Fan filter facts

This article will discuss seldom known facts about fan filters used in computers and how you can use this knowledge to maintain consistently high cooling performance for your PC.
Nylon is a material that was commonly used during the Second World War where it was used to make tires, tents, ropes, parachutes…etc. Since 2007 SilverStone has been using nylon as the material of choice for its filters, cases such as the Sugo SG03 had a filter constructed with plastic frame and nylon net. Compare to the traditional cotton and plastic fan filters which are commonly used on low-end computer chassis’s, nylon filter offers less air resistance which is more suitable for fans that offer direct airflow.

Although nylon fan filters are more expensive and complicated to manufacture, we at SilverStone, insist on producing fan filters with nylon to provide the best balance of cooling and dust reduction performance. This choice reflects highly of our philosophy in creating the best possible user experience for our customers.

A:Cotton filterB: Plastic filterC: Nylon filter

Although they both appear to allow air to pass, a closer inspection using an enlarged photo clearly reveals that the proportion of open holes on the plastic filter are far smaller compared to the nylon filter.

Filter type and airflow rate

  Remaining airflow
Cotton Filter 20%
Plastic Filter 41%
Nylon Filter 65%
The results in the above table were obtained by testing a SilverStone FN121 fan with different type of filters to determine their remaining airflow rate.

From the above table you can clearly see that both cotton and plastic fan filters offer more airflow resistance. If you are using either of these types of filters, we recommend you to purchase SilverStone’s Air Penetrator fans, which are designed to maintain good air pressure even when used with highly resistant air filters.

To ensure optimal cooling performance, fan filters need to be cleaned regularly. So to make this process easier, we have constantly improved fan filter systems in our chassis over the years.
Method of Cleaning:
  • Cleaning with a brush
    Fan filter can be cleaned using a soft brush. Please DO NOT use a steel brush as it will cause damage to the filter. We recommend you to wear a respirator when cleaning the fan filter to prevent inhaling unnecessary dust.

  • Cleaning using a vacuum cleaner
    If it is difficult to remove the fan filter, cleaning with a vacuum cleaner is the best method. To prevent the vacuum cleaner from damaging the fan blades of the fan, please secure them before cleaning.

  • Cleaning with water
    Washing the fan filter is the best way to clean the fan filter. After washing the fan filter with water, dry the filter at a well ventilated area out of direct sunlight.

    DO NOT use a blow dryer, oven or microwave oven...etc to dry the fan filter. This will damage the fan filter.
    If you feel the drying process is too time-consuming, we recommend you to keep a spare set of fan filter as backups. DO NOT reinstall the fan filter before it is fully dry, it may cause shortage or damage to other computer components.

Important notice:
  • Purchasing the fan filter
    To purchase a retail fan filter as an upgrade or replacement in the event of loss, damage or simply as a backup, you can search on our website for the nearest distributor:

  • Fan filter will expand when wet
    The fan filter net is made of nylon which will expand in high humidity environment or after coming into contact with water. This is a normal phenomenon that will make the filter net look uneven or wrinkled. Once you allow the nylon filter to dry completely, it will contract and resume its flat, even appearance.