DIY air purifiers to filter wildfire smoke, made possible by social media and duct tape.

Amid the influx of wildfire smoke engulfing the East Coast, individuals on social media have come up with a surprisingly effective approach to guard themselves indoors from the noxious air pollution.

This entails using a box fan, four air filters, and a myriad of duct tapes, as per the shared suggestions and reviews of social media users. This DIY solution highlights the ingenuity and resourcefulness of individuals in finding practical ways of addressing environmental crises.

As the demand for “air purifiers” surges on Google, users are turning to social media platforms such as TikTok and Facebook to share their insights on constructing the DIY air purifier. The Corsi-Rosenthal method, which involves the use of four air filters and a box fan, has garnered increased attention amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the frequent wildfires surfacing in the western United States. It is a testament to how individuals have adapted to address air pollution concerns using easily accessible items and online resources.

Unlike their West Coast counterparts, many residents on the East Coast are learning about the box fan method for the first time due to the current wildfire smoke. The unique solution has gained immense attention on various social media platforms, including TikTok, where Seattle resident, Angel Robertson, aged 34, shared a video tutorial with a New Yorker, demonstrating how to construct it.

Her video has seen over 600,000 views so far and highlights the affordability of this DIY apparatus, with an estimated cost of under $100, which could save one from hazardous air pollution.

Angel Robertson, in her video tutorial, mentioned that the Corsi-Rosenthal purifiers not only work exceptionally well but are lifesaving during days with severe smoky conditions. She noted that they perform better than standard air filters.

According to Petri Kalliomäki, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health, Corsi-Rosenthal purifiers are highly effective at eliminating airborne particles. Their clean air delivery rate is significantly high and can purify air against smoke, pollen, and viruses.

Misti Levy Zamora, an assistant professor in public health sciences at the University of Connecticut, and her colleagues distributed Corsi-Rosenthal purifiers free of charge to anyone visiting the University on Thursday. Zamora, who has tested the purifier at the University, public schools, and her own home, attested to its effectiveness.

Misti Levy Zamora expressed her confidence in the effectiveness of the Corsi-Rosenthal purifier. Zamora attested that the purifier worked exceptionally well during their distribution event, stating, “I can confidently say this thing is working really well today.” She revealed that within a matter of minutes, the purifier filtered out all the particles in the air, reducing it to the levels she witnessed the previous week, making it an efficient solution to combat the air pollution crisis.

Richard Corsi, the co-inventor of the Corsi-Rosenthal purifier, credits social media for popularizing the concept. In 2020, Corsi shared the preliminary sketch of his design on Twitter, which subsequently caught the attention of Jim Rosenthal, CEO of Tex-Air Filters, who built the purifier. Corsi’s objective was to develop a reasonably priced purifier that ordinary Americans could afford.

His invention has now gained traction, with residents in the Northeast employing the method to battle the air pollution caused by the ongoing wildfires. Corsi remarked that portable air cleaners can make all the difference in one’s life, particularly when one needs to seal up a building and reduce the amount of air flow coming in.

Grace Turner, aged 31, utilized the box fan purifier technique after gaining knowledge of it while residing in Salt Lake City. She constructed and implemented the DIY air purifier in her house in Rochester, New York, which made a significant difference in the air quality, according to her TikTok video. Grace mentioned that individuals can find abundant information on various designs online, making it an easily accessible solution.

Liz Hradil, aged 27, who lives in Syracuse, New York, felt the effects of the smoke in her eyes, nose, and throat due to the ongoing wildfires. While scouring the internet to buy an air purifier, she discovered the Corsi-Rosenthal box and decided to acquire the needed filters and fan from Lowe’s.

In roughly 30 minutes of activating her purifier, she noticed a substantial drop in the smoke smell in her home. She shared photos of her apparatus online, and her New York friends admired the idea since they had never heard of it before.