Carl Craft

Carl Craft

Carl Craft

If you’re like me, you give a crap about your lungs and your kids lungs… so here’s a simple and effective way to set up a air cleaning device that can pull the wildfire smoke out of the air in your house in pretty decent fashion.

New Jersey recorded the worst air quality in 43 years yesterday.  All because of the smoke from wildfires in Canada being driven by prevailing winds right into our homes.  There’s no relief expected until at least late tonight or possibly tomorrow as the wind pattern shifts and some rain showers come through to wash some of this smoke out of the air.

But until that happens here’s a nifty tip from me:  You can use a simple box fan and four air filters to create a simple and effective air cleaner in your home.  It ends up being a big-ish box shape, a cube that’s 20x20x20.

What you’re gonna need:

  1. 4 20×20 MERV13 air filters, preferably 2 inch
  2. A box fan
  3. The box the fan came in, or at least a big piece of cardboard
  4. Lots of duct tape (or is that duck tape?  I never seem to know)

That’s it.  Here’s a step by step guide and a video…

  • Make A Box Out of The Air Filters

    Big tip to remember is that we’re shooting for air-tight for this project.  So, don’t skimp on the tape.

    Assemble the filters in a box.  Make sure all the filter airflow arrows are pointing IN the box, not out.

    When it’s done, the fan is going to sit on top of this box of filters and it’s going to suck the air into the filter so you want the air flow arrow on the filters to point in… not out.

    Use the tape in small, inch-long pieces to connect the filters then go back and cover the whole edge in one big, long piece of tape.  It’s a pain in the you-know-what to try to go for the long piece all in one shot.  I found that if I just got them to stand together I could go back and make the seal… it was pretty easy.


  • Use The Box The Fan Came In To Create A Bottom

    So you have a box.  the top and bottom aren’t covered, the sides are the filters (with the arrows pointing IN).

    Pick an open side to be the bottom of the box you’ve made and cut a big piece of the cardboard the fan came in to be the bottom of the fan.  It should be about 20×20, right?  Then, tape the cardboard to the filter box.  Again, we’re shooting for air tight here.  It’s not too hard.

  • Attach The Box Fan

    Take all the packaging off the box fan and plug it in to see which way the air flow goes.  Because I’m stupid and I forget stuff like this, I drew a little arrow pointing in the direction of the air flow.  This helped.

    Now, turn the filter box over so the cardboard bottom is sitting on the floor and the open end is on top.  Place the box fan on the open end with the air flow facing out.  Use the tape to attach the fan to the open end of the filter box.

  • Tape, Tape, Tape.

    We’re not going for pretty here.  We’re shooting for the end game:  airtight.

    So eyeball each seam on your contraption and use the tape to cover up any place that might let air through without being drawn through a filter.  Yeah, it might get sloppy… but I didn’t really care.  If I wanted my air cleaner to look pretty, I would have spent a few hundred bucks instead of just ninety bucks on a box fan and some filters.

    Once your filters are attached… your box fan is attached… plug that baby in and make sure the air is blowing out of the contraption, not in…

    If it does blow IN, you’ve got the fan wrong.  If it blows out, then you’re cleaning the air in the room.  Boom.  Done.

  • Video

    If my detailed instructions weren’t enough.  Here’s a nifty video that goes through the process for you as well.

    This contraption actually has an official name.  It’s called a, “Corsi-Rosenthal Box”.

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