Picture of air-conditioned shirt

Air conditioned shirt keeps you cool while looking professional; so you can keep your cool. This air-conditioned short has two fans (on either side near the back of this dress shirt) that force cool air under the clothing and out through the collar and cuff openings. Perfect for those long, hot summer days stuck at the office. I've explored alternative clothing to keep cool at work before, and this air-conditioned shirt is a fine additional to my cooling arsenal.

I was inspired to make the air conditioned shirt after seeing the commercially available one from Kuchofuku (Japan). They are the "only one company in the world" that makes them, and they retail retail for $138. Looks like that site closed down, here's another place to buy them for $190.

Using reclaimed computer fans, scrap electronics, and a dapper dress shirt from the thrift store, I was able to make this AC Shirt for around $10 - and can work with almost any type or style of shirt or pants.

Ready? Let's make!

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Step 1: Tools + consumables

Picture of tools + consumables

  • hobby knife
  • indelible marker
  • scissors
  • needle + tread
  • fabric chalk or pencil
  • soldering iron
  • heat-shrink tubing
  • epoxy suitable for plastic and metal
  • hammer
  • 2x 12V battery ($4)
  • 1x battery holder ($2)
  • 2x 4" computer fans
  • 2x 4" fan guards
  • 1x SPDT switch
  • dress shirt ($5 thrift store find)
  • button snaps (I got a pack of 10 for $0.25)
  • Thin, semi-rigid scrap plastic sheets - see step 2
  • zap-straps
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DavidB9317 days ago

i think in my design id use 2 smaller fans ( like a small cpu fans) and then have a tiny chamber to put a small canister of frozen liquid in. then some surgical tubing that run up under your arms and back. Air passes over the frozen bottle cooling down and then thru the tubing to create multiple exits. Once melted you throw the canister insert into the freezer and grab another.

Brodnax8327 days ago
I wanted to do something similar to this by attaching small rubber tubing throughout the shirt and attaching a can of air duster to blow through the tube upside-down supercooling the tube.

This is sort of how actors in big suits keep cool - expect they hook their lines up to a hose pipe and just have water run through (think like a PC water-cooling system).

Think I remember seeing it on the Lord of the Rings "making of". I also seem to recall something about it being bad to cool yourself in this manner - going from hot to cold to hot rapidly is bad for you or something.

rbutler27 days ago

I have an incredibly hairy torso. Should I be concerned?

MarkM26 rbutler25 days ago

Ha, I was thinking some people probably need fans for their underpant region as well, but that would be even more dangerous!

alcurb rbutler26 days ago

Perhaps you can clip, shave, or wax those areas making sure that they are shaped exactly like the outline of the fans. (He...he). Or wear a giant hair net around your torso. :-)

loum2 years ago
sogoesme loum27 days ago

He needs to use a space bar! ;P

alcurb sogoesme26 days ago

He has one, but he uses one of those foreign keyboards where the comma is mapped to the space bar. Speaking of "space"...

Or perhaps he's a spy and is communicating to Greek bankers who are holding all of Greece's euros.

BillL9 loum2 months ago

@ loum - What are you writing? Are you typing with your teeth and half of them are missing? It hurts my brain to read what you wrote.

3967 BillL927 days ago

@ BillL9 , lol i guess you are right, but he is not only typing with his theeh, he also is stuck to a HighVoltage-cable from a selfmade project. This feels not good, so is worrying about his next project where he wants to exclude possible HV-shocks ;D

You need to use a shirt that is not too tight and it will work fine. Look at the pictures.
shahrokhani27 days ago

Air-conditioning means you do something on the air i.e. decrease or increase it's temperature of it's humidity or it's cleanness but this just moves the air may be you mean by flowing the air over one's sweat makes person cool this is called self evaporative cooling!!!

diy-master27 days ago

Looks a little bit nerd:))

If you wouldn't cut out the whole fan area and just make small holes, it would be almost invisible.

Frost_1127 days ago
I'm so happy you made something like this! Finally a solution to my overheating!

Fantastic idea - particularly in the middle of the current heat-wave in the UK.

I've just robbed a snail fan out of an old laptop and connected it to a 2S 7.4v LiPo Battery - and it cetrainly blows some!

I'll 3D print a belt clip for the fan & battery then just un-tuck the side of my shirt to allow air to blow inside. I expect that will look uber-cool and cool (in slightly nerdy circles ;-) )

mikeasaurus (author)  simonrafferty27 days ago

Those are the best circles to be in.

I'd love to see pictures of your results and improvements!

Laral27 days ago

What, no Peltier module? :)

trevormac27 days ago

Arg-h--h-h. The fan fell down my trews.

Good but. Make removable type. Cloth need to wash ?
It removes for washing with the snaps just un snap them.
MVANDORN27 days ago

Great instructable! I saw he article on the Japanese company that makes this type of product, a couple years ago. I thought it to be a great idea then but never followed up to make my own.

One question thought, how long does it run on one battery charge?

billbillt27 days ago

Wonderful idea!!... Great build!...

StevenS111 months ago

how do you wash it

that is what the snaps are for

dad_a_monk1 year ago

You can also set this up with 9 volt batteries. 12v fans will operate just fine with 9v batteries. It does make the fan move slower but the speed difference is nominal compared to the price of 12v batteries. You can also get rechargeable 9v batteries and purchase a battery box that closes at Radio Shack so you can easily take the batteries in and out. They do make rechargeable 12v batteries and chargers buy again the price is far more than what 9v rechargeable batteries run.

Living in the South I can tell you this could literally be a life saver to help keep core body temperature down during rigorous activity.

BikeHacker1 year ago

How do you wash it?

mikeasaurus (author)  BikeHacker1 year ago

Step 3 and 4 discuss the snaps that hold the fan assembly in place, making the electronics removable for garment washing.

Cube_1 year ago

I would've used a wire-mesh fanguard, keeps dust and smaller objects out and matches better with garments (can be painted, *if* you know what you're doing, as well)

I actually made one these before but it was not as nicely put together like yours. good job
yami7591 year ago
OMG, I literally had this exact idea -.-
IanTrek1 year ago
My SPDT switch doesn't say which is positive or negative, and there's 3 outlets, and the fans have 3 plugs, also don't say which is which, except the circuit board has a little + and - next to 2 of the plugs on the fans. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong
IamWe1 year ago
Air cooled or heated clothing is the future. You show a glimpse of that future. Well done!
Schmidty161 year ago
Instead of makeing a heated coat im going to buy a 180 dollar millwalki coat
my wookie1 year ago
very nice, now lets see you add an electronic heater as well. stick this on a coat and you could wear it year round.
jcamosy1 year ago
I've tried this but failed before thnx man
HollyMann1 year ago
Wow you are amazingly creative!!! :) Love it!!!!!
Very cool. Get it? Cool?
cvolpe22 years ago
This shirt looks very interesting but what about the sweat developed carrying the batteries all day long?
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