DIY Air Purifier

Image from Smart Air Filters.

Whether you’ve scoured the market and found consumer-grade air purifiers too pricey, or you’re simply wondering if you can do better by yourself, we’ve got you covered with a handy guide on how to make an air purifier. There’s rarely a more satisfying feeling than building something that you need by yourself. Turns out that we can help you out with a relatively brief how-to.

But, Do DIY Air Purifiers Work?

If you’re strictly looking at air purification capacity, you’d be surprised at how well a DIY air purifier can actually work. Over an extended period of time, a well-constructed home-made air purifier can reduce PM 2.5 particles to a level of less than 10 AQI. Naturally, the device would need more time to provide the wanted results that a customer-grade product would produce with ease, but it might just be worth it.

It’s important to consider that, as with any home-made product of tinkering, the final device will be flawed. For example, it won’t look as good since it will be pieced together from various parts. It also might end up being much louder than your average air purifier. Furthermore, most of the designs will be rather bulky, so if you already lack space, opting for a DIY purifier will not help that situation.

The bottom line is this – they do work. DIY purifiers can do their main job at a respectable efficiency, but you might end up sacrificing comfort along the lines we mentioned above. You might end up saving an extra buck or two, though, but more on that later.

Building Methods

When building a DIY air purifier, there are multiple approaches you can take. All of them use existing replacement HEPA filters as the main component, but the builds vary in regard to the surrounding case. The results that these methods produce are quite similar, so it comes down to what’s more practical for you.

Box and Fan

This is the most common and straightforward method when it comes to building a DIY air purifier. You will need a fan, some cardboard and tape, and a HEPA filter of your preference. Regarding the fan, just about any fan will do. You can find replacement HEPA filters that you can use on Amazon. We suggest using a rectangular or a square filter to more easily match the cardboard structure.

When it comes to structure, though, you have multiple options. You could also skip this step altogether and just strap the filter to the front of the fan after removing the cover, but since we’re going for up to par efficiency, it would be wise to construct some sort of a case.

For the single filter and box setup, take a cardboard box and open it from two opposite sides. Place the fan on one side and the filter on the other, and tape them in place. Also, make sure to make a hole for the cord.

If you think that the single filter just won’t cut it, you could also make a triangular shape out of the cardboard and make three cut-outs. In two of them, you’ll place two filters, instead of one, while the third hole would be for the fan.

Then simply turn on the fan and as it naturally draws air in from the back, the air will first pass through the filter(s). On the other side, you’ll end up with air that’s fresh and clean.

You can find a full step-by-step guide with pictures at Smart Air Filters.

Bucket and Fan

For the bucket and fan method, the approach is strikingly similar. You will also need a fan and a filter, but instead of cardboard, you could use a plastic bucket. The make and model of the fan are not important here either, but it needs to have a circular shape (to fit in the bucket), and the more air it can push through, the better.

In regards to the filter, you will need to do some extra tinkering, since the HEPA replacement filters usually come in some sort of a frame. But, first things first.

Find a bucket that matches the size of the fan, and drill a lot of circular holes on the side that will serve as a means for air intake. Also, drill one smaller hole near the top for the cord of the fan.

Afterward, line the inside of the bucket with the HEPA filter that you previously modified. We found the 3M Filtrete filters most easily malleable. In terms of fan attachment, you could glue the fan to the lid of the bucket and then simply pop it on.

You’ll end up with a cylindrical shaped air purifier that draws air in from all sides, and due to this, it will provide better air quality. But, if you’re not a fan of the extra hassle, the cardboard box version will do the job just fine.

Total Cost & Conclusion

All in all, no matter which type of building method you use, the final product that you’ll end up with is more than satisfactory. The DIY air purifier can drop PM 2.5 and PM 10 particulates to below 10 AQI, but it will need a rather extended period of time to achieve the wanted results. Due to this, they’re simply not suitable for larger rooms or frequent use, but you’d end up saving a buck or two, as a two-pack filter costs and a cheap fan is around $30.

If you’re one for DIY projects, you should definitely try building an air purifier, but since entry-level air purifiers cost about the same, you might want to save yourself the hassle if you go for a certified device.

If you’d like to learn more about air purification technology in general, don’t hesitate to check out our blog, where you can find more handy guides, reviews, and other useful information.

Last update on 2021-04-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API