Air filtration system..Is it worth the $$$$

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Forum topic by Medickep posted 03-04-2015 12:48 AM 4993 views 0 times favorited 44 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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576 posts in 2984 days

03-04-2015 12:48 AM

Topic tags/keywords: resource dust collection air filtration

I started looking into a filtration unit for several reasons, but the most important one is now that my son is sleeping in the top bunk of his bunkbeds, which are right underneath his heat register, I’ve noticed him coughing almost every morning.

Like many here, my garage is my shop. I have a 1400 CFM Jet dust collector, which does well, but there’s always a little dust lying around. Most noted, by things in my garage I don’t use much and are covered in dust.

Thought 1): He could just happen to have a bad cough/cold that is just not going away (3+ weeks).

Thought 2): Some dust is making it’s way through the furnace, despite always changing the furnace filters. Now that he’s under it, it’s more of an issue.

If it’s thought two, I would like to fix this as I don’t want it in the house, wether someone sleeps near the register or not. I placed a filter behind his vent and added a deflector, which is a bandaid for a potential problem if it’s thought number two.

My wife awhile ago purchased a Groupon to have the ducts professionally cleaned, which I will have done before I make the final decision too.

Which brings me to the point of coming here and asking the community about a filtration system. I know they can be expensive, but they always seem to be on sale, I just don’t know much about them.

Are they worth it? Do the filters last awhile? Are they expensive to replace? Best brand?

I started to look a little and on one review, a guy said he cleaned his shop spotless, put a Jet unit up and notice that dust doesn’t seem to accumulate around his garage. His wife stated it “smelt” cleaner in there too!

One thing that makes me think it’s the dust causing my son to cough is he states going to Home Depot makes him cough as well as an older gentleman I like to visit, who has a workshop.

I found this one at Wood craft on sale, which should be big enough and is cheaper than my pocket hole machine cost. I need to measure my garage space, but it’s a three car random garage. Two cars deep on one side, where most of the tools are and two cars wide in the front.

Sorry for the long winded post!

Any advice on this would be great!!

-- Keith

44 replies so far

View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 3921 days

#1 posted 03-04-2015 01:01 AM

No matter what the cause of your son’s symptoms….
Air filtration is important!!!

Grizzly has this unit on sale….

Although this is a smaller capacity unit, at this price you could get two….
locate them for improved air circulation and hence better filtration.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View TravisH's profile


782 posts in 3181 days

#2 posted 03-04-2015 01:14 AM

I was amazed at the dust I picked up in my small shop just using a box fan mounted to the rafters pointing down with a filter. One of the mags had featured the box fan set up in conjunction with the commercially available units and they performed amazingly well for a quick and cheap set up.

I wouldn’t hesitate to get the Jet or similar set up. Might take a closer look at your point source collection and see if improvements can be made but still would add the air filtration.

View Medickep's profile


576 posts in 2984 days

#3 posted 03-04-2015 01:24 AM

Thanks guys, keep it coming!! Do the filters last awhile..generally. Obviously it depends on the shop. Are they expensive? They seem to have a huge range in price!’

-- Keith

View JAAune's profile


2038 posts in 3563 days

#4 posted 03-04-2015 01:30 AM

That shop filter would be good in the woodshop.

If you want one in the bedroom, IQAir makes some excellent (but expensive) units. One of my siblings used to have asthma when we were children and my parents put a HEPA filter in the bedroom to alleviate the symptoms. Honeywell brand filters kept breaking down every year or so but the IQAir machine never had any problems.

-- See my work at

View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 3921 days

#5 posted 03-04-2015 01:32 AM

I just installed the Grizzly unit yesterday….
So I can’t really comment on performance.
What I can say is, it is very quiet.
Inner Filter $12.95 (can be blown clean with a compressor)
Outer Filter $9.95 (more or less disposable)

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View Medickep's profile


576 posts in 2984 days

#6 posted 03-04-2015 01:49 AM

I’m intrigued by the price of the grizzly but it doesn’t mention the size of room it can handle. But as mentioned I could by two for the price of one jet!

