HEPA vs DIY Air Filter for Smoke, Dust, Pollen, Dander

When your normally beautiful, fresh, clean air view, like this; Because of forest fire smoke in the air, begins to look like this; and The online air quality and wildfire maps show unhealthy conditions like this; Your eyes burn your nose in your throat feel scratchy. It's important to protect your health with a HEPA air purifier Or else a homemade do-it-yourself air purifier made easily from a box fan, and a high-quality furnace filter rated for smoke.

And filter any air coming into your house from the outside as well, if you can. This video will discuss what type of air filters you need, how to filter air coming into your home from outside, and other uses for the system, like dust, pets, and allergies. If you find this video helpful, please Subscribe to my channel for more practical videos to come. Hepa filters cost anywhere from about $80 to $800 in varying sizes. This one is $190 and includes a carbon filter, which also removes odors It's quiet, nice looking, and puts out plenty of clean air, but when the filter needs replacing it costs $50. Some also filter out chemicals and extremely fine particles.

20" box fans are about $20. You may already have one, and for $10 to $25 you can get a 20" furnace filter that will filter out forest fire smoke almost as well. The suction of the fan will hold it on while it's running, and if you want you can tape it on too. Some air may leak around it, but it will still filter 90% of the smoke out of a room in about half an hour. I've noticed the air smells really good in our house whether I run the HEPA filter or I use a MERV 13 on a box fan even when it's really smoky outside. The filter should be at least a Merv 13 to filter out smoke particles, which are very tiny, from 0.2 to 0.3 microns. A micron is 1/1000 of a millimeter. Some Merv 11 filters claim to filter smoke, but since smoke particles are in a range of sizes, a MERV 13 should catch more of them than a MERV 11. A lower fan speed may help the MERV 11 to be more effective.

You can pick your filter for your purpose. Cheaper dust and pollen filters are only about $1 to $5 and will filter out sawdust in a shop, or dust in your house. A 2" or 4" thick filter will allow more airflow than the usual 1", but will cost more. You can stack a cheap filter in front to catch the dust, so a more expensive one will last longer. Be sure the arrow showing the airflow is going in the right direction. If you have central heating or cooling, check the instructions to see if you can put in a filter that's rated to filter out smoke, and set the fan to run all the time to circulate air from the whole house through the filter.

Putting the filter on the air intake side of the fan will also keep the fan much cleaner. You might want to filter the air coming into your house. Here, it's 78 degrees inside but only 62 degrees outside, and when it's hot, we open the windows early in the morning to blow cool air into the house, then close up the house during the day to keep the cool air in.

If it's smoky we want to filter out the smoke as the air comes in. If you're using an exhaust fan or a clothes dryer that's blowing air out of the house, it may be sucking smoky air into the cracks around doors and windows. By putting a smoke filter in the window you're pulling in cleaner, filtered air, and with a fan you're pressurizing the house with clean air. To do this you need to fit the air filter in the window and block any extra space with cardboard, styrofoam or plywood depending on your window. Tape it in place to seal as well as possible, but plan whether you want to be able to remove it to close the window. Fit the fan up to the filter as well as possible, and turn it on. With this arrangement I can remove the fan and just allow air flowing in to be filtered, or I can also remove the filter and a little tape and close the window. Make sure to use a tape that's easy to remove later.

If you're cooling off your house by blowing clean filtered air in, it has to have a way out. So open a window on the other side of the house, to let the warmer air escape. You can use a couple of filters, in different windows, blowing cool air into your house. Here you can see that the airflow is going out of this window because the strip of fabric sticks to the screen on the window. You might want to double up on air purifiers if it's very smoky out, and smoke is getting through cracks around your filter, or Through the filter itself on the first pass you can run a second purifier in the room. And before it's as warm outside as it is inside, close all the windows and run an air purifier of some sort in every section of your house. It doesn't matter how you position it as long as the air can circulate where you need it.

There are several online tools to check air quality, such as airnow.gov, your local news, and the US Forest Service site tools, which are at airfire.org. If you click monitoring PM 2.5, then you can click on the color-coded dots for your particular area. You can also get a hepa cabin filter for your car Wear an N95 mask when you go outside, and drink plenty of fluids when there's a lot of smoke in the air.

If this was useful, or you have anything to add, comment in the section below. Please Subscribe to our channel at Hartz Homestead for more videos yet to come. And may you have clean air to breathe!.

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