Question re: venting DC outside

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Forum topic by ADHDan posted 01-15-2015 08:07 PM 1063 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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800 posts in 2348 days

01-15-2015 08:07 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question dust dust collector dust collection

I’ve got a Harbor Freight dust collector with a 50-gallon simple separator (just the basic Rockler kit). I’ve been thinking of venting it under my deck (outside the shop) rather than into the bag/filter, boring a hole in my cinder block wall and running out a PVC pipe with some sort of hood. Assuming I keep a window open to avoid problems with pressurization or combustible backflow (my shop is adjacent to our laundry room), is there anything I need to be seriously concerned about with this plan?

Also, can I just let the fine particles disperse outside? There really isn’t anything under the deck (I se it to store hardwood slabs), and my separator catches the overwhelming majority of material – so it would just be the finest particles venting into the wind.

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

8 replies so far

View bigblockyeti's profile


5317 posts in 1960 days

#1 posted 01-15-2015 08:09 PM

Shouldn’t hurt anything as long as your ok blowing air you’ve heated outside at several hundred CFM.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View OSU55's profile


2033 posts in 2229 days

#2 posted 01-15-2015 09:24 PM

As long as your shop has a big enough heater and you don’t mind the rather large increase in the utility bill, it’s a great idea. Let’s say 700 cfm heated 80°F (you are in Minn after all), the sensible heat required (not accounting for humidity, that cold air is pretty dry) is about 60,000 btu/hr when the DC is running. Not sure about your energy cost, but I think you could cover the cost of a Wynn filter in 3-4 months increased utility cost. If you have to buy a heater, the filter is an even quicker payback.

View Woodknack's profile


12468 posts in 2620 days

#3 posted 01-16-2015 06:06 AM

I know a couple guys who vent outside. I’ve been to one of their shops on a cold day (below freezing) and with the DC running. there was no drop in temperature according to the thermometer (he makes a point of it). He explains that it’s because the machines and materials hold their temperature and radiate heat. It’s counter-intuitive but the guys who do it have no complaints. One or both those guys have their DC wired so it goes on and off automatically with the machines. I will eventually be venting mine outdoors.

-- Rick M,

View exelectrician's profile


2339 posts in 2667 days

#4 posted 01-16-2015 07:42 AM

High priced filters make sure that you only breathe the ‘finest’ dust.

Why breathe dust, when you can pipe it outside…

Put your long term health before a little cold air in the shop.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View OSU55's profile


2033 posts in 2229 days

#5 posted 01-16-2015 12:58 PM

Unless you have a large DC (and the HF DC isn’t) plumbed correctly with appropriate hoods etc there is enough of the “finest” dust escaping the machine cut that a respirator is needed anyway. Venting outside doesn’t resolve that issue. I use the Wynn filter to preserve air flow – it doesn’t load up like a bag filter. I still wear a respirator and have a shop air cleaner.

How much the shop temp drops depends on several variables – heater size, shop air volume, shop and contents mass, and how long the DC runs. It does not change the heat flow calculation or the energy cost.

View upinflames's profile


217 posts in 2402 days

#6 posted 01-16-2015 01:09 PM

Pipe it outside, doesn’t matter if you have a high dollar wanna be “wood dust filter” or a truck filter, you still have dust in the air. That is why you need a air cleaner( a box fan with a filter works for some). It would be up to the individual if you wear a respirator while in the shop, IMHO, I don’t see the need. I have mine vented outside, I promise you will not pull a vacuum on the shop, no great loss in ” heated air ” or other ill effects.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3825 days

#7 posted 01-16-2015 01:21 PM

I would still suggest you make it flow outside into a container of some kind.I say this if you are a home shop or otherwise.DC dust chips are good for mulching the garden but believe me ,the ones I have seen where it all just blows into the garden make a terrible mess.In that case it would not really solve your problem without creating a new one. You have to keep your yard clean. At the end of the day it is very do-able and can be done neatly too.In fact I am thinking of maybe doing such a thing myself.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2688 posts in 3162 days

#8 posted 01-16-2015 10:44 PM

I just put my dust collector outside my shop. I have six inch duct to each tool. Exhausting air is not a big deal while heating or cooling the shop. The exhausted air is still run through the bag filter (outside) and I have a ceiling hung air filter with bag filters that runs 100% of the air in my shop in five minutes.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website>

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