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DIY Air Conditioner From An Old Ice Chest

Lessen your electricity bill amid the summer heat with this DIY air conditioner hack. It’s easy and proven efficient!

How To Make A DIY Air Conditioner

Summer is here and unfortunately, so are the humid days. Unless taking a huge hit on your monthly electric bill is part of your agenda, a man always finds a way to cool down using a little innovation and the willingness to break a sweat. This means a DIY air conditioner for you to hack. When you have an old ice chest lying around, it’s easy to convert it into your own AC and still keep your monthly bills down.


What You’ll Need:

  • Hard-sided ice chest
  • 4-inch elbow PVC Pipe
  • Small fan
  • 12V battery or 15-watt solar panel


How To Make A DIY Air Conditioner:

Step 1: Ready, Set, Measure


The key to success in making your DIY air conditioner is to ensure all measurements are correct. Properly align the pipe and small fan on the space where you need them to be.

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Step 2: Trace Those Corners


Next is to measure the dimensions of the electric fan by tracing the head with a pencil or pen. The same step should also be done with the PVC pipe. Be sure about your measurements, however, since once you begin cutting, there’s no turning back.


Step 3: Two Small Holes, if you please


After you’re done tracing the fan and the PVC pipe, use a drill to cut a hole into the ice chest, which will serve as the opening for your power cutter to cut through the ice chest’s lid.


Step 4: Fit Like A Glove


Now you can start installing the PVC pipe and the electric fan into the ice chest. If you made your measurements right, they should fit right in with little trouble. If there are holes where the chill can seep through, you can use epoxy or any glue to fill in the gaps.


Step 5: Time To Connect


Once you’re done, you can connect your DIY air conditioner to the 12-volt battery using clamps. The same principle applies if you are using the 15-watt solar panel.


Step 6: Ice, Ice Baby


Now, put a block of ice inside the plastic chest. While you can also put ice cubes or crushed ice in there, a big slab of solid water just doesn’t melt as easily. Accordingly, something as big as this reportedly lasted for five hours; a bigger one should last twice as long. That should give you plenty of time to sleep on a hot summer night.


Here is a look at the DIY air conditioner deconstructed for visual purposes:



If you did your job right, this is how your DIY air conditioner should look: (The tassels are optional, of course) A DIY air conditioner such as this doesn’t really cost that much, unless you are buying a new solar panel. Nevertheless, it’s very effective as the thermometer shows just how much chill is emanating from the PVC vent. The room temperature is 80° F.




Your DIY air conditioner is 42° F, is not bad at all.


For the full video on how to make the DIY air conditioner, you may watch below the clip from desertsun02:

There you have it. You can hit two birds with one stone: bring down your monthly electrical bill, while staying cool in the process. Of course, it bears repeating that an ice chest this small and a 12-volt electric fan will not cool down a huge room. But you get the drift. You can just repeat the steps above, but only on a larger scale.

What do you think of this DIY air conditioner? Will you give it a try this summer? Let us know in the comments section below. 

Want another project to amaze your guests this summer? Check out these 16 DIY walkway ideas to DIY before summer begins! These ideas are sure to add style and structure to your outdoor space without the steep price. 


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Editor’s Note – This post was originally published in July 2016 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.


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