Dust Properties and Choosing a Collector

Do you know your dust?  Consider your dust properties carefully to identify the best dust collection solution.

When you’re looking for dust collector equipment or filters you’ll need to get up close and personal with your dust!  Choosing the right collector based on your dust properties is really going to help you narrow down the diverse selection of equipment that can be daunting to choose from.  Consider the following dust properties carefully:

-Size: What is the size of the dust particles being filtered; fine or large?

-Density: Is the dust low in density like wood chips or heavy in density like fine steel dust?

-Chemistry: Will you be filtering any abrasive dust? Corrosive dust? 

-Temperature: Will you need to operate in a high heat environment?

-Moisture: Is there any moisture or oil present in the dust?

Now that we’ve considered your dust properties we can narrow down the selection of dust collectors that may be the best fit for your facility.  These are the three main types of collectors and what industries typically use them:


Baghouses are usually suited for large volume applications.  They will perform best when you have a large area or high volume of dust that needs to be captured.  For example, collecting more than one 55 gallon a drum per day and an airflow exceeding 1000 CFM would be considered high volume.  You will also see baghouses in high temperature applications.  Here are some industries that use baghouses:




Cartridge Collectors

Cartridge collectors can be more compact and modular than baghouses.  When you have height or space restrictions in your facility, a cartridge collector is going to be one of your best considerations.  A cartridge collector will work best when you are collecting a low volume of dust and  when you have a CFM of 500 or greater.  For example, less than one 55 gallon drum a day would be considered best.  The more common industries that use cartridge collectors:



-Paint/Powder Booths

Bin Vents

Bin vents are going to work best in applications where you are moving product from location to the other, and the dust being produced from that movement needs to be captured.  Just like a cartridge collector, bin vents are quite compact.  They handle a lower volume of dust and can handle between 400 – 10,000 CFM.  Some of the environments they work best in are:




Now that you have an introduction to dust properties, the most common dust collectors, and which one may work best for your application, you have enough information to get started on your next dust collector project.  You can also take advantage of our free Dust Collector Purchasing Guide that will help direct you to buying a dust collector that will provide you with the most optimal performance for your needs.

Related Posts:

How to Get the Right Air to Cloth Ratio 

What to Look for in a Dust Collector Supplier



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 List



What to look for in a Dust Collector Supplier

Have you ever experienced late orders, high prices, and inconsistent customer service with your supplier?

Finding a reputable and responsive supplier is going to be important to you when you are trying to minimize production costs and emergencies while still staying within budget. Some of the characteristics that stand out when you deal with a quality supplier are:

Direct Phone Access to Dedicated Account Managers

Your time is valuable. Having your account manager’s direct phone number as well as receiving a live person when you call in is one of the distinguishable traits in a quality supplier. We hear too often people expressing their frustration that they simply can’t get a hold of a real person to talk to. In this world of voicemails, emails,and text messages it’s nice to hear a friendly voice that can help you out immediately.

In-Stock Products and Same Day Shipping

In the case of a dust collector emergency, you need a supplier who has a variety of replacement kits, valves, and filters in-stock and ready to ship that same day. You minimize production loss, avoid fines, and can solve your problem in less that 24 hour.

Warranty on Equipment and Parts

A reputable supplier is one who will stand by the product they sell. With a 1 year warranty you’ll be worry free knowing that you are able to get costs in workmanship issues repaired or replaced.

Above and Beyond Customer Service

The relationship you have with your supplier is important. You work with your supplier over the years and trust them to provide you with the best options for your dust collector at the lowest cost. A company you work with should strive for partnerships built on trust and long term customer satisfaction.

Related Posts:

What to do in a Dust Collector Emergency

Dust Collector Change Out Check List



How to Avoid Getting an Undersized Dust Collector

Appropriately sizing a dust collector for your application is going to be one of the most important considerations when starting your new equipment project.   

Baghouse Dust Collector

Some of the biggest problems we see people run into with an inappropriately sized dust collector are:

  1. Consistently clogged filters
  2. Reduced filter life
  3. Higher maintenance costs 

To avoid the dangers of  an undersized dust collector we ask you to consider both CFM and Air to Cloth Ratio.  

Cubic Feet Per Minute

Dust collector volume is measured in cubic feet per minute or CFM.  To put it simply, CFM is a measurement of how much airflow your dust collector can move per minute.  To determine your CFM, there are a few variables you should consider:

  1. The size of the area that needs ventilation.
  2. Method of ventilation
  3. Volume of dust being produced

Air to Cloth Ratio

The other important factor to consider when sizing your unit will be Air to Cloth ratio. This is the amount of filter media relative to the amount of air passing through the dust collector.  You typically want to operate with a lower a air to cloth ratio because that will be better at removing dust from your environment.  With a lower air to cloth ratio you have plenty of filter media available to capture the dust coming through from the air stream, and you aren’t trying to push as much dust through the filter media.  When you air to cloth ratio is too high, the dust you are trying to collect is embedded into the filters too fast for your system to efficiently pulse.  You end up with rapid build up of dust, which ends up clogging your filters and making your dust collector work even harder than it should be.

For more detailed information on sizing your collector, a helpful guide, or to speak to one of our equipment specialists please contact us at 888-221-0312.

Related Posts:

How to Choose the Right Dust Collector for your Application

What Volume Dust Collector do I Need? 



Dust Collector Change Out Check List

There are typically two reasons people change out their filters:

  1. The build up of filter cake is so excessive that it is blinding your filters.
  2. You have a hole/leak in your filter(s).

