Making an Inexpensive yet High Quality Air Filter for your Health!

By Andrew Davidson
on December 6, 2018

I'd recently stumbled across this American Heart Association study that links increased high blood pressure due to air pollutants, which is something I should be concerned with since I live in an urban area (terrible air!), and suffer from high blood pressure (terrible diet!).

I'd followed this University of Michigan suggestion, and bought a packet of MERV 13 air filters (which cost me a few bucks on Amazon) to fit over an existing box fan I use during the summer, and produced this DIY air cleaning system (pictured below), now proudly running 24/7 in my office to help filter the air of particulate (bus fumes, pet dander, secondhand smoke). That's a generic 20"2 box fan, and the 19.5"2 filter is simply taped to the front of it, with the air being forced through the filter in the proper direction.

MERV 13 Filter
on 20" Box Fan


While it may be pumping clean air out of the front of that contraption, it's slow. Most of the air takes the easiest route and simply comes out the back of the fan, and you can feel only the slightest of breezes when you hold your hand in front of the filter. I can see how a forced air system like a furnace might do a better job of exchanging all of the air in your house quicker than this passive system, but imagine it'll certainly do a significant sweep of absurdly large particulates and pet dander. I'll update this post in 3 months with a new/old filter picture to see if it's actually doing anything, when the filth of 3 months of air pollutants begins to clog the backside of this filter... Done - check out the image below. Turns out it's working great, and I have filthy air. (Link to source image for the pixels.)

Before/After Filters - March 2019