-- Keith

View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 3921 days

#7 posted 03-04-2015 02:13 AM

The Grizzly’s highest setting is 409 CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute)
20’ x 20’ x 8’ = 3,200 cubic feet. (size of the JET comparison space)
3,200cf / 409cfm = 7.8 minutes (to filter the space once)
60 (minutes) / 7.8 minutes = 7.6 (times the air space is filtered)

Two units would be the equivalent of filtering that space about 15 times an hour.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View Dark_Lightning's profile


4848 posts in 4355 days

#8 posted 03-04-2015 03:23 AM

Yes. I retired recently (end of October, last year), and have been experiencing severe allergic symptoms for about the same amount of time. It turns out that I am allergic to the dander from two of my dogs. Since I went to work in a clean room environment during my workday, I was away from the allergens for a large majority of my day, and would recover. Now that I am home all day, it became a serious problem, with a couple of hours of itchy, watering eyes and nasal discharge every morning. I bought a HEPA filter and put it in the bedroom a couple of days ago. I got the first night’s sleep without the problems just last night. It is sitting on my nightstand positioned so that it absorbs any dander and “pressurizes” my corner of the bedroom. Best night’s sleep I have had in months.

You should consider an electrostatic filter for your HVAC system, if you don’t already have one. That is next on my list. Given that I have lived in this house for 12+ years, it will be awhile before the problem diminishes, but that is OK. I had horrible medical issues (two different inhalers, many times a day) until the carpet was removed and wood floors were installed. I don’t use either of those medications, now. We found bloody hairballs, where the bed was, from the previous owner’s cats after they moved out. Nasty. I am really allergic to cat dander.

Further, his position below a heating register is exposing him to possibly the most dry air in the house. That can’t be helping. I’d recommend moving him and also getting a humidifier in his room, if you live in a low humidity region.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View Medickep's profile


576 posts in 2984 days

#9 posted 03-04-2015 05:08 AM


I’ll admit, math is not my bag!! Your calculations seem correct but I didn’t follow :-) But it does sound like two of these would the same as one jet!!

-- Keith

View jsuede's profile


69 posts in 2470 days

#10 posted 03-04-2015 05:59 AM

My 2 cents, do the box fan filter before you do anymore work if your gonna shop around for a bit, as Travis said and I concur, they are very effective for a $25+ investment. 20” fan, 20” filter, masking tape. I’m in the middle of an intense rehab with lots of 140 year old lath and plaster and amazed at how much it picks up, started buying filters in 10 packs.

If budget is a concern, consider making your own, there are some good examples in the projects section (one last week IIRC). I have a furnace parts guy in Chicago that sells new and used to building owners. He quoted me $40 for a used blower, less than a hundred for a DIY if you can find that deal on a blower. I’m going the DIY route before I get down to building out my basement shop.

That Grizzly deal is pretty sweet. Saw the PSA for that earlier this week. If I had the cashflow It would already be in my hands.

As dark lightning said I would get the boy away from the vent, gonna most likely be an issue regardless of whats making it past the filter. Forced air is DRY. Humidifiers are a must for my family now as well, before them my wife and I got in the habit of “grounding” to each others hand before a kiss, and we don’t even have carpet.

My father also has a furnace in his workspace. His furnace has no cold air returns in the space, and draws combustion air from outside. So he sealed up his furnace and exposed duct to the nines, I’m talking every seam including the access panels. I’m not a furnace guy, so some clarification as to safety from a pro on his level of sealing is needed before I’d recommend it.

View Harry's profile


80 posts in 2426 days

#11 posted 03-04-2015 07:54 AM

I do indoor air quality control for a living and can definitely say that filtration is worth every penny. The comment on IQAir is right on and that is the best you can get for your son’s room. The second would be Austin Air, another very good system. Most other room filters are garbage and can actually make the air quality worse. Something else to concider would be a hole house system that attaches to your HVAC system. I have installed the IQAir Perfect 16 hole house systems in many homes with great results. It is also very important you have a good furnace filter (at least a MERV 10) and change it frequently. I change mine every month when the system is frequently being used. I have the JET 2000 in the studio / warehouse I share with my dusty ceramicist wife and it seems to keep the dust down. I HEPA vacuum every couple of days as well. Sorry this is so long winded but there is a great deal you can do to have better indoor air quality and this being my first post, I’m making the most of it…


