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A baghouse (or bag house) is a type of industrial dust collection fabric filter. Other common terms for a baghouse are dust collector, fabric filter, and bag filter. A less common term is dry scrubber. Baghouses fall under the broader term of APC (air pollution control) equipment. IAC designs and manufacturers baghouse dust collector systems in a variety of sizes for many different industries.

Master the Essentials of Baghouse Dust Collection Systems!

How Does a Baghouse Dust Collector Work?

Baghouse Dust Collectors filter dust particles from air with fabric filters.

Baghouses are by far the most common type of air pollution control (APC) equipment used in any and all applications requiring dry dust control. Many think of industrial dust collectors as large vacuum cleaners, but this is only partially correct. A vacuum cleaner does not have an onboard filter cleaning system – once the filter is clogged with dust; it is disposed of and replaced. On the other hand, a baghouse has a built-in filter cleaning system that prevents the filter bags from plugging, and continues to regenerate the filter media’s permeability which is the ability to support airflow thereby increasing the life of the filters.

Dust collection systems typically consist of a metal housing or vessel, which contains the filters. Internally, the housing is separated into a dusty side and a clean side by a metal plate with holes in it called a tubesheet or cell plate. The open ends of the filters are attached to the tubesheet at the holes by various methods.

In all baghouses, the dust-laden air or gas enters the dusty or lower side of the housing and flows generally upward through the filters and tubesheet and into the clean or upper top side of the housing.

The dust is captured by the filters, and is periodically removed from the filters by the cleaning system. Dust removed from the filters falls into a hopper. Depending on the amount dust being collected, it is then discharged from the hopper into a drum or dumpster for manual removal, or conveyed by a mechanical or pneumatic transport system to a dry bulk storage tank or silo for truck loadout.

Sizes of fabric filters vary widely – from baghouses with only a single filter to baghouses with thousands of filters. There are also a wide variety of filter styles, sizes and shapes available. The majority of dust collector filters are 5 inches up to 6 inches diameter round tubular cloth bags that are open at one end. However, the filter diameters can vary from 2 inches to 12 inches and the filter lengths from 3 feet to 40 feet. There are also oval shaped tubular filter bags, flat rectangular envelope style filter bags, pleated cartridge type filters, and ceramic “candle” filters.

Many variables are considered in the selection and sizing of a baghouse, but the primary parameter is called air-to-cloth ratio or filtration velocity, which is defined by the required air or gas flowing through the baghouse divided by the total filter area in the baghouse.

Types of Baghouse Dust Collectors: Process and Nuisance

The two most common types of baghouse dust collectors.

Baghouse dust collector applications generally fall into one of two categories: process or nuisance dust collection.

A process baghouse is critical to production, and if it is not working properly, or shut down, the production process is slowed down or stopped.

Typical process baghouse dust collector applications include:

  • Boilers
  • Furnaces
  • Kilns
  • Dryers
  • Separators
  • Mills

Process baghouse problems must be addressed promptly in order avoid production loss, reduced revenue, irate clients, and possible government fines.

A nuisance baghouse collects the airborne particulate created by the movement of dusty material from one point to another, or by the action of specific operating equipment on the product.

Typical nuisance baghouse dust collector applications are:

  • Material handling equipment such as belt conveyors, sizing screens, bucket elevators and storage bins, hoppers, bagging machines or silos
  • Equipment used to modify the product such as mixers, grinders, saws, welding machines, sandblasters, paint booths and dip tanks.

Nuisance baghouse problems will not typically affect production, but may cause worker discomfort, inefficiency, and possible health issues. Also, the excessive airborne dust caused by a poorly performing nuisance baghouse can result in greater equipment maintenance and plant housekeeping efforts.

There are three main types of baghouse filter cleaning systems. The various designs provide different cleaning methods for the filter bags. While some types of cleaning systems are more common than others, each type provides benefits depending on the application.


The most common type of cleaning system is called pulse jet (PJ) or reverse jet, which uses high pressure compressed air for cleaning the filters. In pulse jet baghouses, the dust collects on the outside surface of the filters. The greatest advantage of pulse jet baghouses is that the filters can be cleaned on-line without stopping or interrupting the air flow entering the baghouse. This is important because it results in a more stable dust control operation.

Pulse Jet baghouse dust collector drawing


Reverse air cleaning is a baghouse design used in several types of applications such as high temperature and highly combustible dust; in applications where clean, dry, compressed air is not readily available; and with certain types of filter bag media, such as glass cloth, that require a gentler, low-pressure deflation to remove dust without damaging the filter media. Reverse air baghouses are compartmentalized for automated, continuous cleaning without taking the baghouse offline.

Reverse air baghouse dust collector drawing

Shaker Style Baghouse

Shaker style cleaning systems utilize an electric motor driven mechanical system to clean the filters by shaking them after the dust-laden air or gas is stopped from entering the off-line baghouse.

Shaker baghouse dust collector drawing

Both reverse air and shaker baghouses utilize filters that collect the dust on the inside surface of the filters.

There are a few other less common cleaning systems such as plenum pulse, which uses compressed air to clean a section of filters after the section of filters is taken off-line. Another cleaning system is known as shake & deflate, which utilizes both a shaker cleaning mechanism and a reverse air cleaning system simultaneously.

IAC design, build, and service Expertise


Our custom systems can be created to fit any application. Our team of engineers specialize in designing the three most commonly used baghouses; shaker, reverse-air and pulse-jet. The baghouse types differ based upon how they clean the bags. Different cleaning cycles results in various amounts of energy consumption.


IAC has a large number of the highest quality fabrication facilities in the United States with over 200,000 sq. ft. of fabrication. We make sure our staff is AISC and ASME certified. Our shops allow us build new baghouse using state of the art equipment and the highest quality of materials.


With our shipping capabilities your next dust collector can be delivered to anywhere within the contiguous 48 states. Not only can we ship your baghouse but we can also construct it as well. No need to hire a third party company or attempt to have your employees assemble the equipment. We can send our IAC specialist to meet your needs and get your dust collector assembled and running the day it’s delivered.


With service or a routine preventative maintenance program by the IAC “Blue Crew”, your plant will operate with peak dust collection efficiency and reduced emissions. Providing optimum production output, a clean safe work environment, reduced wear and tear on equipment, less chance for equipment breakdowns and lower energy usage. The IAC Blue Crew is here for all your baghouse maintenance needs. All of our crews are OSHA & MSHA Certified. Multiple man teams with crew leaders can be assembled. Millwright execution available.

Filter Bag for Baghouse Dust Collection

Baghouse Filters, Cages, and Parts

With over 55,000 industrial parts and accessories, we provide a large selection of  filter bags, filter bag cages, pleated filter elements, wear components, and accessories for any type of industrial dust collector. Most items are in stock and ready for immediate shipping. Because IAC is an OEM, we can get you the right part for your application at the lowest price on the market. Our products are guaranteed to help you meet the strictest emission laws.

Find out more and request a quote by visiting our Parts & Accessories pages.

Baghouse Training

We want our customers to feel confident in their abilities to operate the equipment provided to them. We offer in house seminars at your location. Unlike our competitors our training courses are catered to your facility and staffs’ specific needs. By completing a walk-through of your facility the day before the seminar, our expert engineers know exactly what to cover in the up coming maintenance training for your staff.

Learn more and submit a request for more information on our Baghouse Training Seminars page.