Air district offers DIY fixes for air purification during wildfires

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District provides instructions on how families without an HVAC unit can filter PM 2.5 from smoke

CENTRAL VALLEY – It’s only July and fires are raging in California. While there is no major fire in Tulare County, smoke from fires in the state appears to be settling in the area. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District borrows some DIY know-how about purifying the air in people’s homes.

According to the district, making your own air purifier is easy and inexpensive for individuals and families who may not have a functioning HVAC system or freestanding air filter in their home. Here’s how: Using a regular box fan and Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) filter, such as those used in a home HVAC system, attach 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 should not be left unattended. Only use box fans manufactured in or after 2012. These fans have a fused plug, which prevents electrical fire if the appliance is knocked over. For additional resources on protecting yourself during wildfires, visit

A DIY air purifier for homes with HVACT system during wildfires can help when no other options are available. Otherwise, the district is urging Valley residents to stay indoors, in a filtered, air-conditioned environment to escape the high concentrations of PM2.5 (particulate matter) found in smoke.

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