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Fan Buddie Your Breathing Best Friend

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home air filter


Removing dust and pollen from a home is a never-ending task; one that doesn’t get solved by a simple cleaning or vacuuming when you add in pet dander, mold spores or those invisible but still icky dust mites. I remember well the first time I bought a filtration device that was supposed to recycle the air in my bedroom while removing all the unseen crud tickling my nose. I almost went into sticker shock when I saw the price for the subwoofer-sized box was over $200. Plus the cost of the replacement filter was in the hundreds as well. So now I just put up with fans blowing lousy air into my apartment? Nope.

So here’s the idea and it’s brilliant: take filter screening material made from knitted polyester that’s approved by the European Center for Allergy Research Foundation. Add a 1/4th” thick antimicrobial polyester material to stiffen it and add to its durability factor. Then find a way to attach it to the back of a conventional box fan. So that means that the air goes in through the filter and then out the front of the fan sans detriment. Now make that filter inexpensive enough for months of use, as in $34.95, but even before that — make it simple to remove so it can be cleaned to increase its life and usage. And there you have the Fan Buddie.

The Fan Buddie comes as a square designed to fit around the typical square box fan (like a Lasco, for those visiting a drugstore). In my case I have a 20" plastic box fan, so the connectors can’t be magnetic for use on metal. This version gives me velcro — I applied velcro snaps to the four corners of the back of the fan and lined them up with the strips of velcro on the filter. A quick press on all corners and the filter is attached. End of story. Then I just turned the fan on. The only way this could have been simpler was if somebody had done it for me.

I figured that running the fan for a week would result in it grabbing hold of some crud, but when I removed the filter (having turned the fan off first), I was surprised at just how much it had “caught.” The company says you can wash it in the upper rack of a dishwasher, but being all thumbs I didn’t want to take the chance. Not having a garden hose handy (not having a garden), I took it into the shower stall and ran the water against it while lightly scrubbing it with a sponge that had been dipped in dishwashing liquid. It made for some extra time to clean the tub, but the results was that the filter was clean again and would be reattached once it had dried. Had it not gotten so dirty, I might have just shaken off some of the dust or even run a vacuum cleaner against it, instead of giving it the water treatment. What else is there to say?

Only that PollenTec also produces air filters and a screen fabric that can be used on windows and doors.