Cartridge dust collectors are a critical component in industrial applications and HVAC systems that filter dust, particulate matter, and fumes from the air. Therefore, it is crucial to replace your dust collector cartridge filters when they are no longer working to keep your system running efficiently. But how long do cartridge filters last, and when should you replace them?
What is a Dust Collector Cartridge Filter, and How Does It Work?
A cartridge dust collector is a modular, compact collection system that removes dust and particulate matter from the air. For example, when an industrial fan causes air to move through the system, dust and particulates are caught in “cartridge” filters: cylindrically shaped, pleated filters that collect dust on their exterior as air flows through them. Depending on the size and airflow needed in a facility, a cartridge dust collection system can utilize anywhere from a few filters to dozens or even hundreds of filters.
Filters are often small, tightly woven nanofibers. This tight weave typically makes them much better at catching small particulate matter than baghouse options – down to 0.3 microns at 99.7% or greater efficiency. As a result, some filters reach HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air [filter]) designation by the United States Department of Energy (DOE).
Over time, dust accumulates on the exterior of the filter and reduces the efficiency, performance, and safety of the dust collection system. Cartridge dust collectors include pulse jets that send bursts of compressed air through the filters to blast loose accumulated dust and particulates. This cleaning extends the lifetime of your filter considerably. But eventually, even the best filters with the best cleaning systems need to be replaced.
When is it Time to Replace Your Cartridge Filter?
When dust and particulates embed themselves deep into the material of the filter where they cannot be removed by the pulse jets, this is known as a “blinded” filter. Blinded filters dramatically reduce the airflow through the system and must be replaced.
Visual inspection used to be the primary method for determining if a filter has passed the point of effective operation. A blinded filter will often look caked in debris that will not shake free, could have pleats that appear loose, and could even have abrasions or tears if working with abrasive materials. Today, the best way to check if your system is correctly operating is by monitoring the system pressure. When the differential pressure drops below a certain point, which automatic sensors can closely monitor, you will know it is time to replace your filters.
The good news about replacing your dust collector cartridge filter is that it is usually hassle-free. With baghouse systems, a technician often has to enter the inside of the collection enclosure to remove each bag one by one. You can easily replace most cartridge filters from the exterior of the collector with no hassle. But how do you know when it is time to replace your used filters?
What is the Lifetime of a Cartridge Filter?
The answer is: it depends. While quality dust collector cartridge filters can provide you with a year or more of service, the fact of the matter is that this question is highly dependent on a variety of factors, including:
- Quality of the filter
- The volume of air in the system
- Type(s) of filtered materials
- Proper maintenance
The first factors come down to the volume of air and type of processes. For example, if your system moves a massive amount of air, more dust and particulates will accumulate on your filters over less time, shortening their lifetime. Similarly, abrasive, moist, or sticky and tacky materials will damage the filters and shorten their life faster than dry, clean air.
Secondly, maintenance of your filters is critical to their longevity. Running your cleaning system too infrequently will cause the filters to become blinded more quickly as dust and particulates accumulate. On the other hand, frequent cleaning of your filters can cause additional wear and tear, shortening their lifetime. The best way to address these issues is to adopt an automated cleaning system based on drops in differential pressure.
Replacing Your Cartridge Filters
At Baghouse America, we provide the highest quality cartridge filters crafted with premium metals that outlast our competitors. So when you receive your replacement parts from Baghouse America, you can breathe easy knowing that your equipment will run better for a fraction of typical repair costs.
Schedule a call with our team of experts and have all of your dust collection questions answered today.