Make Your Own Carbon Air Filter

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Below pictures are of a small project I endeavoured to ensure the air in my appartment is 100% chemical free. Air filters mainly focus on dust, but in some cases you want to remove fumes from traffic that may enter your appartment as it is ventilated. Carbon filters do just that. They remove anything that wants to react with carbon, and most noxious fumes do.

The filter used is an industrial grade one, sold to be part of airconditioner systems. It is also sold in growshops, meant to remove any scent of cannabis sativa hollandica (weed) as it is grown in indoor controlled environments. It has 5 KG of activated carbon. Normally it would be more costly/trouble to get your hands on them.

The filter “Mark I” simply pushes air into a box, where it finds the filter as the only exit. The fan is a PC style fan, very quiet. It draws .14 Ampere at 12 Volt, so it consumes 1.68 Watt for a sensible breeze. The trick of this box design is to maximize the surface through which the air can enter the filter.

The vantilator is mounted on the inside of the box creating overpressure in the entire box. Dust however gets a chance to drop to the bottom instead of going through the filter. The slower the air moves, the more dust will fall to the bottom (which is why you usually find ‘dustbunnies’ in corners and behind funiture).

The filter support is such that the top of the box is flush with the top of the filter. The air is blown up and away. Of course one could connect air tubes to a window to ensure air is taken from outside f.i. The box is 80 x 25 x 30 cm.

With the top sealed with tape (can be improved) there’s no other way for air to leave the box. The bottom can be made air-tight, but this way you can lift it to vacuum up the dust that collects on the floor.

The power comes from an external adaptor. The device itself runs on 12 volt. We are going to see if we can integrate a (better) dust filter.

As the filters are small enought to send through the mail you can order a kit to build this (precut parts) for 160,- Euro. The filter will last about a year. Contact us here.


  • Multiplex 4 mm
  • Small wooden beam for corners
  • Nails and screws
  • 12 Volt PC fan
  • Adapter
  • Cord
  • Filter