How To Get the Right Air to Cloth Ratio


Dust collector air to cloth ratio is a critical measure to ensure your air filtration system is performing efficiently at your operation.

Let’s first start in explaining what air-to-cloth ratio means. Air-to-Cloth ratio, which can also be known as Air-to-Media, is defined as a measurement of the amount of air passing through one square foot of filter media.

Generally the lower your air-to-cloth ratio, the more effectively your system is at removing dust -from the work environment. If operate on a higher air-to-cloth ratio, one of the common issues you will encounter is a decrease in suction. This is because there is too much dust being captured by an insufficient amount of filter media. The filter cake on your bag eventually builds up too quickly; resulting in a decrease in air velocity and suction. From there it becomes a domino effect; plant air quality decreases, filters clog quicker, valve life expectancy is impacted and you’ll be performing change-outs more frequently.

To calculate air-to-cloth ratio in your existing system, the simple formula is to take the amount of airflow (CFM) and divide that by the amount of filter area within your dust collector.  For example a cartridge collector would have a normal range of 4:1 air to cloth ratio.  Environments with a large ventilation area or more pick up points require a system with a higher CFM to provide adequate suction.  To see which air to cloth ratio may be right for your project, download our air to cloth guide which provides the recommended ratio for a wide variety of applications.

Why is right Air-to-Cloth ratio important?

  • Extend your filter life
  • You minimize your operating costs
  • Meet air quality goals and requirements
  • You are running your dust collector system at it’s peak efficiency

What are the negative effects of improper Air-to-Cloth ratio?

  • Poor venting causes damage to equipment
  • Incur high pressure drops
  • Impacts your air velocity
  • Excessive use of compressed air

Related Posts:

What Volume Dust Collector do I Need?

Dust Collector Change Out Check Listh


2 thoughts on “How To Get the Right Air to Cloth Ratio

  1. David Scobie says:

    We manage a biolab co-working space. We provide 100% outside air 24/7. I have a (two- one bigger) York air handler working in a wooded area with lots of bugs outside. We had all the ducts cleaned.
    Pre-Filters are changed once a month and box filters annually.
    One lab continually has bug bodies and bug parts coming out the supply ducts and landing on the benches and lab equipment.
    We thought about putting media on the outside at the air intake of the air handler, but I think it will clog quickly and impede flow.
    I put 24x24x2 Purolator filters at air supply vents in the room.
    Do you have suggestions for placement of a media to solve this problem?

    • Joyce says:

      We’d love to get someone to help you out with this issue. Do you have an email or contact number where one of our reps can reach you? If you prefer, you can also call into our main number at 888-221-0312.

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