Talk to any projector user and he will probably tell you one of the most irritating feature is the constant flashing of “High Temperature” or “Please clean Filter” warning message during the midst of a presentation. This is often caused by clogged air filter, which restricts airflow in cooling the projection engine properly.
If an air filter is such a nuisance, why does the manufactures still incorporate an air filter design in a projector?
As mentioned above, the projection engine in the projector, notably the lamp produces very high temperatures during operation. There are at least 3 to 4 cooling fans within the projector to help direct airflow in cooling these high temperatures. And because the cooling air is drawn from the surrounding of the projector, regardless of it being operated in outdoor, indoor, air-conditioned or not, there is always a presence of dust particles. Hence the air filters to help minimize the amount of dust flowing into the projector.
Dust can be very destructive to the projection engine, especially when the components are operated in high temperature. A dust particle may settle onto the lamp’s surface and induce unnecessary heat concentration, which will ultimately lead to premature failure of the lamp.
In the past few years, we begin to see manufacturers rolling out new solutions to combat this dust problem, namely:
– Bigger/ Larger surface Electrostatic Charged filters (to enhance capturing of dust particles)
– Sealed Projector Engine housing (sealing crucial components like the chips and lamp)
– ‘Filter-Free” Projector (some selected DLP Projector models)
– Automatic Rolling Filter
– Active Maintenance Filter
Moving on from the days with a small piece of sponge like material as a filter, manufacturers have developed new and longer lasting ideas to prevent dust penetration in a projector.
One exception is the claim by some DLP projectors, which do not use an Air Filter at all. Claims of the critical components being sealed up to prevent dust have enabled them to do without a filter. But does that means that the user will no longer need to do any maintenance on that projector?
Like it or not, dust is all around us and projectors, with or without an air filter, will have fans cooling the optical engine. As long as there is air flowing through the projector, it is necessary for you to periodically check and maintain the projector.
It’s not about having the filter or not, it’s about being responsible in conducting regular checks and maintenance to help prolong the life span of your projectors.