Considering Air Filtration system for the shop, but riddle me this...

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Forum topic by sixstring posted 06-21-2012 06:38 PM 3291 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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296 posts in 2485 days

06-21-2012 06:38 PM

Topic tags/keywords: air filtration air filter

So I’ve been looking at Delta, Jet and ShopFox air filtration systems as well as plans to build my own. They all filter the air and blow it back into the shop.

I’m no expert here but I got to wondering… why not vent the air outside? I’ve got a wide area next to the shop and no neighbors, just a big field. Do I even need a filter system if I’m just blowing it out?

Someone please talk me through this. I’m thinking 3 large fans on the exterior walls should be plenty to suck all the airborne particles outside.

Or should I just pony up for a true system like the Jet? Theres one for sale on CL for $175, never used but with no timer. Hmm…

-- JC Garcia, Concord, CA : "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission..."

9 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3889 days

#1 posted 06-21-2012 06:42 PM

Your thinking is correct. Better to vent outside than try to
filter the dust and recirculate inside. In terms of chip collection
filters the same holds true. This is why in industrial shops the
dust collectors are outside.

View jmos's profile


905 posts in 2611 days

#2 posted 06-21-2012 07:00 PM

It will work better, only issue I see is if you have conditioned air (heated or cooled) in the shop. Venting the shop air would greatly increase heating/cooling bills if your ejecting conditioned air outside.

For DC, I would use bags to catch the big stuff to avoid a huge mess, but let the small stuff fly.

-- John

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3213 days

#3 posted 06-21-2012 07:05 PM

It’s a matter of economics as long as the EPA is not stepping on your neck the way they do maunfacturing firms.
At the present time they don’t go after individuals because there is not enough money to be made.
Can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip; So they go for the folks with money.
But, the way the regulations are written there is no reason they couldn’t go after individulals.

Excuse the rant; now back to the question.

You can, but not legally, blow your dust outside.
Every cubic foot of air you blow out of the shop will be replaced with hot or cold, depending on the season, outside air that enters the shop.
If you cool or heat your shop, this becomes very expensive.

I don’t vent outside because my shop is in the basement and the air is conditioned by the HVAC unit.
I also don’t want all that humidity being sucked into the house; a problem here in Tennessee.

On the other hand, I finish in the garage so I can open the doors and blow the fumes outside.

View DS's profile


3048 posts in 2662 days

#4 posted 06-21-2012 07:07 PM

Venting it outside will make a real mess of things out there.
I knew a shop with a small leak in thier dust collector tubes. The DC was outside so they procrastinated fixing it. It didn’t take long to coat everything in a two block radius with saw dust. If you parked near there, your car would look like it was in a snow storm.

Granted, this is a much more drastic scenario than you are considering, but I think it would build up in your yard. (or your neighbor’s pool)

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View dbhost's profile


5767 posts in 3474 days

#5 posted 06-21-2012 07:12 PM

Are you looking for an air filter or a dust collector? You probably wouldn’t want to filter air if you were just throwing the air outside. Just open the doors and windows and set up a big fan…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3889 days

#6 posted 06-21-2012 07:17 PM

This article about these issues is pretty good and the writer
has a good sense of humor:

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5244 posts in 2735 days

#7 posted 06-21-2012 07:17 PM

I think that’s the way to do it, personally. I did notice you live in CA, and have no idea what the state may say. I live in what many consider rural Ohio (if there is such a thing) and would not hesitate to vent either the shop air or the DC air outside, but for the heating bill in the winter.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

8623 posts in 2570 days

#8 posted 06-21-2012 07:30 PM

just be careful if you are in a basement shop and have a furnace or water heater that exausts via. natural convection….. as pulling a vacuum on you shop by venting your fans outside, can cause the draft to be disrupted and give you combustion gasses in the basement.

-- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View sixstring's profile


296 posts in 2485 days

#9 posted 06-21-2012 07:51 PM

Awesome, thanks for the helpful info. Man this place is great.

Ok, I do live in CA so humidity and shop temp is not a huge factor. It’s my 2 car garage and although I have no immediate neighbors, the side yard is close enough to my pool and my front driveway that I suppose it could become a nuisance. I’d also hate to have some bleeding heart hippies protesting my dust storm.

So air filtration is needed afterall, but I may offset it some with a solar powered roof vent (and attic vents) as a friend of mine suggested. This will help while also keeping the shop a bit cooler.

Now it’s a toss up between buying new/old and building one. That Jet I saw on CL is looking more tempting at $175. Pretty sure I can rig up my own timer with no problem.

On the DC topic, I’m picking up an HF unit sooner than later. My Ridgid shopvac has been seriously overworked and is better suited for floor cleanup and general use.

-- JC Garcia, Concord, CA : "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission..."

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