While commercial HEPA filters are the easiest, if you are hacking your own DIY purifier you’ll want to use MERV 13 or FPR 10 furnace filter (via KING 5). Experts note that you can even make the filter work without tape in a pinch as the air suction will hold things together. “The tape is just helpful to keep it tidy so when you shut off your fan the filter doesn’t just flop off,” says Erik Saganic, of Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. Health officials also remind you that this is a ‘hack,” not a tested method, so be very cautious near water, or leaving the device on while unattended. It’s okay to run the fan periodically instead of nonstop.
In addition to filtering your air, there are a few other simple steps you can easily take at home to avoid harmful fire smoke. Close all your windows and doors. If you have leaks, use a damp towel or tape them up to stop smoky drafts. Skip cooking to avoid additional particulates in your air and instead have something that doesn’t use the stove like a sandwich or a salad. Avoid burning items like candles, incense, or cigarettes. If you have allergies or asthma, take your medications as needed, and be sure you have enough supply on hand. In addition, avoid outdoor activities for both yourself and your pets.
Fire season is only beginning. Make sure you’re ready, and stay safe.