Efficiency vs. Effectiveness

jobsite dust, dust on table, finger with dust

An efficient air filter is an effective air filter, right?  Not necessarily. When it comes to jobsite dust control there are many factors that can contribute to an air filter’s effectiveness and overall improvement to air quality. In this article we dive into the important distinction between efficiency and effectiveness and what matters most when it comes to jobsite dust control.

Efficiency vs. Effectiveness:

To first understand filter efficiency and effectiveness let's start with some definitions: 

Filter efficiency is the amount of particles captured by the filter and is typically expressed as a percentage of particles for a given particle size range.

Filter effectiveness refers to how effective the filter is at improving air quality.

A filter’s ability to be effective is more than just being efficient.  For instance, you can have an extremely efficient air filter, such as a HEPA rated filter, but if you place it in the middle of the room and not near the source of the dust then the filter will not be very effective at cleaning the air.

To increase a system’s effectiveness there are a few main factors to consider including flow rate, location, and room geometry. 

Quite possibly the most significant variable when it comes to effectiveness is location. For instance, with construction dust it is very powerful to capture the dust at the generation source before the dust spreads throughout the room. The reason for this is that once the dust has spread throughout the room a very high air exchange rate is necessary to clean the air properly. Alternatively, if the airflow is directed near the source of the dust, less airflow is required for the same results.

Flow rate is also an important factor when considering the effectiveness of an air filtration system. This is because flow rate is the mechanism that draws the contaminated air into the filter. An important concept to understand is flow rate over a given time.  A traditional mechanical filter captures dust in a pleated filter media.  As dust builds up in the filter the pressure drop of the filter increases which reduces the flow rate through the filter. The more dust that is captured the faster the filter clogs and needs replacement. A typical pleated filter is replaced once the air flow is decreased by 75%. This leads to a greatly diminished average effectiveness.

The main part that room geometry plays in filter effectiveness is air circulation. This is a variable that needs to be considered when arranging equipment to ensure your air scrubbers are located in an area that does not restrict circulation, which in turn reduces effectiveness. 

Choosing the Right Air Scrubber for Maximum Effectiveness

When it comes to jobsite site dust control there are two main factors to consider when purchasing an air scrubber unit. The first is how easily the unit can be moved to the location of the dust generation and the second is the airflow of the unit.

For these main reasons, the Dust One has a competitive advantage over traditional air scrubbers when it comes to being effective at controlling dust. 

Location: The Dust One is designed to be operated at the source.  With the combination of a lightweight design, casters, and memory flex inlet, the Dust One can be positioned in the work zone to collect the dust as it is generated.  This eliminates the dust spreading to the rest of the room where it is much harder and more costly to capture. 

dust one, vortex dust control solutionsThe Dust One gets close to the action as a worker demos an interior wall.

Airflow: Having a constant airflow at the source of dust is the operating principle of the Dust One thanks to it’s cyclonic technology. The Dust One separates particles using centripetal force and stores the particles in the dust bin to be emptied at a convenient time.  The airflow of the Dust One does not decrease as dust is collected so a full air flow rate is maintained.

By combining the two most important factors of jobsite dust control – location and airflow – the Dust One is more effective at capturing air borne dust when compared to centrally located air filtration units. 

Curious to learn more? Check out our product page or contact us. We are here to help you make the right choice for your dust control plan.



Written by Alex Frechette and published on 10/22/2020

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