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Due to centralized boiler room heating, getting my apartment to a comfortable temperature requires opening my living room window about two to four inches. Filling this open gap with an air filter is important to prevent an inflow of insects and dust. At present, I have rolled up some 19" shelf lining and filled the other 22" with styrofoam packaging.

The gap that needs to be filled is 40 to 41 inches wide by 3 1/2 inches tall by 1 1/4 inches thick. The idea I have so far is to purchase (for about $10) a 15-3/4" x 58" x .2" cut-to-fit carbon filter sheet that I can roll up. Is there an inexpensive way to build a frame for this or an idea that is less make-shift? I would also like to be able to easily block airflow for part of the 40" section.

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    Welcome to Lifehacks. You may have better, workable results at Home Improvement site diy.stackexchange.com. While you're here, don't forget to visit the Tour and Help center to find out how to get the most from our wacky site. ; )
    – Stan
    Nov 21 at 17:15
  • Find a building site near you and see if you can beg a square of the netting that is used to help prevent objects/people falling off scaffold. It's also available to buy, and takes various forms - trampoline side netting etc. It's corse enough to permit passive airflow but fine enough to catch insects. Dust is another matter entirely and you'll need some forced airflow for that with a filter G rating that suits your allergy needs
    – Caius Jard
    Nov 22 at 11:11
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There is no material (that I know) that will prevent dust passively. You will need forced air to accomplish filtration for dust and fine particles.

An insect screen barrier is not technically demanding. Frames can be made to fit using a number of different materials from wood to tubular metal extrusions and molded corner fittings. Various screen mesh sizes (the number of openings in an inch, say) can be specified depending on the size of unwanted 'visitors' you wish to screen out. The screen mesh itself can be made (found) in different materials from aluminum to fibreglass to copper or bronze (if you are near the sea where the salt air corrodes some metals). Some mesh is made to help with sun reflecting heat abatement features. It goes on-and-on.

How-To instructions are available online for construction and assembly of your window screens.

Shop a well-stocked hardware store near you or search for Door and window screen materials, online.

Results will vary with your ability and/or budget if you contract the project.

Good luck.

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  • Thanks for mentioning tubing. As I searched I remembered Romex, which could possibly be bent to a 3" x 40" rectangle shape for use as a frame. Nov 22 at 13:07

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