Tuesday, July 19, 2011

DIY Emergency Air Conditioner

If (when?) the power goes out or if your air conditioner goes on the blink, you could be in for long, hot day or week. Fans are okay, but blowing around 95-degree air just isn't as cool and comfortable as an air conditioner's chilled air.

Fortunately, it's easy and inexpensive to make a DIY air conditioner that will cool a small room and could make the difference between being able to sleep at night or turning your bed into something that looks like Lake Erie, after you've sweated all night long.

Here's how: Fill a Styrofoam cooler with ice. Don't have any ice? Run to 7-11 and grab a bag or two. Cut a large hole in the top and place a battery-powered fan over the hole. If you don't have a battery-powered fan, order one today -- they have plenty of uses. The 02 fan works either plugged in or on battery power, and the batteries last for up to 72 hours.

Poke a few holes in the side to act as a return, replenishing the now cold air that the fan is now pushing into your room. When the ice runs out, just replenish the bag. This DIY air conditioner will operate and keep you cool until Pepco restores your power or your air conditioning system can be fixed.

Thanks for Lifehacker for this incredibly useful tip. 


  1. Just mentioned this elsewhere (along with your follow-up article), but wanted to comment here on the original article, too. We followed your advice and ordered two fans. Now, we're all set if the power goes off and we need some temporary, "home-made" A/C. Thanks!

    P.S. We did find the fans for even less through a different store's website.

  2. This is very practical and easy to do. DIY air-conditioners can be done swiftly, and they require little effort. With this, more people can enjoy the comforts of having an air conditioning unit without spending too much. =)