Indoor Air Quality

Indoor Air Quality

Indoor Air Quality Program Overview

The Office of Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) manages the campus Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Program to address air quality, ventilation, odors, dust, and wildfire smoke concerns. Working in partnership with Facilities Services and University Health Services (UHS), EH&S responds to indoor air quality concerns across campus. This page contains multiple resources associated with indoor air quality, wildfire smoke...

HEPA Air Cleaner

Office of Environment, Health & Safety

Air cleaning is one of several methods of reducing indoor air pollutants. Many factors need to be considered in determining whether the use of an air cleaner is appropriate in a particular setting. Review the following HEPA Air Cleaner Fact Sheet.

EH&S is available to provide technical information and guidance; however, the ultimate decision to purchase and use an air cleaner is...

Elijah Aquino

Safety Specialist
Workplace Safety
Indoor Air Quality
Hearing Conservation

DIY Box Filter

Do-It-Yourself Box Filter Project Overview

These easy-to-build, economical box fan filters improve indoor ventilation and filter particulates in the air. The design provides an estimated clean air delivery rate of 600 cubic feet per minute (cfm), or about four air changes per hour for a 30 ft x 30 ft x 10 ft room. The 4-filter cube design increases filter surface area and reduces strain on the fan motor, compared to a box fan with a single filter. MERV 13 filters are more than 85% efficient at capturing particles in the 1 µm to 3 µm size range. The box fans require a low amount of energy...

Can I build one myself?

Yes, the materials are available from many vendors and assembly is simple. If you have limited space or multiple filters are unavailable, a lower cost alternative design is to tape a single 20” x 20” MERV 13 filter to the back of a box fan (See: video).

Are you making more box filters?

I’d like one for my classroom. Most shared spaces on campus are well-served by building ventilation and filtration systems. This project is a grassroots/pilot project intended to supplement the building ventilation system in targeted locations and there are no plans to install box filters in all shared spaces on campus. If you have concerns about indoor air quality in a specific room, please email

If there’s a box filter in my classroom, does that mean the ventilation is bad?

No. Criteria for room selection include MERV rating of the building’s filtration system, room-specific ventilation information, indoor air quality complaints, reliance on natural ventilation (presuming windows will need to be closed during wildfire smoke event and/or during colder winter months), occupancy and usage rates, and room size.

How loud are the box fans?

The fans have been measured at 55 dB at a distance of 6 feet on the lowest setting, but will be louder at a higher setting. If it is disruptive, reduce the power level or turn off the fan.

Will they blow a power circuit?

The fans use an estimated 166/117/87 watts at each power level. This isn’t much more electrical draw than a typical laptop. If you have concerns about the electrical capacity of a specific room, please contact Facilities Services at 2-1032. (10/7/21 bench test: Draw = 0.6 amp at setting 1; 0.8 amp at setting 2; 1.0 amp at setting 3).