Should I filter the fan air going into iMac?

Mork

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 9, 2009
422
14
I have a 2019 iMac and AFAIK, Apple does not have any kind of screen to filter out particulate matter.

I'm therefore wondering if it's a good idea to maybe take a piece of something like cheese cloth and attach it over the fan intake vents with some scotch tape.

Anyone worried about this issue?

Suggestions welcome of course! :)

Thanks,
 

MacDawg

macrumors Core
Mar 20, 2004
19,708
4,274
"Between the Hedges"
If it makes you feel better, then do it
However, putting anything over the air intake will inhibit the air flow (even if slightly) and could cause your fans to be less effective
 
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Mork

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 9, 2009
422
14
I just remember reading something about this a while back and wanted to see what people thought. If the intake air isn't filtered, conductive dust and other airborne particulates could accumulate on the motherboard and, over time, cause problems. I'm not saying it's a huge deal. In fact, I'm not asserting anything. Just interested to hear what others have to say.

Thanks.
 
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Moonjumper

macrumors 68000
Jun 20, 2009
1,994
1,545
Lincoln, UK
The dust is potentially an issue, I have certainly encountered it on desktop towers. But a sealed iMac means you cannot check, but you cannot do anything about it, so prevention would be ideal. However, any filtering will have a significant effect on cooling, which is much more likely to lead to problems.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
9,524
2,298
Delaware
This question has come up before, and in fact, there is a class action lawsuit about that.
https://www.macrumors.com/2018/11/28/apple-macbook-imac-dust-filter-lawsuit/
You would need to discover if that is relevant to you...

I do agree that you would more likely cause problems with a make-shift air "filter" by impeding air flow.
(Less air, so the MacBook Pro fan runs faster (gets hotter, more quickly), so tries to pull more air in, so more dust accumulates than without the airflow restriction. It's a vicious circle then.

You have a cooling vent on the back of the iMac. Check that once or twice a year. It can accumulate pet hair, other kinds of "fluff". A couple of brushes from the outside, or even a squirt or two from a can-o-air will clear out that entrance. No real need for full time filtration. If you know that your area is pretty dusty (and I have seen some of those), you would just check those air intakes more often.
 
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Mork

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 9, 2009
422
14
The dust is potentially an issue, I have certainly encountered it on desktop towers. But a sealed iMac means you cannot check, but you cannot do anything about it, so prevention would be ideal. However, any filtering will have a significant effect on cooling, which is much more likely to lead to problems.
Yes, that's a good point. Thanks,
[doublepost=1561216469][/doublepost]
This question has come up before, and in fact, there is a class action lawsuit about that.
https://www.macrumors.com/2018/11/28/apple-macbook-imac-dust-filter-lawsuit/
You would need to discover if that is relevant to you...

I do agree that you would more likely cause problems with a make-shift air "filter" by impeding air flow.
(Less air, so the MacBook Pro fan runs faster (gets hotter, more quickly), so tries to pull more air in, so more dust accumulates than without the airflow restriction. It's a vicious circle then.

You have a cooling vent on the back of the iMac. Check that once or twice a year. It can accumulate pet hair, other kinds of "fluff". A couple of brushes from the outside, or even a squirt or two from a can-o-air will clear out that entrance. No real need for full time filtration. If you know that your area is pretty dusty (and I have seen some of those), you would just check those air intakes more often.
Thanks. Yes, that was the article I read. I appreciate you finding and posting a link to it. :)

Based on your informative reply, I just set a twice-a-year reminder to check the fan intake as, yes, my cat likes to sleep on my desk when I'm working sometimes...

Appreciate the good info.

Thank you.
 

mrvo

macrumors member
Nov 16, 2018
75
16
Get a roll of DustEnd G1 or similar low resistance mesh material, cut to a long strip the width of the bottom air vents, get a few tiny magnets to attach the filter to the bottom of the iMac.

DustEnd G1 has adhesive, but the iMac is so thin, I doubt it’d adhere well.

Btw the rear is exhaust, the bottom is intake.
 

Mork

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 9, 2009
422
14
Get a roll of DustEnd G1 or similar low resistance mesh material, cut to a long strip the width of the bottom air vents, get a few tiny magnets to attach the filter to the bottom of the iMac.

DustEnd G1 has adhesive, but the iMac is so thin, I doubt it’d adhere well.

Btw the rear is exhaust, the bottom is intake.
Great idea. Thanks!
 

mrvo

macrumors member
Nov 16, 2018
75
16
Great idea. Thanks!
I honestly can see how simple it is for Apple to design like a similar slide in and out tray as part of the iMac industrial design, but oh well, thinness it is. It doesn’t hurt the down firing speakers anyway.
 

Luis Ortega

macrumors 6502a
May 10, 2007
956
42
I just remember reading something about this a while back and wanted to see what people thought. If the intake air isn't filtered, conductive dust and other airborne particulates could accumulate on the motherboard and, over time, cause problems. I'm not saying it's a huge deal. In fact, I'm not asserting anything. Just interested to hear what others have to say.

Thanks.
Actually, if you've ever opened a pc case after a year of use, you will find it encrusted with dust everywhere, so it is a huge deal, and it is good housekeeping practice to periodically remove the accumulated dust from inside any working computer.
I can only imagine how clogged up a sealed imac will get over time, but covering the air intakes with filters is not the solution since it reduces the overall cooling airflow.
Maybe get a room air filter and place it near the imac so that it can intake cleaner air.
 

mikehalloran

macrumors 68000
Oct 14, 2018
1,600
389
The Sillie Con Valley
I can only imagine how clogged up a sealed imac will get over time,
Not very. I’ve taken apart many over the years. You’d be surprised but this isn’t a problem.

OTOH, the cooling fins over the CPU in a Mac Pro get clogged and that causes major headaches in dusty climates.
but covering the air intakes with filters is not the solution since it reduces the overall cooling airflow.
Maybe get a room air filter and place it near the imac so that it can intake cleaner air.
That.
 

mrvo

macrumors member
Nov 16, 2018
75
16
I think those compact air purifiers like the the Philips gopure and Xiaomi car purifier don’t look too bad on the desk.
 

ZipZap

macrumors 603
Dec 14, 2007
5,425
856
Wow Just when you think you’ve heard it all.
Why?

Its a known issue that causes screen discoloration. I can see that dust crap through the glass on my 2014 iMac and it pisses me off.

While cheese cloth is not attractive, filtering those vents is a good idea if it could be done.