Your dust collector is a major investment.  Maintaining your system’s vital components is going to play a critical role in keeping your production down time and maintenance costs to a minimum.  To help you determine if your filters are compromised and it’s time for a change out, check out our brief video here: https://blog.usairfiltration.com/blog/dust-collector-filter-change-out-check-list?hs_preview=osRVimIg-8026867414



What Volume Dust Collector do I need?

Do you have a new Dust Collector project in the works and need some help determining the volume for your application?

With your new project, one of the most important considerations you will need to factor in to a new dust collector is making sure the airflow or volume of the system is efficient at capturing dust and the system volume is right for your application.

If the volume of your system is too low, your system will not filter dust as efficiently which can impact production, air quality and shorten the life of your collector.  If the volume of your system is too high, your energy consumption costs will be higher and you may disrupt the process of your application. 

Dust collector volume is measured in cubic feet per minute or CFM.  CFM is a measurement of airflow especially related to air conditioning, heating and ventilation environments like those requiring dust collection.  In dust collector applications CFM measures the amount of air per minute that can be moved from a space.  

Work environments vary dramatically from one another based on several variables, and even very similar environments can require vastly different volume. To determine the right volume capabilities for your new dust collector, consider some of the following variables carefully.

  1. How are you collecting dust?
  2. What is the size of the duct being used to collect the dust?
  3. Cubic feet of the work environment
  4. New Dust Collector Installations: Calculate Volume

For more in depth information on each variable, you can download our full guide on Dust Collector Volume. The guide comes with a volume chart that can be useful when you are determining volume size for your new Dust Collector project.

 A Guide to Dust Collector Volume

Our equipment specialists are also available to answer any questions, and you can contact us at 888-221-0312.

Related Posts: How to Get the Right Dust Collector for your Application



Cost Saving Tips for your Dust Collector

Are you looking to explore cost saving options for your new Dust Collector? Here are some tips and tricks that you can take advantage of now.

On Demand Cleaning: This is a feature that comes standard on our equipment. On Demand Cleaning can help improve Dust Collector performance and efficiency while decreasing the maintenance and labor costs over time. To learn more about how it can help you, download a free “Three Benefits of On Demand Cleaning for your Dust Collector” sheet.

Benefits of On Demand Cleaning

Subscription Program: Enroll into our 2 or 3 Year Subscription Program for replacement parts to take advantage of it’s benefits:

  • You can potentially save up to 20%* on your order.
  • Never have to worry about price inflation for the length of your subscription.
  • No more running around to get replacement parts the last minute! Your parts are automatically shipped to you based on a schedule you specify.

Blanket Order: An alternative to our Subscription Program, a Blanket Order for replacement parts provides you with cost savings and allows you the flexibility of a 1 year time frame.

Preventative Maintenance: By using leak detection powder as part of your preventative maintenance program, it allows you to address any issues before they become a bigger problem.  Leak powder can quickly and efficiently pinpoint any leaks, holes, or tears in your dust collector filters, seams, or cell plate. If you are looking to order leak detection powder, we keep those in stock and are able to ship to you same day.  To learn more about how to use leak detection powder, download our guide here.

Leak Detection Powder

If you are looking to speak to an equipment specialist, you can contact us with any questions or concerns at 888-221-0312.



How to Get the Right Dust Collector for your Application

Your dust collector is a small but critical piece of your operation. To get the right equipment for your plant that’s going to get the performance you need at the right price point, you’ll want to consider the following.

1. What type of dust is being filtered?

The first step to getting the right size and type of dust collector and the right filter media is to look at the characteristics of the dust being captured and know your dust. -Size – is the dust particulate fine or large?

Density: Is the dust porous and low density like wood chips or heavy life fine steel dust?

Temperature: High heat environments require special filter media that can handle extreme temperatures without excessive filter wear and tear.

Chemistry: Is the dust abrasive or corrosive?  Is it carcinogenic? electro-static? An abrasive material may require special material for the housing unit. 

Moisture – is there any moisture or oil present in the dust/air stream? Environments with moisture/oil may require special membranes to prevent the filters from plugging prematurely.

2. What CFM or volume is needed for my application?

One of the most important considerations when selecting a new dust collector is making sure the airflow or volume of the collector is efficient at capturing dust.  Dust collector volume is measured in cubic feet per minute or CFM which measures the amount of air per minute that can be moved from a space.  Key variables for calculating dust collector CFM include the space of the area that needs ventilation, the method of ventilation, and how frequently the air needs to be turned in a given amount of time.

3. Get the Right Air to Cloth Ratio

Next you’ll want to consider your air to cloth ratio or the amount of filter media relative to the amount of air passing through the collector. The lower the air to cloth ratio in your dust collection system, the better your system is at removing dust from the environment because there is more filter media to push dust through. Getting the right air to cloth ratio will significantly impact the short and long term performance of your collector. If you have a higher air to cloth ratio than recommended, you’ll see a noticeable decrease in suction because there is too much dust being captured by not enough filter media. Generally dust that is low density, porous and permeable such as wood chips can run at a higher air to cloth ratio while greater density dust like steel would require a lower air to cloth ratio.  

Interested in learning more? Download our 12 Step Dust Collector Purchasing Guide to learn other helpful tips and considerations that will help you save money and lower your long term maintenance costs over time.  



Toys for Tots

A big THANK YOU to everyone at U.S. Air Filtration who helped us donate to the Toys for Tots program this holiday season!!!




Holiday Hours – We Are Open!

If you are looking for something to expedite or need help on an issue, you can contact one of our responsive sales representatives at 888-221-0312.  U.S. Air Filtration, Inc. will be observing the following holiday hours:


  • December 24, 2018 – Closed from 11 AM PST
  • December 25, 2018 – Closed
  • December 31, 2018 – Closed from 11 AM PST
  • January 1, 2019 – Closed