Keeping it Cool: Fan Grills for Your Computer
You have probably wondered why your computer cracks up a humming noise every time you switch it on. You dont have to worry. Your computer is not going to blow up. It is just the fan at work. The fan sits next to the PCs motherboard, near the central processing unit. You can see it when you turn the backside of your computer because it usually attaches to the outside case.
What is a computer fan grill?
Fan grills or fan guards are backplates that are placed behind fans on the PC to shield it from external objects like rocks, dust, pets, and even human fingers.
Why do computers need fans?
Some electrical components inside the computer like the processor need a cool environment in order to run optimally. Since the processor has a habit of heating up quickly, an artificial cooling system becomes necessary. Fans were introduced to give this cooling effect on the computer components.
Are there different types of fan grills?
All fan grills work nearly the same so the difference boils down to the kind of pattern used on the grill. There is a raging debate on how the different types of fan grills affect the airflow and the fan noise. The most commonly used styles are the mesh and wire grills.
- Wire grill - You are more likely to find this fan guard being used on most PCs, than any other. It is simply a series of circular aluminum coated wires that are held together by two V-shaped wires at the back. They have more space to allow smooth airflow in and out of the computer.
- Mesh grills - These grills have extremely small-sized holes that only allow air to pass through. The main aim is to keep the fan dustproof. This type of grill might need constant blowing since dust particles could get stuck inside the holes, interrupting the airflow.
Other cover plates for the fan come in different designs, most of which can be described according to the pattern used.
- Concentric fan grills
- Angled slats
- Swirl fan grills
- Loose swirl
- Turbine grills
- Stamped circles
What do I need to know before buying a fan grill?
You only need to do a few simple checks to know if the grill is a good fit for your PC.
- Check if it fits the size of the fan outlet. This is usually measured in millimeters (mm). 120 mm is highly common on most PCs.
- Check your environment. A dusty environment means that the mesh fan grill will serve you better. Poorly ventilated areas will work with a wire grill.
- Check the pattern. The grills pattern should conform to the fan blades air intake and exhaust. When they impede the flow of air, it leads to a loud humming sound, which might eventually damage the fan.