I am remodeling part of my business space and would like to get some
opinions on heating and air cleaners.
I run a soils laboratory and have dust in the air constantly. I am
posting to this group because of the similarity to the dusty
environment with woodworking tools. I have a 800 sf cement slab with
block walls that I want to finish with insulation, drywall and vinyl
The way I see it I have 2 options:
I was considering going with a suspended slab PEX radiant floor heat
system and having a constant exhaust system to remove any dust from the
air. If I went with forced air heat then all my hot air would be
evacuated. I assume the exhaust would not remove the heat in the room
generated from the floor.
Use forced air and commercial duty air cleaners to recycle the internal
air. But I don't want a high dB cleaner running constantly.
Any opinions or experience with this combination of heating and air
Thanks in advance
1) If you are exhausting internal air, there has to be outside air coming
in to make up what is exhausted. It will take the heat out of the room
regardless of how it is generated since you will be replacing the heated air
with cooler, outside air.
2) No experience with the ceiling mounted air cleaning system but I do have
a central ac/heat in my shop. The filter gets clogged in very little time
so I don't usually run the ac/heat when I'm creating dust. I may run the
heater just to take the chill off before starting to make dust but haven't
needed to this year here in Phoenix.
You didn't state what causes all the dust in the air. Is there a particular
process that the soil is being aerated or moved in some manner that promotes
particulates to become airborne? Best bet for minimizing the problem is to
fix the source of the problem.
While I have a ceiling mounted air cleaner in my shop and a 2hp dust
collector neither keeps the shop "dust free" by any means. I minimize the
dust by having vacuum hose pick-ups mounted near the source of the dust
maker. Router table has two collection points, one above on the fence and
the second is an enclosure around the router with a 4" hose connected to the
DC. Jointer has a 4" hose as well as the planner, the tablesaw and bandsaw.
When using the sanders, I have dust collection connected and use a either a
dedicated 1hp DC unit or the shop-vac depending on which sander is being
Get it at the source then maybe an air cleaner (or more) will help minimize
the fine airborne particles. Use the best equipment and filters you can
afford and also consider that pressurized face shields (like wood-turners
use) may be an excellent and effective solution. These are not a tight
fitting mask but rather have a battery operated air compressor that filters
the air and gently blows it into the shield to provide clean air. Several
types available so don't dismiss them as being not a viable solution.
If you exhaust the warmed air, *REGARDLESS* of how it gets warm, you
are guaranteed to have a heat-loss problem.
Use a "low dB cleaner" and let it run. <grin>
Use an air cleaning system that recirculates the 'cleaned' air back into
the work-space. This eliminates the heat loss problem that is inherent
with 'external' exhaust systems.
All you need as some sort of fan/blower that moves enough air to 'change'
the air in your workspace several times ("how many" depends on the rate
at which you generate airborne 'stuff') an hour. Then you stick enough
square feet of filter materiel a ways in front (or behind it), to trap the
'stuff'. the last part of the design is to add barricades around the fan
going up to the filters, so that all the air through the fan also goes
through the filters.
A 36" 'barn fan' (or 'whole house attic fan') has a free-flow rate of
around 5000 cu. ft. _per_minute_. This equates to about one air exchange
every 2 minutes for your space, assuming 10' ceilings.
If you put a 6' wide by 8' high filter 'wall' (a 3x4 grid of 20"x24"
furnace filters) about 4 ft in front of the barn fan, and use another
3-4' foot depth behind the fan (with some baffles to 'spread' the air),
you can 'do everything' in less than 50 sq. ft of floor space.
Something like 8 sheets of plywood and a couple of dozen 2x4s is all that's
called for, for construction materials.
Noise level is probably in the 70dBA range.
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