A computer can be an air purifier, but a weak

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material and soft
May 11, 2022, 12:00 p.m.

Does the combination of an air purifier and a PC make sense? Here’s a quick analysis based on a post from one of the Reddit users.


Photo above: Unsplash / Brian Jones

IN SHORT:

  • A Reddit user wants to combine an air purifier and a computer into one device.

Reddit is a mine of ideas, sometimes bizarre. One of the users confessed that he wanted to buy a computer, which can replace a dedicated air purifier. This can allow a small energy saving. After all, why an additional device, when the PC can filter out all unwanted particles in the room during operation.

PC as air purifier

The air purifier, to put it simply, is a large fan with filters installed. Theoretically, this combination makes sense, because PC is also about airflow. Whether just install a HEPA filter in front of the entrancesas postulated by the author of the Reddit post? Let’s analyze.

  • The author emphasizes the possibility of easy purchase of replaceable HEPA filters, thus meeting the standard known for years. I don’t know if mentioning the vacuum cleaner is a good idea. Their filters are usually small and offer a lot of resistance. Powerful vacuum motor, fans in PC – not necessarily.
  • The HEPA filter always provides more air resistance than ordinary dust nets. To maintain the desired flow, it would be advisable to use more powerful fans. In this way possible energy savings may disappearwhich the author sees in the integration of the purifier with the computer.
  • An air purifier is not just a HEPA filter. In general, it incorporates a cleanliness sensor which, when the task is carried out, that is to say the cleaning of the room, allows the speed to be reduced to a minimum or even to be switched off. The PC as a purifier will not have this energy saving function because there the airflow has more tasks.

The author should also remember that purifiers usually have more filters. The model I own also has pre-filters and carbonwhich should also be installed in the computer if it were to succeed in the additional task of improving air quality.

The best option would be to buy ready solution in the form of a special case. Silverstone offers a model with a HEPA filter. Although here it was rather used to better protect the inside of the computer against dust (suggesting, for example, the absence of a specific filter classification), it does not necessarily have to be sufficiently effective as an air purifier.

EPA/HEPA rating

HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters that stop microscopic pollutant particles in the air differ in their efficiency. It is defined by European standards EN1822: 2009:

Filtration class

Total efficiency

Application

EPA E10

85%

Industry

EPA E11

95%

vacuum cleaners

EPA E12

99.5%

Air conditioners, purifiers

HEPA H13

99.95%

Air purifiers

HEPA H14

99.995%

Hospitals, medicine

It is believed that the filter used in the air purifier should be at least class H13. As can be seen, inserting a filter into the housing, for example from a vacuum cleaner, does not necessarily give the desired effect. In addition to those mentioned above, there are also very restrictive ULPA U15 – U17 classes, which are used in the pyrotechnic and nuclear industries.

The best PC cases can be found here

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