While working in your workshop, one of the best ways to keep your area clean and dust-free is with a dust collector. Having a space where you use lots of materials, the amount of dust that you can gather will develop quickly in a small space.
One of the options you have for your dust collector is to vent it outside.
There are some pros and cons to this method, so based on where your workshop is located and the materials you use, you may want to be sure venting your dust collector outside is the right option.
Pros of Venting Dust Collector Outside
There are several benefits to choosing to vent out your dust collector outside your workshop, especially depending on the space you have. Not all workspaces are equal, so below are a few benefits of venting dust collector outside.
In most cases, workshops are rented spaces that come with energy bills monthly.
Finding the best way to reduce that energy bill could mean that you vent your dust collector outside of the shop.
This is especially true for spaces that do not have a well-air-conditioned space where you are working and need to get the dust out quickly.
In an area that does not already have flowing air, allowing the dust to collect could create a hazard in the workshop.
If you are venting your dust collector directly outside while working, then the maintenance you have on this is much less than if you were venting it inside and then dumping later.
You do not have to maintain filters since it is all going outside. Your only maintenance concern is to watch the bins on the vent and dump them periodically from the large dust particles that couldn’t pass outside.
Air Quality Within the Shop
Since the dust from the materials you are using is being filtered outside the workshop, then the air quality within remains healthy and good quality.
Because the air is being pulled outside directly, the dust particles do not have time to linger or come back through, causing further damage to the air quality.
This is all considering that the workshop in question has a quality system where the air going outside does not come back in.
Cons of Venting Dust Collector Outside
Like the good for this system, there are some cons to consider.
Poor Air Quality
If your shop that you are using does not have quality airflow when the air is circulated outside, all the dust particles you released outside can come right back in.
In a shop where there are circulated air systems in place, outside air is pulled back into the shop on a rotation, so any of the dust particles released will just come right back into the shop.
While these systems do have filters to capture particles, if you are releasing an excessive amount into the outside air regularly, these filters will fill quickly and not be able to capture all the dust as it returns to the shop.
Outside Air Quality is Already Poor
Not all areas have the same air quality. If you live in an area where the air is full of pollutants and not already the best air, then adding these dust particles back into that environment is not ideal.
Your inside air quality may seem better at first when you release the dust collector, but the inside quality will truly never be better than what is in the natural environment.
All you are really doing at that point is adding to an already poor system of air for you and your neighbors when you do go outside.
Not All Particles Make It Outside
If you are venting dust collector outside, there are still going to be some particles left behind in the bin because they were to big to pass through the vent and attached themselves to the actual vent.
As the air starts to circulate around these particles, they come back into the shop environment, and you could still breathe it in regularly.
In 3D printing workshops, there are particles that develop from many of the filaments and become harder to vent out than others.
Final Thoughts Around Venting Dust Collector Outside
Ideally, it does seem like the right idea to vent your dust collector outside, and for some, it is ideal. The outdoor air quality is high and can handle the release of these particles.
This is especially true if they are working in a space that does not have an air filtration system or circulated air.
If you live in an area, however, that already suffers from poor air quality, and you have numerous neighbors, it may be the right choice to find a different way to vent out your dust.
Consider your environment first and then make a decision on what is right for your health and air quality.