DIY Mini Air Conditioner

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About: My name is Simon Sörensen and I am the creator of RCLifeOn. I´m 19 years old and live in a town called Trollhättan, located in the southwestern part of Sweden. I´ve been in the RC hobby...

In this Instructable I will show you have to make your own mini air cooler with houshold items.

Step 1: How Does It Work?

An air conditioner works by pulling hot air inside a container, cool it down and then push the cold air out. This is the main difference from an ordinary fan that simply moves air, instead of cooling it down.

Step 2: Materials

  • 12V computer fan
  • 12V AC adapter
  • Ice
  • Hot glue
  • Cutting knife
  • Tape

Step 3: Start Building!

Take your container, a milk package works great, and cut an opening for the computer fan. Put the fan as far away from the exhaust as possible. This will ensure optimal cooling effect once we add the ice.

Step 4: Glue the Fan in Place

I like to use hot glue for these types of projects. You do not want leaks, make sure to seal all gaps. Except the exhaust obviously.

Step 5: Optional: Solder on a Connector

Why would you want to do this? You can make it portable! Simply unplug the AC adapter and connect the fan to a 12V battery, such as a 3S Lipo.

Step 6: Add the Ice

Step 7: How Effective Is It?

You too hate loud fans blowing on you? A computer fan is made to be very quiet! This makes it perfect to use while reading, at front of the computer or any other place you don't want to be disturbed.

Start temp: 22°C or 71.6F
End temp: 15°C or 59F

Step 8: Enjoy

I like to use mine while editing videos or playing games as the computer heats up the room.

Thanks for reading my Instructable!

Want to see more projects? Watch my YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/RcLifeOnSimon

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Runner Up in the
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7 People Made This Project!

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161 Discussions

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inventorpro1

Question 4 months ago

would putting the fan at a 45 degree angle work better?

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lindaoak

12 months ago

This project is very impressive. Great pics and good instructions. It's truly the project for "whatever you have in the house". In that spirit, I studied your post and made one with a small styro shipping box (cut appropriate holes) and a cheapo 5-inch mini-fan from walmart. I dropped in a couple of chiller gel pacs, pressed the box top in place, plugged in the fan and it's working nicely. And it didn't cost me one cent. Thank you so much for the ingenious and very helpful idea. Stay cool.

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TiraT

2 years ago

So, just putting a containter/bag of ice behind a larger fan wouldn't do the same thing?

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lindaoakTiraT

Reply 12 months ago

I've done this, and it does cool small areas.

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RaúlT5TiraT

Reply 2 years ago

Dont ask just doit and dont critics

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TiraTRaúlT5

Reply 2 years ago

I'm sorry? ... I'm assuming you meant "don't criticize."

Which is rather rude. My question was genuine. I wasn't being sarcastic. I was asking if that would do the same thing, because I don't have a computer fan available and didn't want to attempt all the wiring hassle.
But I did just "doit" with regards to my idea, and it does work to some extent but not great.

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RaúlT5TiraT

Reply 2 years ago

Sorry I thought you that you were being sarcastics. I'm kind of tired about those people. My mistake sorry

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lindaoakfatethefirst

Answer 12 months ago

I used those freezing gel packs, so there's just a tiny bit of water accumulation. When they do thaw, I toss them in the freezer and get a couple more out to keep the cool coming.

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tliguori330

1 year ago

I dig it, nice and easy, any problems with condensation on the outside? Im sure there are multiple solutions to that problem

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thehammer223

1 year ago

im not gonna lie this is the first project i found that i dont need to buy anything for, instead of a 15v output i used a usb and connected it to my pc. but now i can play overwatch without melting in my leather chair.

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JanS151

1 year ago

Fantastic .. Love this .. I want to make one for my Moms appointment. What about freezing the container with water. Will the fan handle the freeze/thaw?

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Dr KAZ

1 year ago

Best Instructable I saw in a loooong time.

Well written.Good pics. Few steps. Easy to build. Quick. Cheap. Gives an observable result. Withstands nasty/unnecessary/duh comments etc. etc.

Well done Simon!

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3967

2 years ago

Haha , remember how milk smells after some days? and then use this package as air conditioner xD

3 replies
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Cliffystones3967

Reply 2 years ago

2 words here. Sodium Hydrochloride. For you non-tech folks that's chlorine bleach :)

But I get your point. Probably better to use a container that had water or even juice in it.

In defense of the original builder, this is simply a micro-sized swamp cooler. Something akin to those "USB Powered Fans" that put a tiny breeze right at your fingertips/sweating forehead. Only with the ice, this becomes one of those, only on micro-steroids. A nice little cold breeze to take the edge off of an otherwise uncomfortably warm environment. Sure it could be modded/enlarged/ altered etc. But kudos to the builder. The rest of you folks need to heed the expression "Don't slap a gift horse in the face".

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thesnowtheriverCliffystones

Reply 2 years ago

it's "don't look a gift horse in the mouth", right? because now i'm confused.

Yeah, today I told my friend that another friend had something up his arm besides his sleeve:( But, back to the horse thing. Check this video out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdrZfat-sak