Do-It-Yourself Breathing a Little Easier Now

Handmade HEPA filter reduces allergens in the home

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Allergy relief is often a blessing for seasonal allergy sufferers, but ridding your home of irritating allergens can be a costly endeavor. HEPA filters can be very expensive.

A sinus doctor from the University of Michigan Health System offers a how-to plan and video for people wanting to clear their home of allergens. It's as easy as a trip to the neighborhood hardware store to purchase duct tape, a fan and a filter followed by a straightforward, five-minute assembly.

"Make your own filter to improve breathing and reduce costs."

Jeffrey E. Terrell, M.D., director of the University of Michigan Health System’s Michigan Sinus Center, reports that one of the best ways to get rid of annoying allergy symptoms is to avoid the allergens. Allergens can build up in your home. In an effort to avoid allergy symptoms, doctors often recommend using an air purifier with a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.

These HEPA filters can be cost prohibitive for some people, running from $75 for a cheaper system to $800 for a Cadillac-grade model. For those wanting to keep the price to a minimum, Dr. Terrell has a video showing patients how to make their own HEPA filter by purchasing items from a local hardware store for as little as $25.

He also comments that the system is able to cut indoor allergens by 90 percent, which is very significant.

According to Dr. Terrell, it's very easy to know when to change the filter out as it will turn from white to brown. This purifier should be placed on the floor, not in a window. People with pollen allergies should always keep their windows closed.

How To Build the Box:

  1. Purchase a 20- by 20-inch box fan, which costs about $12.
  2. Tape a 20- by 20- by 1-inch furnace filter to the front of the box fan.
  3. This filter must be a HEPA filter with a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) rating of at least 13. The higher the rating, the better. These filters cost about $15.
  4. Make sure the arrows marked on the filter are going in the right direction for airflow.
  5. Attach the filter to the front of the fan so the air blows through it.
  6. Breathe in and enjoy the improved air quality your very own HEPA creation provides.
Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
June 30, 2011
Last Updated:
July 11, 2011