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In this project, I'm going to show you how to make an air cooler out of household materials which will help you beat the heat and your electricity bill as well.

If you don't prefer to read, you can skip it and watch the video instead where I have explained all the steps in detail. If you do, then continue reading the written steps along with pictures in the following steps.

Step 1: Stuff You Need

1) Styrofoam box - I got mine at a local fisheries store

2) 2 Small fans - I'm using rechargeable ones

3) Empty soda cans - As many as you can loosely fit inside the box in standing position but not that loose that they fall over

4) Water - Optionally, you can add salt to water to lower freezing point of the solution.

5) Cutter

6) Pliers

7) Marker

8) Ruler (Optional)

9) Duct tape (Optional)

10) Scissors (Optional)

Step 2: Prep the Cans

- Rinse the cans with water to clean them out.

- Pull the tab off the top using a set of pliers.

- Take some water and mix salt in it. You can use plain water as well but adding salt causes it to freeze at below the freezing point of pure water hence making the ice colder.

- Pour the water into the can. But don't fill it completely.

- Pat the openings using some paper tower and then place some duct tape over it to seal the openings.

- Repeat this with all the cans and put them in the freezer to set.

Step 3: Make the Fans' Slots in the Lid

Meanwhile the cans are setting, we'll work on preparing out Styrofoam box.

- Turn the lid so the underside if facing upwards.

- Place your fans inside the bump which runs along the corner of the lid.

- Trace the fans with a marker the make a shape for cutting out.

- Make sure you cut out only circles for the fans and the rest of the fan can rest on the top of the lid.

- When done, make sure the fans fit nice and tightly in their slots and let's move on to making the vents now.

Step 4:

- Make outlines for the vents on one side of the box. About 10cm by 3cm.

- Cut out the blocks neatly and save these blocks and the circles from the fans you cut out earlier. we might need it later.

- For some added strength and better look, I wrapped the whole box and edges on the box and lid. This also ensures a tighter seal when closing the lid.

We're almost done now. Lets move on to the next step.

Step 5: Stack It and Power It Up.

- Fill your box with your frozen cans. The gaps between the cans allow air to flow through them becoming colder along the way before leaving the vents. Also, near the vents, I've placed shorter cans so it doesn't block the flow of air.

- Close the lid, switch on the fans and place them in their slots. Now enjoy a cool breeze from a makeshift AC you just made with some household materials and be happy that you’re saving at least something on your next electricity bill.

Move on to the next step for a quick bench test.

Step 6: Let's Test It Now.

- Its 40 degrees celcius out here and I placed my AC about a meter away from the thermometer.

- Within a couple of minutes the temperature drops from 40 to a more relaxing 28 degrees. And this is in the heat outside. In a confined space like a room, it's going to perform even better.

This is more like a one person cooler and works great if you’re alone and don’t want to switch on the AC to cool down the whole room or if you have a kid, just keep it next to the cot and let your little on relax.

I hope you like this project and let me know if you try it out. Don't forget to share it with your friends and family.
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<p>Nice build, thanks. Would it be better to put HVAC foil tape on the cooler to keep</p><p>it cooler? Never built one, so just asking.</p>
fyi this is a swamp cooler and it only works in low humidity area
Close, but no. This is an ice cooler that uses the heat of fusion in the ice to cool the air in the box and hence in the room. No evaporation required, this will work nicely in a room at 110% humidity. <br><br>A swamp cooler works much like your sweat does and uses the heat of evaporation to cool the space. Not so good at above 75% humidity and above.
cool.
<p>Nice project, but I have to disagree with the &quot;lower electricity bill&quot;. When you're putting the warm cans in the cooler to freeze them you consume lots of additional power.</p>
<p>I'm not sure about that. The freezer is already running 24 hours and I don't think it will consume any extra energy depending on the stuff inside it.</p>
<p>You opened the freezer again. Energy loss...</p><p>Those warm cans are heating up the freezer.</p>
<p>A freezer is a temperature controlled heat pump. It runs, pumping the heat out of the interior of the freezer, until it reaches a set temperature; then it shuts off until it warms up again because you open a door, or because of losses due to imperfect seal and/or imperfect insulation. When you put relatively warm (compared to ice) water or other object in the freezer it will run, pumping the heat out from the inside of the freezer to the coils in the back of the fridge, warming up the air in your kitchen. This will actually heat up the house more than the ice evaporating as the pump is not 100% efficient. Hopefully your kitchen is far away from the area you want cooled, or the freezer is in a detached garage.<br><br>You're actually probably more efficient to run an appropriately sized window air conditioner as that is also a heat pump - like the freezer - and just cut out the middleman (in this case the ice) and the additional overhead of the electric fans<br><br>The build quality of this cooler looks pretty good though, and thanks for the instructable.</p>
<p>P.S. I tried something like this before when I hadn't really thought everything through. What I finally settled on was using the cooler to hold ice water (with bags of ice from the corner store) and just putting my feet/legs into it. CHILLING.</p>
<p>Verry good. I like it. </p>
yup.
<p>That's true, but the freezing could be done at night when the house is cooler and then the frozen cans brought out and used in the day, when it is hotter-- so it still may have a beneficial effect.</p>
<p>I agree with you. But to be honest, I have never thawed out the cans completely since I did this project. Even if they are out of the freezer for 5-6 hours, there are so many of them packed next to each other and so well insulated inside the box that they never melt completely. In fact, its like they're still 60% ice when I'm done with the cooler. The first time freezing needs a lot of energy, refreezing, not that much I guess.</p>
<p>But what is the point of insulation? Don't you want the cold to escape? :) And it's not really insulated if you blow warm air through it. </p><p>But I figure it's good that water condenses on the inside of the box not on the outside.</p>
<p>Thermodynamics 101? o.O</p>
nice project! would it work with plastic bottles instead of cans? do you think pc fans would be powerful enough?
<p>Plastic bottles should work fine, its just that Metal is more efficient at cooling the surroundings and PC fans should work too. You might have to use more than two though.</p>
<p>I built one similar using reuseable ice blocks that were on sale. Adding a second fan and salted water makes good sense. </p><p>I found that one small fan wasn't very effective. </p><p>Nice job!</p>
<p>Nice but problem with hygrometer so moisture</p>
<p>Raiseing the humidity in your house will cause lower waper of your sweat what brings real discomfort of sauna like. </p>
<p>You don't raise the humidity in the house because the cans are sealed and the water in them does not evaporate. It actually lowers humidity because some water in the air will condense on the frozen cans and then gather on the bottom of the box.</p>
<p>Excellent idea. I've also seen those evaporative coolers made from 5-gallon plastic buckets. I'm thinking I could use your idea of soda cans and salt ice, and combine those with water. Just a few (2 or 3) would cool the water tremendously. Then take the plastic bucket and wrap it with some foam insulation to keep it colder longer. </p><p>I love this site! Even if I don't decide to build the exact same thing someone else has, there are always those little ideas incorporated into the designs that can be &quot;re-purposed&quot; to fit another project.</p>
Cool project man!
<p>Thanks :)</p>

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