Category Archive: Dust Collectors

Air Pollution Control & Managing Industrial Dust

Disclaimer: The contents of this industrial dust blog are intended to be general safety guidelines. All businesses will still need to refer to OSHA, NFPA, and local ordinances required for their business.

Industrial Dust Guide

Dust builds up in your home may simply be a nuisance you take care of while spring cleaning. But in the workplace, dust can become a serious hazard if not properly handled. To get a better understanding of the negative effects of dust in the workplace we will provide a brief overview what industrial dust is, how industrial dust is created , potential dangers you should plan for, and the benefits of a properly engineered dust collection system.

Industrial Dust Guide

What is Industrial Dust & How is it Created?

Dust consists of small particles of dry matter that build-up on hard surfaces such as floors, tools, industrial equipment, ducts, etc. Industrial dust can generate more frequently than household dust. This is because it generates from the daily from the manufacturing or production process. For example, a small woodworking shop could generate dust from activities like sawing, grinding, or cutting. Industrial dust can even break out during processing. Another example, in an agricultural facility process dust can come from sugar, flour, grains, etc.

Common Types of Industrial Dust

  • Wood – Activities like sanding, high speed cutting, low speed cutting, paning etc. can create dust which is both explosive and fire prone.
  • Food Particulate– Certain food particulate can be explosive, abrasive and fire prone. This can encompass a wide variety of particulate such as flour, grains (corn, rice), soybeans, and more.
  • Cement & Concrete – This dust is abrasive but considered to be less explosive and prone to fire.
  • Paper Products – Dust created from paper products can be both explosive and fire prone.
  • Paint Powder – Paint pigments can be highly explosive
  • Pharmaceuticals – Pharmaceutical dust like dry powder and coating are both explosive and fire prone.
  • Plastic, Chemicals, Stone, Minerals , Metal etc.

Is Industrial Dust Dangerous?

The build-up of combustible dust is serious hazard in the workplace. Airborne dust presents a safety hazard to employees. Many types of industrial dust may contain carcinogenic properties that would require removal to keep employees safe, healthy, and to comply with government regulations.
Airborne dust may also be highly flammable, and safeguards must be implemented to prevent the risk of a dust explosion.

Conditions for a Dust Explosion

  • Oxygen
  • Enclosed space
  • Ignition source
  • Combustible dust at the right concentration level

When you are working in an industry that operates with combustible dust, explosions and fires are a constant threat. If you are taking the right steps to ensure a safe working environment you are more likely to avoid a fire or explosion that would cost you the safety of your employees, thousands of dollars in lost production, and regulatory fines. Combustible dust can present itself in a variety of applications. Below are just some of the types of industries that work with combustible dust.

Common Examples of Combustible Industrial Dust

  • Agriculture (grain, flour, sugar, etc.)
  • Wood
  • Metals (aluminum, zinc bronze, etc.)
  • Rubber
  • Chemicals (coal, Sulphur, etc.)
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Pesticides
  • Plastics

There are no short cuts to minimizing dust hazards and ensuring the safety of your employees. But understanding if you are working with combustible dust is the first step in prevention.

Regulation of Air Pollution Control

Many industrial industries in the U.S. must comply with strict air pollution control standards. These standards are set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), OSHA, or local governing entities like the AQMD in California.

OSHA regulates industries that are susceptible to combustible dust. When implementing OSHA’s set of standards, you are creating a safe working environment, avoiding property and economic loss from an explosion, avoiding regulatory fines. To learn more about OSHA’s safety standards for combustible dust, visit their guide here.

The NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) is another agency that publishes a list of guidelines to help minimize injury or death from combustible dust. The following codes are related to the most combustible types of dust (e.g., sugar, wood, fine aluminum):

  • 664, Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Explosions in Wood Processing and Woodworking Facilities
  • 484, Standard for Combustible Metals
  • 61, Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Dust Explosions in Agricultural and Food Processing Facilities

How a Properly Engineered Dust Collection System Supports Air Pollution Control

5 Benefits of a Dust Collection System

Dust collection systems are engineered and designed to filter airborne industrial dust particles and debris that can cause damage to plant equipment, create a hazardous work environment, and negatively impact plant production. The top 5 benefits of a dust collection system are:

  1. Meet Compliance Regulations and Standards – All agencies require industrial facilities to maintain and meet air quality standards to ensure a safe and clean environment for their plant, employees, and the surrounding community.
  2. Boost Productivity – An accumulation of dust particles and debris on industrial equipment can interfere with overall plant performance. A dust collection system can collect these dust particles before they can interfere and compromise the health and performance of your manufacturing equipment.
  3. Improve Product Quality – Dust can settle and accumulate on products during the manufacturing process. This has a negative impact on the quality and consistency of finished goods. A dust collector will reduce and effectively capture these dust particles, allowing for product quality to improve and maintain consistency.
  4. Enhance Health and Safety Standards – Inhalation of hazardous dust affects human health and a dust collection system is vital to removing these hazards and to keep employees safe.
  5. Preserve the Quality of Equipment – As dust particles and debris are created inside a manufacturing facility, the contaminated dust will settle onto other surfaces such as computer systems and manufacturing equipment. This dust buildup can be harmful and result in malfunctioning equipment. It can also create unnecessary, frequent, and costly maintenance to keep dust and debris from accumulating. With a dust collector system purifying and collecting dust particles, the chances of excessive dust build-up is minimal.

In addition to adding a dust collection system to your plant, you can also consider some of these dust removal options and explosion venting strategies.

Baghouse Dust Removal Options

  • Enclosed Box – A simple pipe system funneling dust into an enclosed box, placed underneath your hopper, is one dust removal option.
  • Drum or Bag – A removable drum or bag can be a simple and easy solution to collecting and disposing dust.
  • Rotary Valve – Rotary valves (also known as airlocks, rotary feeders, or airlock feeders) help transition material from a dust collector to a drum or bin.
  • Screw Conveyor for Baghouse Dust Collectors – Large baghouses with heavy dust loads typically use screw conveyors. The screw conveyer would transport dust away from the collector, then send it to a designated disposal area.

