Ways to Know It’s Time to Upgrade Your Dust Collector Filter

Knowing when it is time for a dust collector filter upgrade is as important as knowing when to change your filter. Upgrades generally relate to the filter or filter media in use, whereas a filter change is a matter of replacement from wear and service life. In either instance, if your filter is not performing optimally, it’s important to find out why and address the problem. 

Importance of Dust Collector Upgrades

To ensure better air quality in your facility, an industrial dust collector’s filter is designed to capture and remove dust, particulates, and harmful gases from the airstream in processing and manufacturing environments. Too much dust accumulation on filters disrupts airflow and reduces filtration efficiency, adversely affecting staff productivity and increasing maintenance of machines and equipment used in production processes. In short, as with any equipment used in industrial environments, filters must be subject to routine inspection to ensure they function as intended. If not, then it may be time for a dust collector filter upgrade, or it may be that the recommended service life of the filter has been reached, and it is time to replace it.

Upgrading Your Dust Collector Filter

Upgrading your filter does not necessarily mean upgrading your entire dust collection system. Several issues can necessitate filter upgrades. First, you must ensure you have the right filter for the job. Too often, filter selection is driven by perceived cost-savings before determining whether the filter or filter media is appropriate for the application. Remember that some third-party filter bags may cost less but not fully function as advertised because they were not designed for your system. Another issue may relate to having installed the wrong-sized filter. Improperly sized filters do not provide the correct air-to-cloth ratio, which causes the dust to slow and entrapped in the filter.  It may be that the filter media itself has an incorrect chemical or temperature rating for your application needs. 

Correct sizing aside, common upgrades typically focus on filter fabrics, fabric properties, chemical compatibility, and even bag finishes. Every type of filter media is made of a particular fabric—cotton, polyester, nylon, fiberglass, acrylic, Teflon, etc. Each of these fabrics consists of different finishes and fabric weights that are designed for specific filtration applications. Knowing that fabric’s properties are just as important to ensure the application functions under the facility’s operating conditions. Additionally, filter fabrics must be compatible with the chemicals, types of particulates, and temperature ranges for optimal efficiency. Each fabric must have the right finish to protect against harsh applications, abrasion resistance, dust cake release, and static hindrance to improving filter service life.

Dust Collector Part Replacement

As with every product, your filter has an expected shelf life and will eventually need to be changed. Filter media has reached the end of its service life when it becomes fully depth-loaded with dust and particulate matter. A fully depth-loaded filter is considered filter blinded—the dust has so thoroughly penetrated the filter media that airflow can no longer push the dust out of the filtration system and can no longer be cleaned. Though a physical inspection of the filter would show it is clogged, as a part of regular monitoring of the system, a differential pressure (dP) reading would indicate well beforehand that a filter changeout is needed. The dP reading would be part of the regular monitoring and maintenance schedule. When pressure readings are too high, it indicates that the airflow through the system has been disrupted, meaning that the filters are clogged. 

On the other hand, dP reading can also assess whether a filter is damaged and needs to be replaced. When dP readings are too low, or there is a sudden pressure drop, it indicates a damaged filter. Filters can be damaged if subjected to too much moisture or excessive heat. Abrasive dust or over-pulsing may also lead to premature wear. Once a filter is damaged, it loses its dimensional stability and can no longer efficiently collect dust.

Contact the Dust Collector Experts at CPE Filters, Inc.

Knowing when to upgrade or replace your dust collector filter can save your company costly repairs and system downtime and limit the health and safety risks to personnel throughout the facility. To learn more about industrial dust collector filters and how an upgrade may help improve your facility, please get in touch with our experienced team at CPE Filters, Inc. today.