The smoke from Canadian wildfires has spread out to the East Coast, reminding everyone of the future consequences of climate change. In New York City, the sky has turned murky orange due to the smoke, causing the air quality index (AQI) to increase across the city. New York City has now become the second city in the world, behind Delhi, with the poorest air quality (source). The haze in the air has been harmful, affecting people with respiratory diseases, asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes, elderly or infants, and even those with healthy lungs. If you live in an apartment, where air can be concentrated, you need to consider filtering the air inside to stay safe.
Having survived a pandemic, New York City residents should already know the importance of masking up when in public. For the next few days, traveling outside may require using N95 masks and goggles. This article provides a guide on how to create an air filter using a box fan with items that can be easily found at home.
Items needed for the project include a box fan, four AC air filters, and tape. In terms of the box fan, it does not matter if the fan is big, old, or cheap, as long as the side lengths of the fan equal the lengths of the filters. For example, if you use a 20” box fan, you need to buy 20” filters. Four AC filters rated either MERV 13-16 or MPR 1200-2800 will be required. If you’re using two different brands, make sure they are of the same size. The tape used can either be the duct variety or blue painters tape.
To begin the construction of the air filter, place each filter on its end in a right angle position with the arrow indicators on each filter facing inward. Tape all filters together to form a square without covering the filter bits with tape. Place the fan on top so that it blows air down into the square and then secure it with tape. Finally, plug in the fan to filter the air.
This air filter not only counteracts smog but also helps to filter out intentionally generated smoke in dorm rooms.