The best method of dust removal from your hopper is dependent on some of the following components:

Explosion Venting Strategies

Common Venting Strategies

•Preventative Maintenance Plan: In conjunction with a protection strategy, every facility should implement a well-designed and operated preventative maintenance plan. Perform regular checks on the health of your dust collection system to prevent more serious issues.

•Explosion Vent or Panels: Explosion vents or panels are designed to rupture at a set pressure (PStat). When a source of ignition meets a fuel source with sufficient oxygen present, an ignition will occur. As the ignition begins, the pressure inside of the vessel will increase rapidly. Depending on the material’s Kst value, the pressure rise may be slow or extremely rapid. As the ignition progresses, the internal pressure will meet the PStat rating of the explosion panel. The explosion panel will rupture, venting the ignition gasses. The explosion vent provides a relief avenue for the expanding gasses, but the pressure in the vessel will continue to rise until it reaches the Pred pressure. This is the maximum pressure of the ignition event when explosion vents are functioning, so this is usually the pressure rating the vessel is designed to withstand.

You can use explosion panels with a short length of ducting to allow for interior use without flameless venting. They do require replacement once a rupture occurs, but they are simple, cost-efficient, and easy to install. Explosion vents are typically useful on baghouses and cartridge dust collectors.

• Explosion Latch: Explosion latches work under the same principle as the explosion panels, but they are not single use. This is a more cost-effective option (versus explosion panels) when you have  a large baghouse or large quantity of vent area.

Additional Venting Strategies

• Flameless Venting: Flameless venting can consist of a flame arrestor element, vent panel, and flanged housing. This combines the techniques of explosion venting and flame arresting. You can also install a flame arrestor element over a standard explosion vent. When the vent ruptures, the burnt dust and flames enter the flame arrestor element. The element helps to contain the hazardous dust and flames and prevents it from exiting, where it could potentially ignite a secondary explosion or endanger employees. While flameless venting does stop flames from exiting the vessel, there will be extremely hot gasses exiting the flameless vent. When using flameless venting, make sure to pay close attention to the vents proximity to personnel areas. If possible, always aim flameless vents away from regularly occupied areas.

• No Return Valve: Protecting the dust collector from over-pressure is essential, but it is equally important to stop a deflagration propagation back to the operator space. To prevent this, a No Return Valve is needed in the inlet duct. This valve is a weighted damper that is held open by the air flow during normal operation, allowing air and dust to pass through to the dust collector. In the event that deflagration occurs in the dust collector, the pressure propagation through the duct work will close the No Return Valve. This prevents the deflagration from reaching any process equipment and also limits the risk of secondary explosions.

• Abort Gate: Abort gates are high speed dampers that contain a spring assisted blade and is typically held in place by an electromagnet. Their purpose is to minimize the risk of an explosion by diverting flame, spark, or debris from entering a facility through a return air system.

• Spark Detection & Extinguishing System: This method uses infrared sensors, typically located on the ductwork, to detect sparks or burning material in the ductwork upstream.

Secondary Event Protection

All the methods described previously are excellent options for managing primary explosions, but one of the most catastrophic outcomes of a combustible dust explosion is an un-controlled secondary explosion.

When a primary explosion happens, there may be a pressure wave that propagates through the plant. This will “kick up” the layer of ambient dust. If the explosion is not contained in the dust collection system using the methods previously outlined, this ambient dust in the air could come in contact with the primary explosion flame front. This results in an uncontrolled explosion in an occupied space.

To minimize the risk of secondary explosions, the first step should always be to expect perfect performance from your dust collection system. It is not acceptable to have a dust collection system that does not function properly. Another suggestion is to limit the amount of horizontal surfaces in your plant that cannot be regularly cleaned. Drop ceilings and in-accessible equipment are great examples of this.

There are many strategies that may fit your unique application or facility. We recommend to consult your local or state building codes and regulations before choosing your explosion venting strategy. Some areas will have specific regulations for fire safety and environmental safety, and you want to ensure you are meeting those guidelines. Here are some questions to consider before implementing an explosion venting strategy.

Questions to Consider

At U.S. Air Filtration, we have been eliminating the hazards of industrial dust for 35 years.
To learn more about how you can manage industrial dust at your facility contact us at 888-221-0312 or [email protected] to speak with an engineer

How Much Does a Dust Collector Cost?

Summary: Small dust collectors for applications up to 1,000 CFM airflow cost between $100 up to $5,000 USD.  Pre-fab dust collection systems such as a bin vent or cartridge type collector cost between $10,000 and $80,000 USD. Pre-fab units accommodate airflow volumes between 2,000 and 10,000 CFM. Custom baghouse dust collectors or multiple module bin vents and cartridge collectors range between $50,000 to $1 million USD and more.

Watch Video: How Much Does a Dust Collector Cost?

 How Much Does a Dust Collector Cost

Table of Contents

  • What is a dust collector?
  • Dust Collector Cost
  • What Goes into the Price of Your Dust Collector
  • Dust Collector Filter Media
  • Electrical Controls or Accessories
  • Summary
  • Dust Collection Resources

What is a Dust Collector?

Dry dust collection systems remove airborne dust that generate during manufacturing or industrial processing.  Examples include woodworking, bulk powder processing, or food production.  Dust collectors range from small portable units to extensive custom turnkey systems.



Dust Collector Cost

Small Dust Collector Cost

A small dust collector that is able to handle up to 750 or 1,000 cubic feet per minute (CFM) of airflow can cost between $100 up to $5,000.  These small retail units are ideal for ventilating two to three pieces of equipment (i.e. saw, sander, planer) for a small woodworking or metalworking shop.  Small units must be set up extremely close to the collection point. This reduces static pressure and fan size.  You can find these units at an online retailer or home improvement store.

