DIY Air Filter for Dusty Home Projects

June 16, 2024
Assembling DIY HEPA air filter

Let’s face it: Dust is one of the worst parts of any home renovation project. It has a way of seeping out of whatever room you’re working on and coating everything in your home in a fine layer of hopefully-not-toxic powder.

That’s why controlling dust during the renovation process is so important, especially as you tackle a super dusty project like airless paint spraying or demo. You can always buy a big fancy HEPA air filter, but before my kitchen demo, I discovered a hack that is too good not to share. So here is how you can make your own high-performing HEPA air filter on a budget.

Project supply list

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Step 1: Assemble your air filters

Remove your air filters from their packaging and stand them up vertically with their edges touching each other in the shape of a box.

Then, tape their edges together with painter’s tape. It can really be any tape, but you’re likely to have this on hand as a DIYer. Tape all along the seams where they meet to close off any pathways for air to escape.

Step 2: Add your box fan

Take your 20″ box fan and lay it on top of the air filter box, with the front of the fan facing up toward the ceiling. Then, plug in the box fan and turn it on.

The fan will start to suck the air from within the box and blow it up and out, creating negative pressure (a vacuum) that will force outside air in the room through the air filters and up through the fan…

And filter all of the air in the room!

Step 3: Replace filters

First, take a look at how much dust and grime your filters sucked in during your project. It’s so satisfying! This photo is from after my kitchen demo, and I’m so glad it kept the air clear of all of that gunk while we were working.

Note that even if you use this hack, you should still wear a respirator or mask! The filter only sucks in dust from where it’s positioned, but the dust that’s actively being created is likely wherever you are, and you’d still breathe it in first.

After a very dusty project, simply replace the four air filters with new ones, tape the sides, and set the box fan back on top.

I hope this hack is helpful to you! If you’re doing demo, check out my 10 Tips for an Easier Demo Day. And if you want to learn how to tackle more home projects, you might want to join my course DIY Renovation for Beginners.

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