fan stopped. The exhaust fan could have prevented the power supply from overheating too much. And the computer's deteriorating performance was probably indicative of this overheating.

Accumulation of Dust in Air Vent Holes

How does dust get into the the computer case anyway?

The air-intake fan is installed inside the side cover panel of the computer. It blows air inside the computer case towards the electronic components. Essentially, it sucks air and dust from outside through those air vents as shown in the photo above. Over time, I see dust collect at the inside edges of the air vents.

(See Part 2 for the continuation of this article)

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