Large Dust Collector Cost

Larger dust collection systems are needed to ventilate large scale processing equipment. These industrial dust collectors are found in some of the following commercial applications:

  • School woodshops
  • Metalworking facilities
  • Sandblasting
  • Chemical processing
  • Food processing
  • Cement production
  • Energy production
  • Mining
  • Foundries, and many others.

Large dust collectors are designed to handle a much larger dust loads, meet higher airflow, or specific temperature requirements.  Pre-fabricated dust collection systems like a bin vent or cartridge dust collector can handle airflow volumes between 2,000 and 10,000 cubic feet per minute (CFM).  Depending on the size of the unit, filter media, and the fan size, units can range between $10,000 – $80,000 USD.

Custom Dust Collector Cost

Custom turnkey, dust collection systems that require complete engineering can range between $50,000 – $1 million USD or more. These systems can include one more pulse jet baghouses, multiple modular bin vents, or several cartridge collectors.

What Goes into the Price of your Dust Collector

The price of your dust collection system is also determined by several variables outlined below.

Dust LoadUSAF CleanFlo Collector

Dust load is the amount or volume of dust in your work environment that must be cleared within a given time period.


Applications with higher dust loads require more filter media to remove airborne dust particulate.  This means you’ll need a dust collector with a larger footprint. This can drive up the overall cost of your dust collection system.  Applications that generate less than one or two 55 gallon drums of dust per day are usually good candidates for a small cartridge collector or bin vent.

Type of Dust

The properties of your dust particulate play an important role in the following:

  • Size of your system
  • Number of filters
  • Type of filter media
  • Filter treatments your application will need.
  • Air to Cloth Ratio
  • Fan Size
  • Temperature
  • Material Handling and Conveying

To understand the characteristics of your dust particulate, you can ask yourself the following questions.


What is being filtered?  Does your product contain moisture or oil?  Products with moisture content greater than 25% are not suited for a dry dust collection system. Products containing hydrocarbons, including oils, may require the application of a special treatment to get optimal filtration.


Does your airstream or dust contain chemicals that could damage filter media?  Are there also acids or alkaline in the airstream?  When certain compounds are combined during processing, a chemical reaction can occur. This may require additional media treatment or coating to protect the filter bags from accelerated wear.


How abrasive is the dust that’s being filtered?  Consider the hardness of the material along with the shape of the dust.  The velocity of your airflow can also make your dust more abrasive.  Highly abrasive dust may require your housing be fabricated in stainless steel, titanium or other costly materials that are able to withstand long term wear.

Particle Size

What is the size of the dust particulate are you collecting? Depending on your emissions requirements, your application may require a special membrane. This would apply if your particulate is very fine.

Is your dust combustible?

Combustible dust can be defined as any fine material that has the ability to catch fire and explode when mixed with the proper concentration of air.  Examples of combustible dust include:

  • Wood
  • Food products such as grain, sugar, flour, starch, metals
  • Rubber
  • Chemicals
  • Pesticides
  • Plastics, and more.

OSHA and NFPA have created guidelines to protect your plant and employees from the risks of a serious explosion.  Also, be sure to review your state and local regulations for proper identification and management of combustible dust.

Applications filtering combustible dust will also need an explosion venting strategy. Explosion vents or Brixton latches are two common strategies that help reduce this risk. You may also need explosion isolation valves in the dust collection line. This helps prevent a deflagration from travelling back to the equipment should an event occurs inside the dust collector.

Dust Collector Filter Media

The type of filter media you choose impacts your system startup and long term maintenance costs. Polyester filter media is an ideal for applications with temperatures below 250°.  Polyester is affordable, highly efficient and readily available.


Other common filter medias include Aramid (Nomex©), Fiberglass, PPS, P84 and Teflon.  You can add treatments to  filter media to enhance it’s efficiency and performance. Treatment for your filter is dependent on your dust characteristics.  In addition, treatments can drive up the cost of your filter bags but also extend it’s life, reduce changeout’s and drive down long term maintenance costs.

Cartridge Dust Collector

Air to Cloth Ratio

Air to cloth ratio, also known as air to media ratio, is a measurement of the amount of cubic feet per minute of air passing through one square foot of filter media.


You can calculate air to cloth ratio based on the size and type of dust particulate you are filtering. It’s an important element in the design and size of your dust collection system.


Generally, the lower your air to cloth ratio, the better your system is at removing dust from the work environment.  However, if your air to cloth ratio is too low it can place unnecessary strain on your dust collector.  Systems that operate at a higher air to cloth ratio have a smaller footprint, size, and price than dust collectors operating at a lower air to cloth ratio.

Fan Size

Your dust load, CFM requirements, and static pressure measurements will determine the size of the fan that will pull dust through the system and turn the air.  Your dust collector’s location is relative to the work environment being ventilated and also impacts the size of your fan.  Systems installed close to the work environment can reduce the length of ducting and static pressure. As a result, a smaller fan may be required. The cost of a fan can vary depending on each of these factors.


Applications operating above 250 degrees Fahrenheit may require more expensive filter media. These applications would need their filter to withstand long term exposure to high temperatures.

Material Handling & Conveying

Once your dust particulate has moved through your dust collection system and lands in the hopper, you’ll need to determine how to properly remove the dust. This ensures it doesn’t return into the airstream and plug up your system.  Drums are the most economical option. They perform well when handling waste material with light inlet dust loading.  Light inlet dust loading applies if you generate, at most, a one or two 55 gallon drum of dust per day.


Applications with higher dust loading requirements or those filtering non waste product, need an advanced system to convey material. This helps prevent the drum from overfilling, which can cause dust to back up or return into the hopper.  This can also result in a processing issue that will impact your dust collector’s performance.  In these situations you may need to upgrade from a drum to a larger dumpster, rotary or dump valve.

Rotary Valves

Rotary valves seal the bottom of your collector. They help prevent outside air from entering the system while allowing material to be continuously emptied from the hopper.  The cost to add a rotary valve to your dust collection system can vary between $3,000 and $5,000 USD.  

