Simple Cheap Ice Box Air Conditioner





Introduction: Simple Cheap Ice Box Air Conditioner

In this instructable I will be showing you how to build a cheap air conditioner from a Styrofoam ice box. This is an extremely easy build and shouldn't take you more than an hour to complete.
I live away from home and cannot afford another air conditioner here so I thought of building a cheap air conditioner with things lying around the house. Summer nights are really uncomfortable and also pretty humid here(which is why I stayed away from the swamp cooler).
I hope you enjoy this instructable!

Step 1: Step 1: Materials and Tools

You will need the following:

- Any sort of cooling fan, I had an extra exhaust fan lying around the house so decided to use it.
- PVC Pipes with elbow.
- Styrofoam Ice Box

- Cutter Blade
- Hot glue gun
- Hacksaw
- Measuring instrument

Step 2: Step 2: Cutting Out the Holes for the Pipes and the Fan

The hole for the fan can be cut out using a cutter blade. However if you're using a thick box like mine, you will have problems cutting out the holes for a pipes with the blade, so I decided to the cut the holes using the pipe itself by slightly sharpening one of its edges. This does the job easily.

Step 3: Step 3: Attaching the Pipes and the Fan

I attached all the parts using hot glue, it does a fantastic job.

Step 4: Step 4: Add the Ice Packs

You can use any sort of ice, but if your box is big like mine, I would suggest freezing water in plastic packets and then putting them into the box. This way you won't have water collecting in the box.

Step 5: Step 5: You're Ready to Go

With the ice packets in the box and fan plugged in, sit back and enjoy your new Simple Cheap Styrofoam Air Conditioner.
Hope you enjoyed this instructable!



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    hi everyone please hit a like button for my brother and even see my instructble

    1 reply

    where's the like button?

    I love it! It's been super hot here lately (Big Island, Hawaii, because of the hurricanes creeping up on us - but they never really "hit" because of the two 13K+ ft volcanoes behind us....but we still get super high humidity and warmth) and I was looking for a "regular" air conditioner but didn't want to mess with my windows. Would a slightly larger fan be too much (cheapo at the hardware store), or is the small computer fan good for a bedroom. I'm not an engineer but I suppose there has to be an accommodating intake/output, plus I'd like to use a large solid block of ice or two (thinking longer time for a single use). Or maybe big ice with your arrangement?

    1 reply

    Thanks for your comment, practically speaking this design cannot really be used to cool a room as such, it's more like cool breeze. Although you could try putting a bigger fan, you would have to replace the ice much faster (the ice with the current setting lasts for a maximum of 2 hours) or better still you could increase the box size so you can add more ice.


    You could experiment with salt in the water for freezing to lower the temperature. Most freezers are well below 32 degrees F and this would make for colder air out and perhaps a longer thaw time.

    1 reply

    That's a nice idea, will have to try that out.

    Thnx for the awesome design n idea......but for how much time does the cooling last and can it cool a room??

    very very very very thanks to you for your awesome idea. i was searching To make a Cheap homemade AC From single CPU fan and your instructable fulfilled my need.


    1 reply

    You're most welcome Aditya.

    What is the use of 5 pvc pipes that inserted in box? will air will come from that pipes?

    1 reply

    You don't have to use 5 pipes, you can simply use a single bigger pipe. I used 5 of the smaller ones because I had them lying around and as for the air, it all depends on the capacity of your fan.

    Great "Favorite" for future reference.

    Also... how about using hosepipe for the pipes? Cut it in 2 - 3 foot lengths and lay it inbetween layers of ice packs. Should dramatically increase the temperature drop.

    1 reply

    Sure, that's a nice idea and it should definitely increase its efficiency. But I think copper pipes would conduct better than hosepipes, will try that out later. Thank you so much for you feedback.

    For the ice packs use balloons. Fill with water... not too much.. and tie tge end. Freeze them and refreeze when melted. Nice instructable... simple and hacky! :)