Introduction: Closet Office Air Circulator
Figured I'd write a quick Instructable on this little project I did as a result of having to work from home in my small closet office, and have another chance at wining an Instructable contest ;). Hopefully, it will be helpful to others in the same situation.
For as little as $60, you can add a fully thermostat-controlled ventilator to your space.
It doesn't require any carpentry, HVAC, or electrical skills. Just a hand saw (or a steak knife in a pinch) and a screwdriver.
We live in a two-story home, and the house has a closet made from the space underneath the staircase. (First two images above.) Its actually been my office, my daughter's home recording studio, and 3D printing workspace, for much longer than the Covid-19 situation.
And while there are no vents at all, air quality has never been an issue before because no one was ever in the space for very long or the door was simply left open.
But now, having to be in here all day with the door closed, two computers operating, the 3D printer printing sometimes, that generates a lot of heat with no fresh air being pulled in.
Step 1: AC Infinity Booster Fans
The link in the Supplies section takes you to this company's Amazon page. They have a few different sizes:
I believe the only difference is the size, but I may be wrong.
I got the largest one.
They are powered by a regular AC/DC converter wall plug (supplied). The cord is very long too if you don't have a nearby plug.
Step 2: Modification
Since I didn't want to be popping a bunch of holes in my walls or causing an eyesore if placed on an outside wall, I chose to place the fan inside the closet.
Just one glaring problem with that! - The fan is designed to assist in airflow from a duct that maybe far from your air handler or for some reason has weaker flow than other ducts. As a result, for this "off-purpose application" you'll need to modify the fan.
Its as easy as this though: Open the back panel using a small Philips screwdriver and simply remove (gently) each fan, flip it over, and reinstall. No need to cut wires or anything difficult. Just flip the fans over. And replace the housing cover.
Step 3: Installation
I'm sure you may be thinking how is that going to work? The fan is trying to blow air INTO the wall cavity!
That's exactly what's happening. It takes the hot muggy air and dumps in into the wall cavity. There is not a hole on the other side, all the air is going INSIDE the wall. Is it ideal? No, but it makes being in the space all day bearable.
I may have a slight advantage in my setup. The closet is all interior walled, so there is no insulation. Its just a large open cavity. And also our home is steel framed (as opposed to stick framed). The steel studs have many holes for routing cables/hoses, so each void separated by vertical studs isn't as sealed off as it would be in a stick framed home.
End result, the fan, simply installed as shown (with the fan-flip modification), and no other entry or exit ports in the closet office, is sufficient to make the space suitable for all day use.
TIP: Since you won't be installing this over an existing duct there will be nothing to screw into. However, if you make the opening a tiny bit smaller than the back housing of the fan, you can make it a slight press-fit, in which case screws will not be needed.
TIP2: Keep the piece of drywall you removed, in case you want to uninstall this later.
Thank you so much for reading through my short Instructable. I hope it will be useful to others. Please let me know if anyone wants to undertake this and I'll provide as much support as possible. Stay safe and healthy!
Participated in the
Work From Home Speed Challenge
2 years ago
Are you creating mold by driving air into the wall?
Reply 2 years ago
Good point. That is definitely something one should consider depending on their climate. I'm in the Desert South West, and though not unheard of, its not really an issue for me. Thanks for pointing that out though.
If it was a concern for me, I'd probably put a grill vent, just the non-positionable ones, directly opposite where the fan was installed, and block off the interior of the wall with that rigid foam insulation and use some aluminum HVAC duct-tape to seal it off. That way, the air is pulled into the closet and dumped into an adjoining room versus into the wall cavity.