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How to clean the air from harmful wildfire smoke

How to clean the air from wildfire smoke

Breathing wildfire smoke is bad for you. T​his smoke is particularly bad for you and can cause coughing, shortness of breath, increased heart rate and other immediate effects, even in healthy people. It can also aggravate chronic heart and lung conditions, increase the risk of stroke and heart attack, damage vital organs and shorten a person’s lifespan.

Why is wildfire smoke so bad for us?

-Wildfire smoke is made up mainly of microscopic particulate matter 30 times smaller than the diameter of a strand of hair.

-The particles are made up of things like acids, chemicals, metals, soil and dust from whatever the fire is burning – including vegetation, buildings and vehicles.

-When inhaled, they can go deep inside the lungs and bloodstream.

-Research has shown smoke from wildfires is 10 times more hazardous to humans than similar pollution from other sources.

-The CDC says breathing in wildfire smoke can cause coughing, shortness of breath, increased heart rate and other immediate effects, even in healthy people.

-It can also aggravate chronic heart and lung conditions, increase the risk of stroke and heart attack, damage vital organs and shorten a person’s lifespan.

source: weather.com/news/news/2023-06-06-canadian-wildfire-smoke-northeast-air-quality


Tracking smoke on maps

PurpleAir – see the PM2.5 sensor readings in your area, updated every 10 minutes
map.purpleair.com

FireSmoke.ca – forecast of the conditions in the coming hours and days firesmoke.ca/forecasts/current

AirNow.gov – from the EPA and partners – color coding areas by US AQI (Air Quality Index) www.airnow.gov

IQAir Air quality map – shows air quality, station readings, fires, and wind
www.iqair.com/us/air-quality-map


Wear Respirators, outside especially – N95 or better, elastomerics are great

In this section

Masks
Kid's Masks
Elastomeric Respirators

Use HEPA filters indoors (with carbon preferred)

Bissell air320

Smart Air Purifier with HEPA and Carbon Filters

Levoit Core 400s

LEVOIT Air Purifiers for Home Large Room, Smart WiFi and PM2.5 Monitor H13 True HEPA Filter Removes Up to 99.97% of Particles, Pet Allergies, Smoke (with carbon)

Air filter selection chart

How to choose an air filter

See our HEPA filter buying guide page for more.


CRBoxes – build a DIY air cleaner with simple parts.

CorsiRosenthal Box DIY Air Filter build plan – printable

How to build an air purifier

DIY Air Filter – CRBox Parts list

MERV13 filters

20x20x1
20x20x2
20x25x1
will all work

Box fan (20inch)

Any 20 inch box fan will work, lasko is one of the better tested models

Duct tape or packing tape

Duct tape comes in many colors, packing tape is clear. Both work well.


Reduce smoky odor

Carbon prefilter (optional)

You can add an additional carbon layer for smoky odor reduction. Add this layer over the top (outside) of the MERV13 filters.


Alternate build with single carbon filter

Single thicker filter

Alternatively, you can use a single 20x20x5 filter with MERV13+ (This one is MERV16) with bonus carbon for odor reduction. Always focus on MERV rating first to remove particulate from the air. You tape this filter flush to the back of the box fan, air flow arrow pointing into the back of the fan (intake).

More details at our CRbox page and FAQ


Portable Rechargeable filters for your vehicle

Check out this rechargeable battery powered DIY air filter build that uses a camping fan and round HEPA filter. It works very well for clearing the air in a small space like a car or van, or just to keep nearby to supply cleaner air in any space.


Notes

If you are running activated carbon or similar air cleaners for odors and chemicals, using them at low speeds gives the air longer residence time so more effective at absorbing the stuff. So, preferably 2 of them at low speed than one at peak speed. This would also reduce sound levels.

Tweet thread


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