Air district offers DIY fixes for air purification during wildfires

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District lends instructions on how families without an HVAC unit can filter out PM 2.5 found in smoke

CENTRAL VALLEY – It is only July and fires are raging in California. While there is no major fire in Tulare County, smoke from fires in the state seem to settle in the area. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District is lending some DIY (do it yourself) knowhow on purifying the air in people’s homes.

According to the district, for individuals and families who may not have a functioning HVAC system or freestanding air filter available at home, making your own air purifier is simple and inexpensive. Here’s how: Use an ordinary box fan and a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) filter, like those used in a home HVAC system, and fasten the filter to the back of the fan. MERV filters are rated from 1-20. The higher the rating, the better the filtration. A rating of 13 or higher is preferred. These devices should be used with extreme caution and not left unattended. Only use box fans manufactured in or after 2012—these fans will have a fused plug, which will prevent electrical fires if the device is knocked over. For Additional resources on protecting yourself during wildfires, visit www.valleyair.org/wildfires.

A DIY air purifier for homes with HVACT system during wildfire impacts can help if there are no other options available. Otherwise the district urges Valley residents to remain indoors, in an air-conditioned filtered environment to escape high concentrations of PM 2.5 (fine particulate matter) that exists in smoke.

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