Simple Cheap Air Conditioner(Cooler)




Introduction: Simple Cheap Air Conditioner(Cooler)

About: Mechanical Engineering

In this instructable i will show you how to make an air conditioner(cooler) from cheap stuff that you get from any store.

Step 1: Parts Needed...

-A plastic box
-A 2.5'' pvc 90' elbow
-A small car fan
-A small piece of PVC tube
-Pipe Clamp

-Some cable ties

-A knife
-PVC Glue

Step 2: Attach the Fan

On the cap of the box you need to make a hole that fit the fan in just like the picture.Then make small holes around the fan and use the cable ties to hold down the fan secured.

Step 3: Put the Vent

 Now make another hole on the cap that fits on your elbow.To attach the elbow glue a small piece of pvc tube on the elbow , pass the elbow trough the hole and use a pipe clamp (optional)  to secure the vent.That way you can move it to blow everywhere you want.

Step 4: Finishing Up

 Put some ice blocks in the box ,connect the fan to a battery and ready to go.



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60 Discussions

I am near Dallas so I well understand how a person would suffer without AC in their vehicle. I was recently in Cartagena, Columbia which is as hot and humid as Hong Kong or Bangkok...absolute sauna. Before we went, I made *scarves* for the two of us and put those water absorbing crystals in them:

They absolutely saved us. We were the only people with them in the tour group, but the rest were falling by the wayside and couldn't keep up...even those younger than us. They absorb so much water that it took them eight days to fully dry out again. My scarves had four *pockets* and I put about a 1/4 teaspoon of the crystals in each pocket and thought it wouldn't be enough but it was almost too much.

While I love the idea of this homemade AC unit, when you are out and about, these things can be lifesavers.

Thanks for your comments and suggestions and soon I will be making another cheap air-conditioned that would be more improved than this. I also wanted to say that this particular cooler can be used more for personal use or at small places and rooms. And thanks again for your comments and will repost a soon a new instructable.

Can I do this on a smaller scale like shoe box?

Okay, all you tech-savvy people, I have a problem for you to solve! My car's AC is out, and I drive all over the Dallas./Fort Worth area as an in-home tutor. I am usually fried to a crisp by the end of the day, what with the 100+ heat, dryness, etc. Right now, my budget's so stretched, I have several dead presidents screaming in pain in my wallet, so fixing the AC is a no-go at this point. However, I have a huge collection (and have access to more) of junk. You know, old parts from this, little pieces of that; the stuff that dreams are made of! I need a cooler that is safe and secure to put in my mini-van (perhaps between the front seats?) that will bring the ambient temperature down so I am not drenched in sweat when I reach my students' homes. Some of the 'ibiles seem great for a stationary use, but since I am in a moving vehicle, might not be so great. What have you got for me? Thank you in advance!

4 replies

You can use a usb fan connected to a power bank put it under the seat, maybe?

Use a regular ice chest, make it with a 12v fan or two. put it in the passenger seat plug it in, face it to you and you got it, I got one in my van, my ac works in the van but I live in Fort Worth the Van is 25 years old and doesn't cool the whole vehicle properly, I actually use two in there lmao.

I suggest a big container of ice water and a bandana. Dunk the bandana. Wear it on your head. Roll down the windows to increase the rate of evaporation. This got me through a cross country drive from Florida to California in the middle of the summer. It was so hot, I had to turn on my heater to keep the engine from overheating!

if you use a shorter, fatter box, it may be more stable...and seeing as how it uses an "oscillating car fan," It should work great in a car, just put it on the passenger seat, and point the nozzle [why not make it adjustable?!?] at yourself, and seatbelt it in!

let me know if this helps!



2 years ago

I made it from a plastic barrel

I've used my CPU system fan and it cools more than the ordinary fan....

If you froze jugs of water in the freezer they would make no mess as they thawed. No worry about splashing water in the car. My Air is our too and I might try this next trip inland.

2 replies

True but my fans get a 10 degree difference with enclosed water compared to ice, you can make little holes in the jugs at top though.

I tried to make something like this several years ago, when I had a car with no AC. My version was on steroids. I had a cooler of ice water in the back seat. A 12V pump circulated the water through my car's heater core. And tepid (big improvement) air came out through the vents. The only problem was a 10 lb bag of ice only lasted about 5 minutes. :(

2 replies

Hi klee27x. I'm worried about your engine not getting up to operating temperature (usually 180-195 degrees). This would be good for you but not for your vehicle's engine. A hot engine will burn efficiently, but a cold one will have carbon and guk build-up on the insides. Any problem with that? Or does your engine's heater core not mix with your engine coolant / radiator?

That is what a car thermostat is for. I hear this all the time in the car forums. When people want to run fans all the time in the engine, If you have a working thermostat the car will not cool too much.

i have made all the apparatus but wind does not come out of the pipe even the fan is giving air with high pressure.please help me

2 replies

Did you put the fan in to push or pull the air. Is your container to large or is your fan too small. The smaller the fan the smaller the container should be. The smaller the fan the smaller the exhaust in diameter.

Tip, use dryer vent or a bendable material and run it through a few inches bending it towards the fan, Not to close.

I have made several different types of these from cardboard boxes to expensive coolers even adding wheels and a motor to one so I could drive it around lol. All situations are different, but I have found them best to work in texas on just ice no water, causes too much humidity. if you can find a large enough container then put two fans in, one large on top one small on the side lining up with the top fan, Now put your outlets on the other side of the fan you put on the side, Use one pipe about 4 to 6 inches. Large 35 gallon totes work well with this.

One important note I use polystyrene foam which you can get at lowes, I use 1.5 inch thick and buy a large 4 foot x 8 sheet cause its cheaper that way and you will want to make more. Take the foam and cut a piece that fits tight in the bottom of the tote, now cut another piece to put on top, now cut the sides. get the top to where it is 1.5 inches from the top of the tote and cut tops for it also. Now when you cut your lid for the fan you also need to cut openings in the foam as well.

One more tip, dont use gallon bottles if you do put holes in the top to let the air escape, also if you use ice with dry ice on top, oh my oh my, hope you dont get frost bite.

Also it is very easy to make it solar. Just go to ebay pay 40 bucks for a 15 watt solor panel You can actually run a few fans with this, I have three of them running on one panel and could probably go past that, you will know when too much is too much cause the fans will slow down. I also have a stanley battery jumper with a cig adapter and use an inverter on it, I can run 5 of these on that and probably more all night long for camping.