Pneumatic Conveying

Larger applications may also require a vacuum pneumatic conveying system. Their purpose is to vacuum material from the dust collector discharge to a common point.  For example, an application with five baghouses may include a common vacuum conveying system. It would help pull discharge material from all five baghouses to one common dust collector discharge area.

Paints, Coatings 

Applications with high moisture levels or chemical resistance may require an upgrade to epoxy paint. It can be applied to the interior and exterior of the dust collector. This helps to reduce long term wear of the system. Facilities located near an ocean, lake, or those that process caustic chemicals would use epoxy paint.

Unit Insulation

Insulation may also be required if you’re airstream temperature is high and must remain above the dew point in gas form. This eliminates the risk of moisture and condensation. Airflows with high moisture content can cause performance issues with your filter bags. This can include plugging of the system and inefficient filtration. Applications requiring insulation include ventilation of exhaust air coming off boilers, burners during metal forming, and similar processes.

Electric Controls or Accessories

Most baghouses, cartridge collectors, and bin vents come standard with an electrical control panel. This powers your pulse cleaning system and your fan separately.  Most experts recommend to integrate your control panel into a starter panel. This powers your pulse cleaning and fan at the same time.


Installation of starter panels can be done at any desired location in your plant regardless of the distance to the dust collection system. Starter panels protect your system from surges or motor damage.  While the addition of a starter panel can add to the initial cost of your system, the ease and added safety it offers make up for startup costs.

Dust Collection Design Considerations 3

Is an OEM Dust Collector like Torit Right For Me?

We recently took a survey asking customers their attitude and preference towards OEM vs. aftermarket dust collection products. Here’s what we learned:

  • 15% of buyers prefer OEM dust collector parts and equipment exclusively
  • 85% of buyers like the option to purchase OEM or aftermarket dust collector parts and equipment
  • 65% of buyers who purchase aftermarket said they get the same performance as an OEM at a more affordable price and/or don’t care about having brand name components.
  • Another 50% prefer aftermarket products because they are more affordable
  • Of the 15% of buyers who only purchase OEM,  the most popular reason for choosing OEM is because they believe they can be trusted to perform long term (33%).

If budget is not a factor for you and you are willing to pay more for OEM then this may be the right solution for you.  However if you are looking to get the same long term performance from a dust collection system as an OEM and don’t want to pay a higher price for a brand name, then a U.S. Air Filtration system may be a fit.

Summary of Dust Collector Cost

Selecting and pricing out a dust collection system involves consideration of each variable above.  Understanding each of these variables is critical to ensuring your dust collector performs efficiently for many years to come while also creating a clean and safe work environment. Each dust collection application is unique so it is possible that applications with very similar product characteristics or volume may require a system that is different in price and size.


To ensure a successful solution, consult with a dust collection engineering and manufacturing company with extensive design and manufacturing experience.  An experienced dust collection engineering firm can help you engineer a system customized to your unique application requirements.


If you have any questions unique to your application, give us a call at 888-221-0312. You can also email [email protected]. In addition, below are some related videos and resources that may help.

Dust Collection Resources

5 Ways a Dust Collection System Improves Plant Efficiency and Saves Money

Why you may need a new dust collection system for your application and how a new system can improve operations.

What is a Dust Collection System?

Dust collection systems are engineered and designed to filter airborne dust particles and debris that can cause damage to plant equipment, create a hazardous work environment, and negatively impact plant production.

Installation of a new dust collection system for your facility either by replacing an old unit or expanding your existing operation, can mean an improvement in plant maintenance, waste collection, an increase in product quality, and plant efficiency and production. A new dust collection project can be a long process. Let’s start by exploring the top 5 benefits of a dust collection system.


The Top 5 Benefits of a Dust Collection System

  1. Meet Compliance Regulations and Standards
  2. Boost Productivity
  3. Improve Product Quality
  4. Enhance Health and Safety Standards
  5. Preserve Quality of Equipment

Meeting Compliance Regulations and Standards

Many industrial industries in the U.S. must comply with strict air pollution control standards . These standards can be set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), OSHA, or local governing entities such as the AQMD in California.

All agencies require industrial facilities to maintain and meet air quality standards to ensure a safe and clean environment for their plant, employees, and the surrounding community. To get started on what air permits may be needed for your specific application and location, check out our guide on dust collector air permits.

The risks of non-compliance are health and safety risks to employees, explosions, failed inspections, and fines from agencies such as the EPA. All companies, large or small, are susceptible to these risks. Cemex, one of the largest producers of cement in the U.S. was fined by the EPA for $1.4 million in 2011 for exposing people to sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions. Cemex was also ordered to install pollution controls at its Ohio cement plant as part of the settlement.

Enhance Production

An accumulation of dust particles and debris on industrial equipment can interfere with overall plant performance. A dust collection system can collect these dust particles before they can interfere and compromise the health and performance of your manufacturing equipment. When your dust collection system is not performing well either due to extended wear and tear, or because your dust collector is undersized and overextended, your entire operation is at risk. Maintenance issues that go unchecked can result in an unexpected plant shut down that can close down operations for days, weeks or more. It may be difficult to know if your unit is undersized, overextended, or too old. In these cases, consult with a dust collection engineering firm and request an engineering study. By doing so you’ll get recommendations that can minimize the risk of inefficient and poorly working equipment as well as frequent and costly maintenance.

Improve Product Quality

For many manufacturing facilities, dust in the air can mean dust on their products. Dust can settle and accumulate on products during the manufacturing process. This has a negative impact on the quality and consistency of finished goods. A dust collector will reduce and effectively capture these dust particles, allowing for product quality to improve and maintain consistency.

Enhance Health and Safety Standards

Inhalation of hazardous dust affects human health and a dust collection system is vital to removing these hazards and to keep employees safe. Industries like woodworking, chemicals, iron casting, asphalt, etc. operate facilities that continuously emit hazardous contaminants, debris, gasses, and chemicals. If the hazardous dust particles and debris aren’t removed, employees inhale this polluted air and are at risk for both short-term and long-term health issues. A dust collection system can minimize this hazard. To get a better understanding of the long and short term health risks check out this guide on the health impact of dust collection systems.

