Polution / Air Quality concerns when venting dust collection outside

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Forum topic by JonCrafting posted 02-28-2021 06:22 PM 1402 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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35 posts in 690 days

02-28-2021 06:22 PM

I have recently upgraded my DC from a 1hp Delta to a 2hp Grizzly G0548 dust collector and am currently in the design phase of redoing my setup. The DC has a 1um canister filter on it, but I am contemplating venting it outside the workshop instead of using the filter as this would save space in my small shop.

The Details:
- I am in southern California so weather is not much of a concern and I would be fine with this setup year round.
- I would be installing a super dust deputy (5’ or 6’, undecided) or similar 1st stage separator
- My shop size is half of our 2 car garage
- The vent out would be either through an existing vent near the base of the garage wall into a very narrow (6’) wide yard enclosed by a 6’ wall, or I could create a new vent in the wall higher up although this would likely exacerbate any air quality issues.
- When in the shop, typically both the the garage door and the back door that open to the patio between the garage and house will be open.
- The house is 12’ back from the garage

What I am trying to understand is if I am venting out the sidewall of the garage how much of whatever gets past the first stage separator will stay airborne and possibly come back into the shop via the open doors,infiltrate the house, dirty parked cars and piss off neighbors, or any other concerns for anyone walking by.


18 replies so far

View cut50's profile


31 posts in 4527 days

#1 posted 02-28-2021 07:44 PM

Really the only way to know, is to try it, and see what the neighbors think, do they use a clothes line?
Bylaw folks may come around cause of dust?
I just changed my cyclone DC from a bag filter to a canister, and I get hardly any dust in the bag below the canister,
which is making think about venting outside. Ah but I can not because I heat with wood and the DC pulls the smoke out of the stove in to the shop, not nice.
Old story, don`t know till you try…...

View Jim2020's profile


92 posts in 737 days

#2 posted 02-28-2021 08:08 PM

I just set up a modified HF 2HP collector in my shop. I bought a 14” cyclone for it, and attached the fan to the wall, and vented it outside. I can see no evidence of sawdust in the garden below my vent. Now working by myself, I have not had the opportunity to stand and watch the air coming through the vent while someone else produced sawdust, but I don’t think there’s much. It would seem that a properly set up cyclone takes any sawdust you can see out of the air.

I’m sure you are aware of the benefits of venting outdoors without a filter. Any filter reduces air flow, takes up space, and can cost a lot. The wind will dissipate the airborne dust like smoke, and no harm will come of it. Jim

View tvrgeek's profile


2412 posts in 3148 days

#3 posted 02-28-2021 08:31 PM

A good cyclone catches about 90%. It may be technically illegal in your state, but I would not worry about that unless someone complained.

View splintergroup's profile


7151 posts in 2721 days

#4 posted 02-28-2021 11:09 PM

I also see cyclones as very efficient and doubt that much “problem dust” will get out and annoy anybody. Be aware that the filter imparts back pressure and many cyclones are designed for that, otherwise the motor load can go up significantly.

View CWWoodworking's profile


2404 posts in 1677 days

#5 posted 03-01-2021 12:40 AM

I just did this today. Haven’t done much with it yet, but the first thing I noticed was how quiet it is and the air quality seems to be much better

View tomsteve's profile


1200 posts in 2718 days

#6 posted 03-01-2021 12:51 PM

beings how california now labels wood dust as cancer causing, i wouldnt vent outside. lawsuit waiting to happen.

WARNING: Drilling, sawing, sanding or machining wood products can expose you to wood dust, a substance known to the State of California to cause cancer. Avoid inhaling wood dust or use a dust mask or other safeguards for personal protection. For more information go to

View Robert's profile


5014 posts in 2979 days

#7 posted 03-01-2021 02:36 PM

You’re worrying about something you shouldn’t be worrying about :-)

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View BroncoBrian's profile


899 posts in 3457 days

#8 posted 03-01-2021 04:24 PM

There are a lot of writeups on this. I just took my canister off this morning for garbage day on my Jet 1100. I’ll be exhausting outside in a couple of days and I am in CO with some cold days ahead. There should be enough leakage on garage doors to pull air in, a heater will run more (obviously) but that is a lot better outcome than clogged filters, poor suction, and fine dust in your lungs.

From what I’ve read, there is no visible dust that escapes the system if done right. People on this site have exhausted dust to their shrubs for months/years without seeing any impact outdoors.

