Bitterroot Bugle post categories

Global Skywatch

clearing the air

For the last few days, the wildfire smoke around here has been rated “UNHEALTHY”. I use the site AirNow to verify. Click the link to see any city. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality and relatives offer this advice:

People with heart or lung disease, older adults, children and teens – take any of these steps to reduce your exposure:
Avoid strenuous outdoor activities. Keep outdoor activities short. Consider moving physical activities indoors or rescheduling them.

Everyone else – take any of these steps to reduce your exposure:
Choose less strenuous activities (like walking instead of running) so you don’t breathe as hard. Shorten the amount of time you are active outdoors. Be active outdoors when air quality is better.


High grade filters are available enabling your central heat blower to remove smoke particles from the air in your house. That doesn’t work in ours so we use portable room-sized air cleaners.

I built our best, most effective one myself around a box fan coupling it with a filter fine enough to remove smoke, among other pollutants. The video to the right and photos below document the project.

As I mention in the video, the same thing can be done with a 20″x 20″ filter, a box fan and duct tape to marry the two together. I have the scrap wood, tools, skills and interest in doing it this more complicated way.

Bottom line, hardwood box or duct tape pragmatic, a fine 20×20 filter does a great job of cleaning up the air in your home or workspace. My eyes and respiratory system attest to that. The difference in my health is obvious.