Dust Collection Safety

Another serious risk for the company is the possibility of a fire or explosion due to an accumulation of combustible dust. There are only four conditions needed for an explosion to occur:

4 Conditions That Create an Explosion

  • Oxygen
  • Enclosed Space
  • Ignition Source
  • Combustible Dust at the Right Concentration Level

Do you work in an industry with combustible dust? Some of the industries that are susceptible are:

Agriculture (grain, flour, sugar, etc.)
• Wood
Metals (aluminum, zinc bronze, etc.)
• Rubber
Chemicals (coal, sulphur, etc.)
• Pharmaceuticals
• Pesticides
• Plastics
• And More

Learn how you can prevent a dust collector explosion with these resources we’ve gathered together here.

Preserve the Quality and Prolong the Life of Equipment

When dust particles and debris are created inside a manufacturing facility the contaminated dust settles onto other surfaces such as computer systems and manufacturing equipment. A buildup of dust can be harmful and result in malfunctioning equipment. This can also create unnecessary, frequent, and costly maintenance in order to keep harmful dust and debris from accumulating. With a dust collector system purifying and collecting dust particles, the chances of excessive dust build-up is minimized.

To find out if you may benefit from an engineering study at your facility, contact a US Air Filtration engineer today. If you’re looking for additional resources on dust collection systems and the buying journey, download our free Dust Collector Purchasing Guide that touches on key topics like dust properties, volume, air-to-cloth-ratio, dust collector styles, low maintenance design features, and more.

Video: How Much Does a Dust Collector Cost?

Baghouse Dust Collector FAQ

Table of Contents

Baghouse dust collectors are highly efficient systems used in industrial applications that remove dirt, dust, and debris from the air.  Baghouses improve worker health and safety, protect the mechanics of industrial equipment, and maintain compliance with environmental and workplace safety regulations.

Proper baghouse system design, installation, and maintenance are critical for minimizing plant downtime and maximizing system efficiency and longevity. Important design considerations, such as the airflow and square footage required for your system, will depend on your facility’s workspace and dust collection needs. Once a system is designed and installed, performing regular maintenance is vital for keeping it operating as efficiently as possible. Here, we address some of the most commonly asked questions about these critical systems.

Why do you need to install a baghouse dust collector system?

The primary reason for installing a baghouse dust collector system is to improve air quality by removing potentially harmful airborne particles, gas fumes, and other contaminants generated during manufacturing processes. Depending on the industry and the types of debris being produced, installing a dust collection system may be required in order to comply with air emission guidelines or workplace safety standards. OSHA, for example, requires industrial plants to meet certain indoor air quality standards to prevent dust-related health issues. Before designing a baghouse dust collector system, it is important to research what types of safety and air quality regulations might be applicable to your facility.

Baghouse dust collection systems may also be installed to upgrade, improve, or enhance a facility’s existing dust control strategies. Regardless of your specific reasons for installation, it is important to implement a preventative maintenance program in order to prevent future problems and keep the system operating at optimal efficiency. General steps may include:

  • Making sure the system operates within acceptable levels by monitoring differential pressure, timing controls for pulse valves, compressed air pressure, etc.
  • Regularly emptying drums and hoppers to prevent dust build-up
  • Frequently inspecting valves, hoses, gaskets, filters, and other components and replacing them when necessary

What type of particulate are you looking to filter?

The type of dust being generated in your facility will influence the type of dust collector that should be used. Common types of industrial dust include:

  • Wood dust. Fine wood particles generated during woodworking processes can linger in the air, causing health issues for workers.
  • Pharmaceutical dust. The manufacturing of drugs, vitamins, and minerals generates fine powders that can be highly toxic if inhaled.
  • Food particulates. High levels of dust can be created during the processing of spices, flour, sugar, cornstarch, grains, and other dry food products.
  • Metalworking dust. Metalworking processes can create a harmful mixture of fumes and fine dust ranging from 0.01 micrometer to 1 millimeter in diameter.

Particle size will help you determine the number of filters required and the best type of filter media for your system. While standard filters are usually sufficient for collecting moderate-to-large particles, pleated filters may be necessary to effectively capture very fine particles and fumes. It is also important to select a filter with the appropriate air-to-cloth ratio as this will influence the system’s ability to adequately protect workers from dust and contaminants.

Low filtration efficiency will expose workers to more particles and can increase the risk of explosions. In some cases, coating the filters with a porous particulate layer, known as a precoating, can enhance filtration and improve baghouse system performance.


What size of baghouse dust collector system do you need?

Baghouses tend to be larger than other dust collector systems and are typically used for high-volume and high-temperature applications. These systems employ cylindrical fabric filter bags to capture and separate dust particles from the air. The three most common baghouse designs are:

  • Pulse jet. Pulse jet baghouses are self-cleaning filtration systems that use pulses of compressed air to clean the bags.  Cleaning occurs while the system is online.
  • Reverse air. Reverse air baghouses feature a compartmentalized design that allows for the cleaning of individual sections without shutting the entire system down.
  • Shaker baghouses clean bags by mechanically shaking the dust out of them. These are simple to operate and have a low initial investment cost. However, cleaning is performed while the system is offline.

With their versatile and universal design, baghouses can meet a wide variety of industrial dust collection requirements. Common applications range from food production, pharmaceutical manufacturing, woodworking, and metalworking to energy utilities, chemicals, mining, and more. For optimal performance, your baghouse dust collector should be sized and designed to accommodate your facility’s air purification requirements as well as any spatial restrictions. Design considerations should include:

  • Anticipated cost
  • Type of dust being produced and expected dust volume
  • Size of area needing ventilation
  • Collector system size and required flow volume
  • Filter material

Baghouse Filter Bag Media

One of the most important decisions when designing a baghouse system includes selecting the right filter media.  There are a wide range of filter medias available to accommodate a variety of dust characteristics.  Temperature, dust properties such as moisture and abrasion will determine which filter media will provide the best performance and efficiency at your operation.  Here is an overview of the most common filter medias available.