-- Harry - Professional amateur

View albachippie's profile


773 posts in 4281 days

#12 posted 03-04-2015 09:04 AM

Air filtration is a top priority for my. I have a stand alone workshop, about a bay and a half garage. I use the European version of the Grizzly mentioned above. The same machine exactly, but wit record power written on the side. This One I can’t express how shocked I was at how much dust it catches. I use a pretty efficient chip and dust extractor, but this catches the fine dust. As far as the filter longevity, it very much depends on your usage of your shop. The filters are disposable, and at the prices you would be paying, it is worth it. Because in the UK prices are so much more expensive, even though they are identical filters, I try to clean the outer filter a couple of times before replacing. Really, they should be changed though, not cleaned.


-- Garry fae Bonnie Scotland

View Robert's profile


4746 posts in 2727 days

#13 posted 03-04-2015 12:54 PM

I am a medical professional who is very concerned about the long term health effects of wood dust inhalation. I know an older man who runs a commericial shop with no DC at all and he has no lung issues at all. I suspect its like cigarette smoking, bad for some, not bad for others. Have you taken your son to the Dr to rule out asthma, bronchitis, etc? Have you moved the bed or his sleeping location?

You haven’t said what kind of heat you have, but if its fuel oil, there can be a problem with fumes getting into the ducts, putting combustion chemicals and carbon monoxide into your house.

Assuming the air handler is in the garage, no dust should be able to get into the return plenum on your HVAC system, but I will qualify this in a minute. The air handler should be sealed, but I would check it to be sure. Very fine dust, as with MDF could make entry.

If the return vent is close to the garage door and dust is getting under the door, it could enter your system if it bypasses the filter. Which brings up the question what kind of filter are you using? Get the best you can. Also, are you doing woodworking activities while he’s sleeping?

Wood dust is definitely a serious health concern, particularly MDF. MDF is one of the most awful stuff anybody can use, full of chemicals like formaldehyde. There is no DC made that will get all the dust MDF produces. If you’re using MDF be very, very careful and be sure you were a high quality respirator type mask with the appropriate filters (those hospital-type masks are ineffective for MDF). Also be sure to wear goggles because MDF dust can make entry into your throat through the eye.

Regardless of the possible link to your son’s respiratory issues,

1. What kind of filter is on your DC? Upgrading to a canister if needed. (Better yet, exhaust outside the building.)

2. I find an exhaust fan to be very useful when I’m sweeping up or kicking up alot of dust in the shop. A big one at least 3’ diameter.

3. Make sure the door from house into your garage is sealed.

4. In my opinion the hanging air filter units are not effective in reducing health risks. You’ve already inhaled the dust way before it is sucked into the filter. They are fine for a finishing room or general airborne dust reduction, but they are no substitute for personal face protection.

Hope this helps.

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

View timbertailor's profile


1594 posts in 2670 days

#14 posted 03-04-2015 01:57 PM

An air filtration system is only as good as the filter.

It must have a fine particle removal capability (1 or 0.5 micron) and it must be able to provide adequate flow (think large cartridge filters) like those sold by Wynn Filters.

P.S. I would have your son checked for allergies. If not recognized early, could prove to be very hazardous to his health.

-- Brad, Texas,

View ja6ke's profile


52 posts in 2818 days

#15 posted 03-04-2015 03:05 PM

I have the 1400CFM (claimed) filter from Grizzly hanging in the middle of a roughly 20×30 shop. I bought it with the thought that along with ample DC it would keep the air clean enough. Seeing the amount of stuff the exterior filter caught and how quickly it accumulated I realized I was still breathing way to much dust. Now I wear a mask when ever I am in there and while I do run the filter most of the time I primarily see the it’s value as something to leave running for an hour after I leave for the night.

I have an older 2hp griz DC that is not being used. I am thinking of putting it on top of a stack of wynn filters. Anyone have any thoughts on that combination’s effectiveness?

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