With the wildfires still raging on in the western regions of our country, members of the communities affected are looking for any type of relief available. Although equipping your furnace with a MERV 13 or higher air filter is the strongest line of defense for peak air quality in your home, there are other more cost-effective ways to purify the air at home without breaking the bank. In the age of information that we live in, DIY (Do It Yourself) solutions to most of our problems are at our fingertips more than ever.
Thankfully for homeowners in wildfire zones, there are even DIY fixes for the immediate problems they are facing today. Many people own box fans and have one or two sitting in a storage closet somewhere around their house. Unknowingly to homeowners, these commonly used items can make a big difference to the quality of the air you and your family may be breathing in at home.
Your 20” box fan combined with an equally sized air filter can create an effective air purifier that you can place in whichever room you will be spending the most time in.
How to create your home-made air purifierBefore you begin, here is what you need:
- 1 box fan
- 1 or 2 air filters (20x20x1 size fill fit most box fans)
Step 1: Start by setting the fan in its desired locationChoose a location in your home that has a decent amount of airflow. A single fan should be enough for most rooms, however very larger areas like the living room, you may need 2 fans.
Step 2: Fix the air filter behind the fanThe filter will conveniently hold itself on with the suction generated from the fan’s blades when it is turned on. As mentioned before, those of you inside a wildfire smoke zone, we recommend a MERV 13 filter. Ensure you put the filter in the correct direction, there should be indicators or arrows on the filter.
Step 3: Tape the filter for more secure placementAlthough not entirely necessary, you may also choose to tape the filter to the back of the fan so that it remains in position even after you turn it off.
Step 4 (optional): Add a second air filterAnother trick you can do to keep your DIY air purifier working for as long as possible, is stack two air filters on top of each other behind your fan, with the higher quality filter staying in the middle. This will increase the high-quality filter's lifespan and keep it filtering out the harmful hidden smoke from your home and not be forced to combat the regular everyday dust particles that clog and dirty your filter faster.
Will this homemade DIY air purifier actually work?
Expert tests show that DIY filters are nearly as effective as the most expensive air purifiers on the market today and do a very good job of protecting your home from the poor air quality that comes as a result of forest fires. These DIY air purifiers can help to clear out smoke within a room quite quickly.
With the wildfires in Western Canada still going strong, we encourage homeowners to do whatever is necessary to protect themselves and their families in these trying times. DIY air purifiers are a more than effective way to defend yourself from the harsh air quality that our communities have been reduced into breathing in. Our thoughts and prayers are with our neighbours to the West. British Colombia has now had its worst fire season on record and we hope that this troubling trend finds a way to get better before it gets worse.