  • Polyester – Polyester’s maximum continuous operating temperature is 275 degrees Fahrenheit and has good overall qualities to resist abrasion and performs well with dry temperatures.
  • PPS – PPS, also otherwise known by the proprietary name Ryton© or Procon©, is a filter bag media that is commonly used in dust collection applications where excellent resistance to acids and alkaline is required.
  • P84 – The stability of P84 filter media is a benefit to a wide variety of applications lime kilns, smelting, incinerators, coal fired boilers, and glass and ceramic industries. It can be utilized in operating conditions of a maximum 500 degrees Fahrenheit and offers a good resistance to mineral acids.
  • PTFE/Teflon – Generally used for severe environments operating at high temperatures. Industries that use PTFE filter media range from cement, steel foundries, and energy.
  • Fiberglass – Fiberglass filter media has been a leading industry standard for air filtration and applications where high temperatures are prevalent.
  • Aramid – Aramid, also known as Nomex©, is widely used in high-temperature applications because of its excellent resistance to abrasion and ability to perform at maximum continuous operating temperatures of 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

How much do baghouse dust collector systems cost?

Baghouses are custom designed for each unique application and often require advanced engineering to integrate the baghouse system into the overall plant operation. As such, baghouse units typically start at $50,000 to $1 million or more.

To get the best value from your dust collector, it is important to size the system appropriately during the design phase. This will ensure the system captures dust efficiently while reducing energy consumption.

How do you remove dust collected by the baghouse system?

Knowing how to properly dispose of dust once it enters the baghouse system’s hopper is essential for preventing airflow blockages, fire hazards, and other issues. The most common dust removal strategies are:

  • Enclosed box. Dust is funneled into an enclosed box under the hopper that is emptied once capacity is reached.
  • Drum/bag. Dust is collected into a detachable drum or bag, allowing for convenient disposal.
  • Rotary valve. Rotary valves allow materials to be manually or automatically moved from the collector to a disposal drum or bin.
  • Screw conveyor. In large baghouse systems, screw conveyors remove dust by transporting it from the collector to a disposal area.

Most baghouse systems employ rotary valves or screw conveyers for automatic removal of dust.

Baghouses have automated cleaning options with control panels that can be programmed to clean the bags anytime the differential pressure reaches an upper threshold. This enables an ongoing cycle of cleaning that occurs automatically during dust collector operation.

Filters, filter media, and other baghouse components should also be inspected at regular intervals and replaced when necessary. Routine inspections are an essential part of preventing future problems and maintaining optimal efficiency.

How do you enter a baghouse dust collection system for further cleaning?

When entering the baghouse system for cleaning or maintenance, the following measures should be implemented to ensure employee safety:

  • Secure the system by powering down and shutting off valves, blowers, compressed air, etc.
  • Communicate the details of the operation to all employees
  • Wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Have additional crew available to assist if needed
  • Thoroughly purge the system of combustible dust before performing any hot work (welding, grinding, etc.)
  • Establish an emergency plan for escape/retrieval

Baghouse Dust Collector Systems from U.S. Air Filtration

Baghouse dust collection systems provide a versatile and efficient solution for capturing particles that are released into the air during industrial activities. At U.S. Air Filtration, we design and manufacture baghouse dust collection systems to accommodate a range of operating conditions and filtration needs. Our solutions are expertly designed and constructed to optimize your facility’s productivity while minimizing maintenance and energy costs.

For assistance with selecting or designing a baghouse dust collection system, please check out our product democontact usrequest a quote, or visit our design services page today.

The Health Impact of On-Site Dust Collectors

Certain sectors of the industrial workforce produce large amounts of dust and other particulates. Understanding how dust affects human health is vital to keeping employees and the surrounding community healthy and comfortable, yet many people don’t understand the long-term repercussions of particulate matter (PM). Repeat exposure to dust has a number of health risks, but to mitigate these issues, companies use dust collectors.

Dust collectors are filtration devices that remove particulate from a flowing air stream. They improve air quality, eliminate potential fire hazards, and keep dust from negatively affecting the product quality and producing a musty odor. When companies use a filtration device, they also prevent dust from accumulating on machinery, which helps the equipment operate efficiently.

Industries that commonly utilize dust collectors include:

  • Pharmaceutical
  • Chemical Processing
  • Petrochemical
  • Metal/Woodworking
  • Food/Agriculture

What Are Some Adverse Health Impacts of Dust?

Dust particles with diameters of 10 micrometers or less are easy to inhale. At this small size, particles infiltrate deep into the lungs and bloodstream, which could cause a broad range of symptoms.

The short-term effects of dust inhalation can include:

  • Irritation of the eyes and respiratory tract
  • Shortness of breath
  • Runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing

Serious long-term impacts of dust inhalation can include:

  • Decreased lung function
  • Emphysema
  • Asthma
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Lung cancer
  • Heart disease

Dust in the workplace significantly impacts employees and could become dangerous or even fatal over time. It’s tied to more sick day requests and lost productivity.

Studies show it also affects the world at large. Fine dust particulates contribute to air pollution and reduce the air quality for everyone in the vicinity. They can travel through HVAC systems and seep into nearby homes and businesses, even when their doors and windows are closed. In areas with high PM levels, children are more likely to experience developmental delays or impairments and chronic illness, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

How Can Dust Collectors Mitigate These Risks?

Regulating bodies such as OSHA and NFPA produce guidelines to protect the community and employees from dust inhalation. The industrial workforce use specially designed dust collector equipment to comply with these regulations and keep people safe.

It’s challenging to filter out fine pieces of dust and debris, but engineering advancements make it possible to remove particulates as small as 0.1 micrometers. These state-of-the-art systems use polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) membranes, which reduce the pore size of the filter material to allow for more effective diffusion.

