Make an Air Purifier on the Cheap

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Introduction: Make an Air Purifier on the Cheap

I'm sure there are some of you out there, like myself, whose room is full of dust, allergens, and other debris.  After looking at the prices of some of the purifiers on the market, I decided to make one myself, and construct an instructable on how to recreate it.  

Step 1: What You'll Need

You will need the following parts:

A foot of 3 - inch diameter PVC tubing
A 3 - inch diameter computer fan (mine was 12V)
An AC/DC adapter, with a DC output the same as your fans
Filter for a room air conditioner
Toggle switch
Hose clamp for the 3 - inch pipe

I already had the fan and adapter laying around, but everything shouldn't cost more than 20 dollars.

You will need the following tools:

Drill and various bits
Soldering iron + solder
Hot glue gun + sticks

Step 2: Preparation

Start by drilling two small holes for the wires of the adapter, and the wires of the fan.  Make sure your holes are placed close enough to the top so that you have room to install the fan.  

Next, make one larger hole in between the two smaller ones to accommodate the toggle switch.  

Step 3: Assembly Pt. 1

Twist together, then solder the negative wires together.  

The twist and solder each of the positive wires to the prongs of the toggle switch.  (Positive on the adapter has a white stripe)


Step 4: Assembly Pt. 2

Push the toggle switch through the large hole, and screw on the anchor that comes with it.  Next, using the hot glue gun, glue the holes where the wires go into, and around the toggle switch to form an air tight seal.  Allow a couple minutes to completely cool.  

Then, place the fan on the top, make sure its centered with the air flow going AWAY from the pipe, and hot glue the corners down.   Then, form a nice tight seal around the edges of the fan and pipe.  

Step 5: Put on the Filter

The filter unfolds to a pretty large sheet.  I decided to cut a third of it off, then fold it into a square.  This made it 4 layers thick.  
Place it on top of the pipe, opposite side of the fan, and secure it with the hose clamp.   Tighten as hard as you can, then trim off the excess filter corners.  

Step 6: All Done!

Plug it in, and listen to that baby purr.  It's extremely quiet and blows pretty nicely.  Set it somewhere in your room, and let it clean your air.  I would recommend changing the filter about once a month, or when the color looks about #333333.   

This was my first instructable, so if you like, lemme know!

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    26 Discussions

    Awesome ible. Simple and functional. I am a bit curious as to why you used the thicker walled PVC pipe as opposed to the thinner walled version. Unless you wanted to be able to drill, tap and screw into the PVC pipe ends at some point.

    heys, one question.. how come the fan blows away from the pipe? shouldn't it be blowing into the pipe so the filter catches the pet dander, hair and particles?

    3 replies

    The fan blows the cleaned air out of the pipe. It will not get clogged with dirt and dust that way. Furnaces have the filter before the motor for the same reason. If you had the fan blow in, the fan, wires, tube, etc would get dirty pretty fast.

    It would probably work better the way you described.

    it should work as long as you are forcing the air through the filter .

    Switches are cheap, under a buck. Wire is cheap, about a buck. The tube is cheap, about a buck. The filter is probably like 5 dollars, the fan can be salvaged, and the glue gun you could already have.

    it can purify dirty air or not?

    if not it is just a child's play

    the air purifier available in market purifies the poisonous fumes also

    2 replies

    Cooking Crack, rat poison, or bombs :). Either way, get a professional one if you are concerned with poisonous fumes.

    Great idea! Are there any other options of fans you could use where you would not have to solder anything??

    1 reply

    Sure, eletrical tape and splices, or wire nuts, hot gluing spliced wires, there's a lot of solutions, but nothing is easier than plain soldering. It's not easy, but you'll get better over time!

    What's the purpose of the tube?

    I'm wondering if something similar could be created by simply attaching a fan to a cheap engine air filter...

    1 reply

    I am currently building one like this to filter cigarette smoke. I used the same concept as listed here, but I used several 120mm computer fans. there is a rosewill set in amazon for $13 and I used an old cone air filter from a car(the little cheap ones for 4cyl cars. I used a box but l plan on building it with wood after I get all of the bugs out. I have the filter on a poster tube so that it can sit close to the floor and still reach beside my desk. at the base of the tube I placed the box with the fans pulling air through the tube and the filter.

    make it easy by video

    sounds easy lol

    well ill try this 1 more time...... re: a desktop for parts .... fan 12v, ps 12v and 5v out possily with a switch built in and the mian power switch.... use the powersupply to power the fan ---- if you short the power good signal on the the connector that pluged in to the mobo it allows you to turn it on buy the switch or if no sw. the plugging it in .. find the green wire in the connector and short it to and of the black wires..note...... sometimes they have a different color for the powergood so you should google the PS model you have + powergood wire color.... just an fyi

    Very nice, very inspring! Now I find myself eyeballing my old computer with the toasted hard drive- Mouhahahahaaa! Those little fans have so many uses, but I didn't think about hooking one to an adapter. Thanks!

    1 reply

    well if you have an old desktop comp you have most of the things you need ... the fan , switch for the desktop and the best of all the power supply- which is a hi quality conditioning PS with 12v and 5v outputs... plug the fan to the ps (most ps's have a built in switch) th en short the power signal on the connector that pluged into the motherboard ( that would be any black ground or - wire to the green power good wire (this is located almost in the center of the plug and sonetimes they are different colors google yo u ps model for power good signal wire) the powergood is a 5v siginal the that has to be present when powering on or it wount power up .... just an fyi if anyone can use the info........