A recent case study by the Western Cooling Efficiency Center (WCEC) seeks to answer: does making your own portable air cleaner match the cleaning performance of off-the shelf products and do so in a cost effective way?
Portable air cleaners are increasingly in demand to reduce concentrations of particulates and respiratory aerosols indoors. Researchers at the UC Davis Western Cooling Efficiency Center (WCEC) tested two types of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) portable air cleaners (standard box fans modified with added filtration on the suction side of the box fan) and documented the power draw, airflow, and noise for each configuration. Researchers calculated the clean air delivery rate based on filter test reports and reported energy efficiency and cost metrics for each configuration.
Note that while DIY portable air cleaners are a useful and easily accessible tool to reduce particulates in buildings, they should not be considered a substitute for ensuring adequate ventilation and filtration is provided by central building heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.