Lehigh Valley

DIY AC unit could save you big bucks

DIY AC unit could save you big bucks

If you're baking in this steaming summer heat, we've got a do-it-yourself alternative: an air conditioner you can build yourself in just a few minutes.

The whole project only cost us about $20.

A YouTube clip showing how to make your own air conditioner out of a household cooler and a fan went viral, so we decided to see if it works.

It's essentially an old-fashioned icebox made into an AC unit.

Just start with two bags of ice, or make your own block of ice out of tap water in the kitchen.

While waiting for your water to freeze, grab a small desk fan and a piece of curved PVC pipe.

Lay the fan face-down on the lid of your styrofoam cooler. Draw a circle around it.

Then do the same thing with the pipe opening on the other end of the lid.

Now just take a kitchen knife and carefully cut out each hole.

Next, grab your desk fan and neatly wedge it into the hole you just cut. Do the same thing for the PVC pipe. You may want to use duct tape to hold both in place.

Now you're done! Just throw your ice in the cooler and flip on the fan. The ice inside will dramatically cool the air, which then comes out of the PVC pipe.

It's not a long-lasting solution; in most experiments, the unit will cool the air for about four or five hours until the ice melts. But in a pinch, on a steamy, hot day, it can cool a small room effectively.

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