Strategies for Knowing when to change your Air Filter and is this sustainable?

I have been using my Air Filter only since late March and not even every week. On average less than once a week. My filter is already beeping at me when I turn it off and literally as well as ironically my first job cutting acrylic after a day of deep cleaning my Glowforge the acrylic smell has returned even when running the Filter.

Looking at the $250 cost to replace the filter makes me seriously sick to my stomach. This filter was a Thousand dollars, I can’t even use it for 50% of my projects because I use wood and acrylic, and now I’m to expect 1 filter will only last me say like a dozen working days? Something sounds seriously wrong and I’m frankly a little pissed off. And the manual is really dodgy and unclear how to detect accurately when your filter needs changing? Couldn’t Glowforge have designed this with some kind of visual sensor to tell you definitively.

Does anyone have any advice or suggestions for how they monitor their Filter, justify this expense? I don’t want my Machines to be toys, I want them to work for me and support my business not just be a money pit.

The filter is meant as a “last resort” and has a limited lifespan, as documented:

It’s certainly not meant for a “production” environment. For that, you would need an industrial solution that costs many times more.


@reginas I see you emailed us about your Air Filter and we are working on that there, so I’m going to close this topic.

cough :lock: :angel:


He did not say when


Fair point.


You can cut wood, it’s totally fine. Some woods like pine are particularly resiny and would gunk up faster but a good quality baltic birch ply is great with the filter. It’s MDF/draftboard in particular you want to avoid, and PG medium plywoods have a draftboard core.
I’m getting at least a few months out of a filter cartridge, mine is the original CF though and doesn’t beep like yours. Remember to run the filter after the cut for at least as long as the cut was (10 min cut, 10 min extra filter run time) it will last longer.


I am wondering if it would be reasonable to run all the time but the carbon part of the filter is just as vulnerable to chemical overload as the HEPA part is to particles. In that circumstance stinky stuff that has been talked about here quite a bit is for the carbon filter what MDF is for particles. Lots of acrylic or leather is as likely to quickly do it in as MDF or oak.

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Hey Andy maybe you should also let me see if any other users have any recommendations or information to add since I still haven’t received a follow up email.

It’s pretty weird of a GF employee to try to shut down this inquiry so quick. I wondered why when I searched for questions like mine I found nothing at all in the forum with a thread title hinting to answering my question. So what does that mean? Is this normal? I can’t be the only one with this issue.

If GF is going to rely on a lot of user generated support with the forum perhaps you should not “close topics” so fast. My frustrations are legitimate and probably shared.

I run a small business and pretty much don’t take days off. While I don’t run my GF every day I do work every day and today I hoped to do a project because the project in question is being held up by these issues.

I turn to the forum for piece of mind and additional or quicker help.

Yeah that sales pitch really wasn’t communicated when I bought mine during their crowd funding in 2015, or when I was being given the option to OPT out and get my money back.

Oh no! I’m so sorry that we fumbled this response. You now have an email!

For those reading, when you hear the beep or start to detect an odor, you turn up the fan; when the fan is at maximum speed and you start to detect odor, you replace the filter cartridge.