So a few weeks ago, I noticed quite a bit of dust buildup on the outside of my case side panel, right on the mesh around where the fan is. I opened up the case and found more dust on the inside than I would have liked to see. Then again, my system was running 24/7 for about 5 months; however I expected the fan filters to keep the dust out. Not the case here. After doing some research into the cause of the dust leaking in, it comes down to the negative pressure setup of the fans in the case causing dust to come in around the fan filters, wherever there is open, unfiltered mesh. I searched around for a solution, which came down to foam filter media which I originally found on ModDIY, however after looking into that site, I found out they are in Hong Kong and shipping would take 2 weeks by Registered Air Mail. So I searched some more, and came across a post on Overclock.net where a guy was asking where to find some thin foam filters, and turns out Lowe’s carries some.
Did some searching by walking down to the A/C filters aisle, and took a gander at some of the adjustable electrostatic filters made by Filtrete, but they were too thick, and I didnt exactly like the word “electrostatic” when thinking about where this filter was going to be.
So I downloaded the Lowe’s iPhone app and searched “foam filter” and it took me over to the window air conditioner section.
I wound up finding this 4.76mm filter media, for $1.58
I also picked up 2 cans of “dust remover” aka canned air, to spray out all the dust that was built up inside the case, and clean out my Corsair H80i radiator, which was already filled with dust.
To prevent more dust buildup on my radiator fins, I bought a Rosewill 120mm fan filter off Newegg, which should arrive sometime this week.
And so here is how I wound up modding the case side panel, mostly in pictures.
I first laid out the entire piece of filter media over the side panel (interior side up), then marked where the mesh was, then cut it down to size and marked where the fan mount holes are.
I then applied 1/2 inch strips of Scotch 3M Extreme Mounting Tape (rated for 20lbs) around the outline of the mesh.
Then I installed the fan, along with the NZXT fan filter that came with the case, and removed the backing on the adhesive to hold the foam down to prevent dust leakage.
And viola! Almost looks factory installed, and no change to the outside of the panel, except you cant see the fan. However, the only thing I care about is good airflow, minimal dust, and being able to see through the window.