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. 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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loum1 year ago
BillL9 loum1 month 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.

StevenS110 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?
cvolpe21 year ago
This shirt looks very interesting but what about the sweat developed carrying the batteries all day long?
Ozfer1 year ago
Since when is a fan considered air conditioning. Hell I wish my fans were air conditioners... big difference in the summer.
ntense991 year ago
great man! can you build a version that uses a 1500 CFM attic fan? LOL
Just got back from a motorcycle roadie through central California. Used a cool vest along with mesh armored gear. Soak the cool vest in water, wear it underneath your gear to cool you long as you're moving. this could be a handy little mod to keep me cool in traffic when using the vest. Well played, that man.
This came out beautifully. +Vote. You wouldn't think putting fans in a dress shirt (or any shirt for that matter) could come off as anything more than a joke, especially so stylishly. Very much thinking about making this as a gift. Just wondering if the shirt billows out when the fans are on.
cahebayx1 year ago
Your a Genius! Thank you for the info.
shazni1 year ago
I sure could use this!
james.m.k1 year ago
Very nice!

But it's easier to pull air out of a thing than push it into a thing. Try the little tiny 1" to 1.5" fans in the collar! (But then you'd need some supports to keep the shirt off the shoulders and body. Solving one problem creates another! ^_^ ) Maybe a combo, but then you're adding a LOT of electronics.

Maybe add a small refrigeration unit in front of the fans sucking in outside air?
shyrell1 year ago
I live with fibromyalgia and can feel faint when my body temp gets too high. This limits my outdoor activities in the summer. I'm going to try this asap so I can spend time outside with my grandkids! Thank you for sharing!
Somehow let us know how this works for you!

Maybe post your own instructable with links and kudos back to this one. ^_^
alzie1 year ago
In my own case,
i was thinking more of putting the fan in the front / middle of my chest, butthatd look perdy goofy.
Side / rear is much less conspicuous.
Good thinking.
Future enhancements would be to optimize the fan for this app.
Too bad that TE generators are so inefficient.
Twould be a great way to self power this thing.
> i was thinking more of putting the fan in the front / middle of my chest

Going for that "Invincible Iron-Man" look, huh?
lr10cent1 year ago
You might try putting 4 little reinforced holes in the shirt and then snapping the fan to the support through the holes. This way, the whole mess could be removed when laundering the shirt.

I made a hat like this by just fastening a fan inside the vented part of an existing hat, but I get sunburn on my forehead from the vent!
Yeah, but it' would be ugly with the support on the outside. You would need some way to camouflage the support if you were wearing it to work.

You'd need to introduce a mesh "pocket", or a pocket with a hole in it that you could slide the support into. Maybe even UP into.
djsc1 year ago
nice. I have seen personal heaters and a strategy for cutting energy use at home by just heating the space you use, the same should apply for cooling. I think this would raise a few eyebrows in my office but luckily we have aircon- good idea for home use though- I would be thinking of a light and loose full body suit with the option of tethering to charge directly from USB (okay maybe not). sunfrost, the ecorefrigerator company, specualted something similar:
james.m.k djsc1 year ago
"Did you notice Ray was humming today?"
"Humming? So what? Are you the music police here?"
"No, I mean humming like a PC"
"I told you that guy is a machine at work!"
Tinworm1 year ago
presumably it can never be washed?
I wondered the same, but notice there are snap domes on the fans? They can be removed, leaving the "fan support" sewed to the cloth.
Cool. Thanks criggie
The title is a bit misleading, this is not an AC shirt, it is just a ventilated shirt! You could make a real AC shirt by adding a Peltier effect cell and a radiator, but that may require a lot of power to operate, as they are used in portable refrigerators with big batteries.
carpespasm1 year ago
You should note that those are "A23" size batteries. Have you tested to see how many minutes/hours run time they have for this? They're usually only seen in small low-power applications like garage door clickers and wireless doorbells, and I'm fairly sure they aren't gonna last a week's worth of use on a high-drain use like running a fan.
Agreed - needs a USB connector so you can power it from your computer, car ciggy lighter adapter, or a portable USB power brick battery. Though it would only get 5V and need a stepup circuit.
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