“Dell” room air filtration system
Middle-son’s room is in our basement, and while he was away a clogged downspout caused some water to leak in. The room is hardly tidy, and a lot of paper got wet. I cleaned up as much of it as my lungs could stand, then promptly forgot about it until it was time for him to visit. Unfortunately the room now had a serious air-quality problem.
Another marathon cleaning session brought the room to the brink of habitability, but the smell of mold still permeated the air. What to do?
Big room air “filtration systems” were $200, and didn’t impress me as moving that much air:
- Start with a Dell computer box from recycle bin
- Cut open one side, leaving narrow flanges for taping to air filter
- Cut round opening for 115V Nidec Alpha V fan cannibalized from old mainframe (I have several of these; don’t you?)
- Mount fan in exhaust position (blowing out from box interior), and wire with cord from discarded vacuum cleaner (on curb, trash-day)
- Seal 3M Filtrete Ultimate filter ($15) in place with duct tape, in orientation for airflow into box
- Total cost, $15 and ten feet of duct tape. Plug in and enjoy clean air.
The Alpha V fan moves 105 CFM, which in a room with about 1,300 ft3 works out to a filtered air-change about every 13 minutes. Of course, it isn’t that simple due to turbulence but still it’s good circulation. After it had been running 4 hours, the room no longer smelled like mold, so I’d say it did the job OK.
Middle-son left it running during his whole visit, and took it home with him when he left. Guess I’ll build another one and keep it running down there. After all, he is planning to visit again over Christmas.
If you don’t have an old mainframe cooling fan, a cheap clip-on fan would work too.