Dust Collectors From U.S. Air Filtration

At U.S. Air Filtration, we offer three dust collectors:

  • Baghouse: Our largest dust collector, the baghouse can withstand high temperatures and significant amounts of dust. It’s best suited for the automotive, foundry, mining, and wood industries.
  • Cartridge Collector: A cartridge collector is compact and ideal for collecting under 55 gallons of particulate per day. It allows you to easily expand if you require, and is most often found in the paint booth, welding, steel fabrication, and bulk powder processing industries.
  • Bin Vent: Compact and modular, bin vents are easy to move around and change out. They are particularly well-suited to venting silos and tanks, and are often utilized in the conveyor belt, agriculture, tank loading, and cement industries.

When choosing a dust collector, facility size and volume of dust are two major factors to consider. For high volumes of particulate filtration, a large system will be necessary. Smaller facilities may prefer a compact collector that are portable and can be scaled up.

At U.S. Air Filtration, we have over 50 years of experience designing high-quality dust collection solutions. To learn more about creating a healthy work environment with dust containment systems, download a Dust Collector Purchasing Guide today, watch our video “Understanding Dust Properties”, or “How Much Does a Dust Collector Cost?”. You can also contact us or request a quote for assistance choosing the best dust collector for your facility.

How to Install Your USAF Dust Collector

Need help installing your dust collector?

Now that you have your dust collector system, let’s get you to the next step. How to install your dust collector properly. This is a general guide for the installation, operation, start-up, and shut-down procedures of a cartridge collector or bin vent.

General Pre-commissioning

(may not apply to all models)

  1. Install the gasketed pair of cartridge filters and assure proper seat onto the tube sheet at the back.
  2. Inspect hopper area to ensure that the discharge, including screw and valve (if applicable) are free of debris.
  3. Energize the electronic timer(s) and adjust for a rapid firing sequence.
  4. Observe signal lights on the timer board until satisfied that all terminals are energizing.
  5. With timer operating as described, check “audibly” for the energizing of all diaphragm valves. These are positioned on the backside of the dust collector. After each pulse you will hear the purging of the air through the discharge port of the diaphragm valve.
  6. Set Photohelic Differential Pressure Controller for desired high-end pressure and low-end pressure drop. To start, a high level of 4” and low level of 2” is recommended. This will determine when the pulse system will run and when it will stop. Set PLC or timer board as desired pulse duration, sequencing, and settling time between modules if applicable. A setting of 150 milliseconds and for duration (On Time) and 10 seconds for sequencing (Off Time) is recommended.
  7. Open the compressed air header drain cocks and slowly crack open compressed air to header system. When header discharge is free of visible moisture, close the drain cocks or plugs.
  8. Reduce compressed air to pressure by adjusting the regulating valve for approximately 90 PSIG header pressure.
  9. Check the operation of each diaphragm valve in turn. The “normally closed” diaphragm (air valves) will open only on being signaled by the timer. The sudden release to atmosphere of compressed air from the “bleed hole” of each pilot valve will prove the air valves are being opened as required.

NOTE: At no time should two adjoining valves fire simultaneously, unless system is designed as such. If this occurs, check the timer wiring diagram.

Installation Instruction

Your dust collector must be properly installed and receive proper attention in order to maintain its high efficiency.


Prepare the foundation to correspond with the support leg layout as shown on the drawings. Care must be taken to allow for proper loadings for California Earthquake Zone requirements or any other requirements particular to your state. It is recommended that a qualified cement contractor prepare the foundations.


Install the ductwork as predetermined and noted on the general arrangement drawings. It is the responsibility of the customer to provide for duct drawings as required by the local Air Quality Boards that govern in your area.


Route the compressed air to one end of the air receiver or receiver(s). Reference the attached drawings for tap requirements on air header and utilize that size pipe.


Reference the section of this manual containing information needed for the proper installation of the electrical system. (Timer and Controls)

Manometer/Photohelic Gauge

Units with manometer taps pre-installed should be complete with tubing and gauge for field mounting where desired. Facilities should be provided for the periodic draining of condensation from tubing.

Operation (General)

Tuning the cleaning cycle timer and regulating the cleaning air pressure may achieve maximum collector efficiency. Adjust the timer and air pressure so that a reasonable steady pressure drop across the collector is maintained. Using a long cleaning cycle along with a minimum amount of cleaning air pressure increases filter media life. (Example: 30 seconds between pulse and 150 milliseconds duration).

Standard Start-Up Procedure

  1. Apply power to the panel. (This will activate timer)
  2. Push fan motor start button.
  3. Check cleaning air supply pressure in the header and adjust initially to 70 psig., then increase to 90 as needed checking for leaks.
  4. Check the collector’s differential pressure module controller periodically until an even level is observed. Clean filters are usually around 1/2″ on start-up. Operational levels of 3″ to 4” are maintained by decreasing pulse intervals.

Standard Shut-Down Procedure

  1. Push fan stop button or E-Stop in an emergency situation only. (If provided on panel)
  2. Lockout panel for any maintenance for safety
Related Resources:

How to Get the Right Dust Collector for your Application

Dust Collectors & Filter Media for Mining & Minerals

Baghouse Dust Collector 2

How to avoid a dust collector emergency in your mining and minerals facility.

In the mining and minerals industry there a few hazards that lead to a dust collector emergencies. A top hazard this industry typically deals with are the dust particles generated at different points in their process. For example, when you deal with dust like coal and sulfur, it can form an explosive mixture with air if the right conditions are present. This explosive mixture will form in some of these typical areas at mines and quarries:

  • Crushers
  • Transfer points at conveyor belts
  • Silos

Industrial dust collection systems control the explosive dust created during processing and helps you avoid future dust collector emergencies. Depending on your application, size restriction, and volume most customers choose between a large baghouse or compact cartridge collector.

