I am trying to decide where to put my dust collector in a new shop I am building. The shop is a 12 x 20-foot room that is a part of a two-bay garage. I had thought about putting the dust collector in the garage area adjacent to the shop and then running ductwork through the wall and into the shop. The shop will be heated, but the garage area will not. By locating the dust collector in this unheated area, will I incur a larger than needed heating bill due to the dust collector pulling heated air out of the shop and into the unheated area? Or not? Or would you have a better idea? I am trying to cut down on noise in the shop area along with gaining a little extra room in the shop.
Michael Dresdner: Here’s a compromise: Put it in the unheated garage, but build an insulated box around it. Force the returning air back into the heated area by venting from the box. Within minutes of turning on the dust collector, the small air space around it will be warmed up and you will have your space, your noise abatement, AND your heat.
Rob Johnstone: I love the idea of putting the dust collector in the garage area. You will suck heat out of your shop, but gain valuable space in the bargain. I don’t know how to do the cost benefit evaluation … but the tradeoff seems reasonable to me. Here in Minnesota, many shops have the dust collectors outside. There are a couple of problems to evaluate that you may not have considered. I remember freezing my sorry butt off while standing on a ladder and using an electric heat gun to thaw a woodchip clog which had frozen solid in the ductwork as it exited a nice warm shop into a 20-below-zero morning. While I doubt that your system will experience that sort of problem, the warm to cold situation may cause condensation problems. Also, speaking strictly for myself … out of sight means out of mind. It is hard enough to remember to properly check dust collectors when you are looking at them every day. But if they are out of the shop, I would forget more easily.
Simon Watts: Much better to segregate the dust collector. They are noisy brutes and will often allow the most dangerous particles- three microns or less – to escape into the air you are breathing.