How Do You Know When Dust Collector Filters Need to Be Changed?

September 30th, 2020

dirty-dust-collectorYour dust collector cartridge filter should be changed when it shows signs of excess loading or wear. Here’s what to look for to determine if it’s time to change your dust collector filters.

  • Visual appearance. A worn dust collector filter may have pleats that look a little loose. You may also see heavy particulate loading in the pleats that does not brush, blow or shake off easily. If you are collecting abrasive dusts (such as metalworking dust or sand), pinholes and tears may also form in the filter media. While just “looking dirty” does not necessarily mean it’s time for a filter change, if the filter media itself looks compromised or worn, it is time to take action.
  • Excess filter pressure. The pressure differential gauge shows the difference in pressure on the “dirty” and “clean” sides of the filter. If you are seeing excessive pressure drop, this indicates that the filter has become loaded and air is no longer flowing freely through the filter media. A clogged filter is no longer working effectively to collect dust and fumes. It is also making your dust collector work harder, driving up energy costs. Check your dust collector manual to determine the pressure differential that you should look for to determine whether it is time to change the filter.
  • Dirty exhaust air. When the filter becomes worn or develops pinholes or tears in the pleats, you may notice a difference in the air quality in your facility. Pinholes and microtears allow particulates to flow through the filter. Instead of getting captured, particulates escape past the filter into the air exhaust. If you are venting filtered air back into your facility, you will notice a difference in indoor air quality (IAQ). Poor filter performance may also put you out of compliance with OSHA standards or environmental regulations. The SafeSensor™ Particulate Monitor will detect leaks past the filter and alert you if your filter is no longer performing correctly.

To ensure optimal dust collector performance, make sure you change your dust collector filter on a regular basis.