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Air purifiers can be a great way to improve the overall air quality of a room and reduce the number of allergens and irritants, especially for those with chronic breathing and respiratory issues, but they can be expensive not only to purchase but to maintain. If you’d like to know how to make an air purifier yourself, several quick, easy solutions can save you money and stress and scratch that DIY itch all at once.
Below we’ll briefly discuss the different kinds of best air purifiers and their function, and walk you step-by-step through the process of making your own, including all the materials and tools you’ll need.
Home air purifiers and air purifiers come in many varieties and vary on what kind of filtration they perform, price and performance ratio, and other factors, but the three basic varieties in terms of functionality are electrostatic or ionic, which use magnetism to remove particulates from the air, UV or ultraviolet, which uses ultraviolet light to destroy bacteria, molds, fungus, and even some viruses from the air, and fiber-based filters such as HEPA, which sieves particulates out of the air. Sometimes an air purifier might put our cold air, but that depends mostly on where it’s located.
We’ll be focusing on building a fiber-based option using HEPA filters. Other than using HEPA filters, you can also make a very simple water-based air purifier that will help filter out allergens and impurities but not mold or mildew.
The three basic varieties in terms of functionality are electrostatic or ionic, which uses magnetism to remove particulates from the air, UV or ultraviolet, which uses ultraviolet light to destroy bacteria, molds, fungus, and even some viruses from the air, and fiber-based filters such as HEPA, which sieves particulates out of the air.
It’s important to note that building a DIY UV and/or magnetic air filter/purifier would be extremely difficult and likely expensive for the layperson. Therefore, these instructions are for building a particulate air purifier that filters out allergens and impurities like dust, dander, and other microparticles.
Total length of project: 10 minutes or less
Also, you can add some tea tree oil to your air purifier as its sweet aroma will help reduce odor and act as a very good household cleaner.
Building a DIY UV and/or magnetic air filter/purifier would be extremely difficult and likely expensive for the layperson.
What combination of air filters will protect against everything?
While not practical or feasible as a DIY project, a combination of electrostatic (ionic), UV, and HEPA filtering technology would provide the most complete purification, covering airborne allergens, bacteria, mold, fungus, and smoke or fumes
Do DIY air purifiers actually work?
Testing by both professionals and DIY enthusiasts using professional air quality testing equipment has shown that a properly built DIY air purifier using HEPA filters can be nearly or equally as effective as even the most expensive HEPA-based air purifiers on the market.
Why build an air purifier instead of buying one?
There are few if any consumer home air purifiers that come close to the cost-effectiveness of a DIY one costing as little as $25 to make, all materials included. The average consumer will spend a minimum of $200 on a new single-room air purifier.
How often should I change the filter on my DIY air purifier?
If you’ve used a HEPA filter as recommended, you should be changing the filter about once a month if used daily.
STAT: A New York Times report showed a popular DIY purifier design to reduce particulates by up to 87% with the fan on medium for a period of 35 minutes (source)