Homemade Air Filters

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Although many households already have a furnace or air-conditioner that is being used to filter air, it can be useful to have an additional air filter to increase the amount of clean, filtered air in the home. There are various types of air filters sold commercially; however these can be costly. A more cost-effective alternative is to make your own homemade air filter with materials found at most hardware stores. A homemade filter can clean your air, as well as remove odors that are created by liquids and gases.

Things You'll Need

  • 20-inch box fan
  • 20-by-20-inch furnace filter
  • Cardboard box (20-inches)
  • Scissors
  • Screening material
  • Activated charcoal
  • Duct tape
  • Cotton cloth
  • Ribbon

Fan Air Filter

  • Place the cardboard box on a flat surface. Cut the top part of the box open, as well as the bottom portion of the box and discard of the pieces.

  • Insert the box fan inside the box. Position the fan so that when it is turned on, it will blow air away from the box.

  • Secure the edges of one of the box's openings to the fan with small strips of duct tape.

  • Cut a piece of screening material into a 20-by-20-inch square. Place the screening material over the back of the fan inside the box. Secure the material to the fan with duct tape.

  • Fill the box with activated charcoal.

  • Attach the 20-by-20-inch furnace filter to the opposite opening in the box. Use duct tape to secure the filter to the cardboard box.

  • Place the fan in the desired location. Plug the fan into a wall outlet and turn it on to the lowest setting. The air will move through the activated charcoal and out of the fan.

Activated Charcoal Filter

  • Cut a circle approximately 8 inches in diameter from a piece of cotton cloth.

  • Place two to three tablespoons of activated charcoal in the center of the circular cotton cloth.

  • Pull the edges of the circular piece of cloth together and secure the edges by tying a ribbon around them.

  • Knot the unoccupied ends of the ribbon to form a loop.

  • Hang the sachet in a closet or in the desired location. Make several additional sachets to place in various locations.

Tips & Warnings

  • Change the furnace filter every two weeks or weekly if it is in a dustier environment.
  • Monitor the air filter for the first few hours to make sure the motor on the fan does not overheat. If the motor overheats, unplug the fan and replace the furnace filter with a new one.

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