-- A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

View BroncoBrian's profile


899 posts in 3457 days

#9 posted 03-01-2021 04:27 PM

What’s funny is that I logged in this morning to ask everyone what they did the rest of their dust collector system parts. I am tossing the canister filter (so tough to clean without making a huge mess). I was shocked again how much fine dust was in the top, lost a lot of airflow and the paddles are not that helpful.

I guess I will dump the base and stand/vortex parts as well. Yay floor space!

-- A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

View JonCrafting's profile


35 posts in 690 days

#10 posted 03-01-2021 11:01 PM

Thanks for all the responses. I finally made my choice on cyclones and ordered the 5” Super Dust Deputy. Once that arrive I will be able to get more precise measurements to figure out spacing and ducting. One of the other reasons pushing me towards venting outside, apart from improved CFM and no more filters to worry about, is that the space I would like to position the dust collector is near the front of the garage and the garage door rails limit the vertical height as it is too narrow by a few inches between the rails and the garage wall for the canister filter to fit. By my rough estimate, if I kept the filter and pushed it as high as I could against the garage door rail, I would not have enough space underneath to fit the SDD and the 30 gal barrel I plan to capture the dust in.

I will update this thread as things progress.


View JonCrafting's profile


35 posts in 690 days

#11 posted 02-01-2022 10:42 PM

You know those posts were the OP stops posting and you’re left with a cliff hanger? Well my apologies for not getting back to this sooner, but life happened, progress stalled, but now I’m back at it and while not complete. It’s getting there. I’m still waiting on some parts for the ducting I have on order, but my Grizzly his haxed, boxed, and mounted to the wall via some French cleats.

The run from the exhaust down to the vent at the base of the wall will be done with some 6” flex into a 12×4” register. The actual vent hole is larger than 12×4” so I will be creating a wooden frame and filling the gaps with spray foam as necessary. I am also considering to purchase the 4” Rockler dust right system for now, even though the dust port in the SDD is 5”. Would love to run 5” fixed piping, but I have plans to remodel the garage in the future and do not want to have to redo the ducting.

Wish me luck.

View PCDub's profile


408 posts in 1742 days

#12 posted 02-02-2022 06:31 PM

Thanks for reporting back! I always appreciate when folks let us know what happened & what they decided!

View JonCrafting's profile


35 posts in 690 days

#13 posted 03-02-2022 08:25 PM

Well my box of 6” HVAC parts arrived from HD, as well as a 10’ section of 6” flex hose from Amazon. Only needed 4-5’ but the 10’ section only cost $3 more than the 5’ section so the bargain hunter in me pulled rank and yeah… I now have 5-6’ of 6” hose I’m not sure I will ever need.

So far I have crafted another rectangular wooden gasket which I could connect the 6” HVAC take off adapter to via the self adhesive tape and some screws and then mount to the Grizzly elbow. I forgot to take pics of this apparently, but I did get pictures of the 6” to 4×12” HVAC vent adapter which I framed with 3/4” ply caulk and screws. Previously the inside section of this garage air vent had a screen and the outside had louvers. I was able to remove the screen but needed to cut out the louvers with an angle grinder. The screen section I was able to reuse on the outside to prevent larger curious critters from haunting my dust collection. I still need to clean this up a bit and make a small awning for to protect against rain.

I used expanding foam for the first time in an attempt to seal up some areas in the wall framing, and now have traumatic fear of this freak of nature substance. I used my fingers to shape/move some of it around right after spraying it, and geeze! getting this crap off your hands is ridiculous. I washed my hands with warm soapy water for about 15minutes before giving up. I rubbed my hands in some fine sawdust and finally got rid of the stick, but then had the oddest discoloration going on where the sawdust was permanently glued to my skin. I resorted to wiping it off the best I could with acetone which yeah also sucked, but at least my hands look clean for the most part.

Next on the list of things to do is to connect the SDD to the blower, then using 2 more 6” HVAC take offs and some 6” flex hose connect the SDD to the collection bucket.

Oh and I still need to decide whether to get the Rockler Dust Right 4” hose to connect to my machines or go with something else…

View MrRon's profile


6339 posts in 4742 days

#14 posted 03-02-2022 08:39 PM

I use a two-stage dust collector ducting to the outdoors. I don’t notice any dust exiting to the outside. My shop is on an 8-acre lot, so dust pollution is not a concern.

View Eric's profile


5862 posts in 1372 days

#15 posted 03-03-2022 03:08 AM

I would vent outside, of course my neighborhood is made up 1 acre plots, so it’s not an issue for me

-- Eric, building the dream. the "Loft"

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