Convert HF dust collector to air cleaner?

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Forum topic by amt posted 07-26-2014 07:22 PM 1955 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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49 posts in 1714 days

07-26-2014 07:22 PM

Topic tags/keywords: filtration

I am not quite satisfied with my HF 2 HP dust collector, and will be going with something better for dust collection. That’s leaves the HF unit to be used for other things… like a DIY air cleaner. I work in a 22×22 garage, and I was thinking of mounting the blower unit on the ceiling, with the output blowing down. I would also split the inlet into 2×4” ducts, and each duct would be routed left/right to the sides of the garage, each connected to a homemade filter box. This I hope would allow for much better coverage & circulation than a standalone filtration “box” you typically see for sale. Anyone tried something like this?

-- -Andrew

8 replies so far

View English's profile


655 posts in 1472 days

#1 posted 07-26-2014 07:33 PM

Sounds Like a great use for the HF. You may need to defuse the discharge air to keep from blowing other dust around. It will have quite a velocity.

-- John, Suffolk Virgina

View Loren's profile


10380 posts in 3643 days

#2 posted 07-26-2014 07:39 PM

Well no, but if I’m making a lot of dust in the shop I’ll
turn on my 3hp dual bag collector, which is outside
with my sanding machines, stick the hose in the shop,
close the roll-up most of the way and walk away. It
sucks all the dust air out of the shop in a few minutes.

I’ve sprayed compressed air on everything to get dust
airborne and done the same trick too.

I have a JDS air filter I use sometimes but getting the
dust at the source is way more effective. If you
don’t have an overhead dust collection port on
your table saw (one more reason to use a guard),
the thing will spit a lot of dust into the air that
doesn’t need to be.

View MrRon's profile


4764 posts in 3239 days

#3 posted 07-27-2014 04:45 PM

A dust collector isn’t the best fan for use as an air cleaner. Air cleaners are high volume/low velocity devices. Dust collectors are the opposite; high velocity/low volume. The fan in an air circulator or air conditioner has many small wide, vanes. The fan in a vacumn cleaner are few and very narrow. Compare the two. You wouldn’t use a vacumn cleaner as an air cleaner.

View amt's profile


49 posts in 1714 days

#4 posted 07-27-2014 05:49 PM

You are right they are lower volume than a regular HVAC fan, provided the static pressure is not too high. If the static pressure gets too high, the HVAC fan’s CFM drops like a rock. Check out this fan here:

1457 down to 715 CFM with a static pressure difference of only 0.6” WG, and then they don’t bother providing any more stats with higher pressure than that (probably because it looks terrible).

So I have to wonder what the static pressure might be for a lot of these air cleaners. Seems like that CFM rating could very wildly with just a minor change in static pressure (such as a midly dirty filter).

Even is the motor is not the best for this job, I’ll give it a shot just to satisfy my curiosity. If it does not work well, I’ll still have three filter boxes which I can use with an HVAC blower later on.

-- -Andrew

View Notw's profile


640 posts in 1749 days

#5 posted 10-23-2014 01:34 PM

amt, did you ever give this a try and if so how did it work out for you?

View amt's profile


49 posts in 1714 days

#6 posted 10-23-2014 02:14 PM

Notw, I have not tried it yet.

-- -Andrew

View timbertailor's profile


1594 posts in 1419 days

#7 posted 10-23-2014 05:56 PM

Whatever you do, make sure you use quality filters. like those offered by Wynn Environmental.

Like others have alluded to, the last thing you want is to blow the more dangerous fine particles back through the room, over and over.

I would turn it into a dedicated sanding station if you feel it is not adequate to run your entire shop.

-- Brad, Texas,

View WhyMe's profile


1012 posts in 1556 days

#8 posted 10-23-2014 06:16 PM

What about the HF dust collector didn’t quite satisfy you?

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