Most Common Dust Collectors for Mining and Minerals

  • Cartridge Collector Model 2DCP-4 and 2DCP-12
  • Baghouse Model 1309-PTHH-120-6

Another hazard in the mining and minerals industry is the large volume of dust being produced. This dust is hard and abrasive, and with large volumes, it results in filters wearing out rapidly. This leads to frequent maintenance and filter change outs on a dust collector. Exploring other media options can help you reduce the amount of these costly change-outs. For example, filters with PTFE membrane can typically last twice as long as standard filter bags.

Most Common Filter Media for Mining and Minerals

Related Resources:

How to Get the Right Dust Collector for your Application

Dust Collectors and Filter Media for Food Manufacturing

Dust collector solutions that meet food grade regulations.

When you need to meet food grade regulations it’s important to find the right fit for your dust collector and dust collector filters. An experienced supplier can help guide you in your research and identify the best filter media options, treatments and configuration for your baghouse or cartridge type dust collector that are food grade compliant. To help narrow down the time you spend looking for that information, we’re listing the most common dust collectors and filter media used throughout the food manufacturing industry.

When you consider a particular dust collector or filter, you’ll want to keep in mind the characteristics of your dust properties. Typically the food manufacturing industry has dust that is small and hard to capture. For example, grain dust can be as small as 5 microns, sugars between 0.0008 – 0.005 micron, and milled flour or corn as small as 1 micron. Combustible dust in a food manufacturing facility has also been a common characteristic. To combat a dust collector emergency, you’ll want to consider the proper equipment (i.e. explosion vent) and filter media to help reduce that possibility from occurring.

Dust collectors are available in several different options and are customizable depending on your application, volume, dust characteristics, and other specific needs. If you are looking for a modular and space friendly dust collector, a cartridge collector is your best choice. If you have higher dust loading requirements, then a baghouse will be able to fit your needs.

Most Common Dust Collectors for Food Manufacturing

  • Cartridge Collector Model 2DCP-4 and 2DCP-8
  • Baghouse Model 68-PTHHHI

Once you find the right dust collector, the next step is finding the right filter media. Whether you need a specific micron rating, food grade media and packaging, or stainless steel filter casing, these are the types medias being consistently used in the food manufacturing industry.

Most Common Filter Media for Food Manufacturing

  • Spunbond Polyester
  • Polyester
  • Polypropylene
  • Oleo-phobic Finish
Related Resources:

How to Get the Right Dust Collector for your Application

Cost Effective, Reliable Solutions for Cement, Concrete and Asphalt Plants

The most common concern for cement, asphalt and concrete industries is to find a dust collector that will be cost effective, run at peak efficiency, prevent them from losing product while taking up minimal space. With all of these of this in mind, what’s the most common solution to these frustrations?

The overwhelming choice for dust control in the cement, concrete, and asphalt industry is a bin vent system with Spunbond Polyester filters. When you are trying to figure out what type of dust collector is right for your application, you’ll find that bin vents are most commonly used in applications involving silos, storage bins, or where you are moving product from one location to another. One of the greater advantages of using a bin vent is that they are very space-efficient and modular. Bin vents have a small footprint you can easily expand down the road. You also have the option of installing several smaller bin vents instead of one large central baghouse with ducting. Whether you need one or several, you’re still going to benefit from the top advantages of a bin vent.

Top Benefits of a Bin Vent:Bin Vent 2D

Ideal for product transfer applications

Compact and Modular

Designed for easy service and change outs

May not require additional ductwork

Most Common Dust Collector for Cement, Concrete, and Asphalt Applications:

Bin Vent Model 3-PBBV-39-6.25

Bin Vent Model 66-PTPV-84-6

Bin Vent Model 22-PBBV-39-6.25

Most Common Filter Media for Cement, Concrete, and Asphalt Applications:

Pleated filters in Spunbond Polyester


Related Resources:

How to Get the Right Dust Collector for your Application

Dust Collectors and Filter Medias for Chemical Applications

Are you installing or replacing a dust collector at your facility? You may be asking yourself “How do I choose the right dust collector?”

To help you decide the right dust collector for your environment, we’ve gathered the most common dust collector and filter media options other customers in your industry have used over the years.

Depending on the CFM or volume you are looking for, your size and space restrictions, and AQMD or local emissions requirements there are three types of dust collectors you would typically choose from (e.g. baghouse, cartridge collector, bin vent). Cartridge collectors are frequently used for chemical applications because of their increased efficiency at filtering fine and fume dust. Before you make your final choice, you’ll want to know how to avoid the dangers of getting an undersized dust collector and how to save on long term maintenance costs by making sure your dust collector has design features for easy maintenance.

Regardless of which style is right for you, harsh fumes in the chemicals industry can be a detriment to the longevity of a dust collector and its filters. So one of the most common themes our customers have recently requested is for their dust collector to be fabricated from a non-corrosive material such as 304 stainless steel and titanium.

Choosing a long-lasting filter media is the key component to saving time and money on maintenance costs. One common treatment typically used on filter bags is PTFE membrane. PTFE membrane can extend the life of your filter up to twice as long as your standard bag. Because they do need to be pulsed as frequently, you also save on energy costs . For cartridge or pleated filters, both Nanofiber and Spunbond Polyester medias are used because of superior fibers which have the ability to allow filters to reach peak efficiency much quicker than a standard media filter.

Most Common Dust Collectors for Chemical Applications:

  • Bin Vent Model PTPBBV-39 in 304 stainless steel and Model 66-PTPBDC-39-6.25
  • Cartridge Collector Model 2DCP-4 in both 304 stainless steel and standard 10-12 gauge steel
  • Baghouse Pulse-Jet style (titanium)

Most Common Filter Medias for Chemical Applications:

  • Cartridge Filters: Nanofiber, Spunbond Polyester, 80/20 Polyester/Cellulose blend (with or without fire retardant)
  • Filter Bags: Teflon w/ PTFE membrane, Polyester with PTFE membrane, Polyester
Related Resources:

How to Get the Right Dust Collector for your Application