Intro: Child Car A/C Vent
If you live anywhere where it gets warm, you know the back of the car can be a miserable place to be during the summer months. My family lives in Texas and my two little girls turn into soggy tater-tots when they're cooped up in the backseat for any extended amount of time.
After looking into our problem online, my wife and I found a product called the Noggle that seemed like a good solution...but a single hose goes for at least $40. I'm all for making my kids comfortable, but for a tube that just carries some cold air, that's cray-cray. So I did what any Dad with too much time on his hands would do - I knocked it off with parts from the hardware store. This cool little a/c system fixed both of our girls' hot rides and for less than $20!
Step 1: Parts & Tools
- [1x] 3" flexible foil duct (20' was more than long enough to create vents for 2 seats)
- [2x] 2" figure 8 hooks (1 per vent)
- [18x] 8" zip ties (9 per vent)
- [2x] chip bag clips (1 per vent) - Amazon Link.
- Small channel locks or pliers
- Needle nose pliers
- File or sandpaper
- Wire cutters or strong scissors
- Duct tape
- Marker or pen
Step 2: Vent Hook
I wanted these vents to be easy to take in and out of the car as needed. So a simple hook seemed like the best option.
- Start by using the channel locks and pliers to straight one side of the figure 8 hook into a straight line.
- Once straightened, take the needle nose pliers and grab the tip of the straightened hook with the tip of the pliers. Use the channel locks to bend just the tip around the tip of the needle nose pliers. It will need to be a tight bend to fit inside your air vent, so you'll need to alternate bending and compressing using the channel locks.
- Test fit in the vent. If it works, great! If not... keep on keeping on.
- The ends of my hooks ended up being a bit long, so I used a pair of wire cutters to trim the tip of the bent hook. Afterwards I sanded it smooth with the file.
Step 3: Hook the Duct
- Start by inserting your hook into one end of the foil vent. Note how far back the loop of the hook is when the vent is compressed and a small amount of the hook is still protruding, about .5". Use a marker or pencil to mark that location on the outside of the foil vent. Directly on the other side of that mark, make another mark on the vent so that you have two marks about 180 degrees apart from one another.
- Once added to the car's a/c vent, the compression of the foil vent will help hold the unit in place
- Pinch together 4-5 coils of the vent in the locations that you marked. In the foil gap above and below the coils you've collected, make a small incision using the razor blade at the marked locations. You should have 4 slits in total.
- Take one zip-tie and feed both ends of it into the vent via the two slits on once side around the pinched together coils. Pull it tight from the inside of the vent so that the loose end of the zip-tie points towards the opposite end of the vent.
- Repeat step 3 on the opposite side of the vent. When finished, both zip-ties should be pointed towards each other, almost making a bar across the inside middle of the vent.
- Slide the looped end of the hook onto both of the zip-ties and then slide to one side of the vent.
- Tear off a piece of duct tape, 1"-2" long, and wrap it around the zip-ties inside the vent, forming a 'solid' bar.
- Slide the hook to the middle of the bar and zip two more zip-ties on either side of the hook around the duct tape and crossed zip-ties.
- Zip one more zip-tie around the bar and the hook to keep the hook in the center of the bar.
- Not Pictured
- Trim the ends of the zip ties with wire cutters.
Step 4: Add Clips to the Duct
Prior to this, trim the foil vent to the desired length using the razor blade and wire cutters. I halved mine into two 10' sections.
- Add duct tape around the circumfrence of the cut vent.
- This makes for a slightly nicer edge and keeps any small fingers from accidentally getting poked.
- Test fit a chip clip to the end of the vent. Mark locations on the vent for where two zip-ties can be used to hold the clip in place. Similar to adding the hook on the opposite end, pinch together 4-5 coils of the vent in each of these locations before making your marks.
- Cut small slits in the foil gaps above and below the pinched together coils by both marks. You should have a total of 4 slits.
- Feed a zip-tie around one set of pinched coils and cinch together inside the vent. Just before tightening down, add another zip-tie between the coils and the tightened zip-tie.
- Repeat step 4 on the other set of pinched coils.
- Place the chip clip on top of the two zip-ties and then zip together both ties around the chip clip.
- Tighten all zip-ties and then trim the ends with the wire cutters.
Step 5: Connect to the Seat
- Attach the hook end of the vent to the car's a/c vent.
- Find a good location on the child's car seat to clip the other end of the vent, then clip away.
- Turn on the car to test.
- Receive a high-five from your wife and toddler.