A California tech journalist demonstrated how to make an inexpensive air filter using a box fan as thick smoke from Canadian wildfires blankets the East Coast.
San Francisco-based NBC News correspondent and author Jacob Ward took to ICT Tac Wednesday to share his hack to tackle poor air quality as health experts warn millions to stay indoors to avoid exposure.
“Friends from New York, here’s how we handle the bad, smoky air in California. You don’t need an expensive air filter,” he explained. “What you need is this: your box fan.”
Ward assumed that many viewers had box fans at home and encouraged them to pull them out of storage. He then took his fan and turned it over so the cord was facing him.
San Francisco-based NBC News correspondent and author Jacob Ward showed how to make a DIY air filter on TikTok
Thick smoke from wildfires in Canada has blanketed much of the East Coast, including New York City (pictured Wednesday), triggering air quality alerts
“Tie one of these to him,” he said, holding up a furnace filter.
The reporter noted that the filters can be purchased at most neighborhood hardware stores for those who don’t have one.
To assemble them, you just need to drill a hole in the center of the filter and pull the fan cord through.
You then secure the filter to the back of the fan using string, tape, or large rubber bands. Ward opted for box fan filter handles that he purchased from Amazon.
“You keep all your windows closed in your house and blow this thing out so that all the air in your apartment periodically passes through here,” he advised. “Eventually this filter will turn gray and then black.”
Ware explained that the DIY air filter is cheap to make, and he keeps a stack of furnace filters in his basement to pull out whenever there’s wildfire smoke.
‘It will be fine. You won’t even have to replace it for a week or more, and by then your air will be fine. So it will be fine, he assured viewers.
‘Smoky air? A box fan, furnace filter, and some string are all you need. Love, California,’ he added in the caption.
The tech reporter explained that all you have to do is attach a furnace filter to the back of a fan using string, tape, or big rubber bands.
“You keep all your windows closed in your house and blow this thing out so that all the air in your apartment periodically passes through here,” he advised.
Ward’s video went viral and hundreds of people flocked to the comments section to thank him for the helpful tip
Ward’s video has been viewed more than 460,000 times in less than 24 hours, and hundreds of commenters have thanked him for the tip.
“That’s literally the most reassuring thing I’ve seen in days. Thank you West Coast! NY we gotta send her a pie,” one person replied.
‘Yes! Research shows it’s literally as good as fancy air filtration systems – I just tape the filter on the back,” someone else added.
“It really works,” shared another. “I used blue duct tape to attach mine.”
However, one TikTok user couldn’t help but point out that most New Yorkers don’t have “basement storage units.”
“As a former New Yorker, I regretted it the moment I said it, but it is my policy to record only once, without edits,” Ward replied.
New York City has become one of the most polluted cities in the world due to the smoke, which is the result of more than 400 wildfires burning over the Canadian border.
The smoke is made up of dangerous nanoparticles small enough to enter the bloodstream, and people have reported side effects including eye and throat irritation and breathing problems.
A map of the impact wildfire smoke has had on air quality levels on the East Coast. Purple sections are considered ‘dangerous’, red is ‘unhealthy’, orange is ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’ and yellow is ‘moderate’
The level of air pollution has caused some Americans to inhale the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes. The numbers saw 64 AQI points equivalent to a cigarette, correct as of Thursday morning
A jogger braved poor air quality in New York on Thursday morning as health experts warned people to stay indoors to avoid exposure to smoke
A study of University of Berkeley found that rising air pollution levels can be catastrophic, with some North East residents currently breathing air equivalent to smoking an entire pack of cigarettes throughout the day.
After first descending on New York on Wednesday morning, the smoke continued to spread into the evening across New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Meteorologists predict the smoke, which has affected at least 16 states, could last into the weekend in some places.
Speaking during a state visit by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, President Joe Biden said he would send more than 600 firefighters and staff to Canada to help fight the wildfires.
“Yesterday I spoke with Prime Minister Trudeau and offered any additional assistance Canada needs to quickly accelerate efforts to put out these fires, particularly those in Quebec, where the fires are having the greatest impacts. direct impact on American communities,” he said in a statement. .
“I have instructed the National Interagency Fire Fighting Center to respond quickly to Canadian requests for additional firefighters and fire suppression assets such as air tankers.
“I have asked Transport Secretary Buttigieg to keep me informed of his progress to ensure we proactively manage the air traffic implications of deteriorating air quality based on lessons learned from past incidents. .
“Stay safe and follow the advice of your local authorities.”