DIY Air Conditioner

Have you ever wanted a Portable Air Conditioner that didn’t waste a lot of electricity and didn’t cost an arm and a leg? Here is an inexpensive DIY unit that puts out about a 60 degree air flow.

Materials Needed


1. An insulated cooler with a flat lid

2. A Small Fan (6 to 8 inch with good output)

3. A three inch 45 degree or 90 degree PVC pipe

4. A tube of silicone adhesive

5. A couple of milk jugs filled with water and then frozen.

Step 1


Trace two circles on the top of your cooler to match the fan size and the PVC Pipe size


Step 2


Drill a small hole where where the fan will fit. This hole is only used so you can insert the blade of your jig saw to cut the large hole for your fan to fit in.


Then use your jig saw to cut the hole for your fan. Careful not to cut the hole to big. You want the hole big enough to fit the fan in but small enough that the fan doesn’t fall through the hole.

Step 3


Use a utility knife to cut the top layer of the lid where the PVC pipe will go but don’t cut all the way through. You’ll want to cut a smaller hole on the bottom layer so that the PVC pipe will not fall through the hole.



Step 4


Insert both pieces into their respective places. Then use the silicone adhesive to affix them in place


Step 5


After the silicone adhesive has completely dried/cured, put the two frozen milk jugs with water inside the cooler. Plug in and turn on the fan the feel the cool air. Refreeze the milk jugs when they start to thaw.


It’s really a pretty simple concept. Warm air goes in, is cooled by the ice in the frozen milk jugs, and comes out the PVC pipe cooler then the air coming in.

It cost me roughly $30-$35 to build, took me less than an hour. The better then fan the more air it puts out. This one works great when I’m working in the garage on a pallet project.

Re-posted with permission from

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