City Cast

How to Make Your Own Air Purifier

Adrian González
Adrian González
Posted on June 14   |   Updated on July 7
Four HEPA filters lay on a wooden table next to a square box fan.

All with just a few easy-to-find materials. (Michael Robinson Chávez / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Last week, smoke from wildfires in Canada had the New York City skyline looking like the movie Blade Runner 2049. The smoke eventually cleared out of NYC over the weekend, but ABC News reports that Canada’s ardent start to its wildfire season is likely to affect air quality throughout the United States this summer, including Las Vegas (remember those eerie skies back in 2020?). Air purifiers can be expensive, so here’s how you can make your own at home with a few simple items.

🧰 Quick and Simple

Necessity is the mother of invention, so let’s start with the most simple version of a DIY air purifier.

  • Step 1: Acquire a square fan (most air filters are squares or rectangles, so we’re applying basic geometry).
  • Step 2: Get yourself a HEPA filter (shoot for one similar in size to your fan).
  • Step 3: Secure the filter to your fan via duct tape or packing tape, making sure to seal the connection as tightly as possible.

▶️ Follow along with this tutorial from the New York Times’ Wirecutter. Their testing showed this simple version outperformed a fancy $800 air purifier!

👷 Take it to the Next Level

After covering the COVID-19 pandemic, The Washington Post reporter Lena H. Sun took it upon herself to build what’s called a Corsi-Rosenthal Box, which basically takes the version above and gives it superpowers. She has a great step-by-step guide on how to build one.

If you build one of these we want to hear about it.

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