Cool it now: How to make your own DIY air conditioner

Before you get to the homemade leave-in hair conditioners (coconut milk, distilled water, and vitamin E, if you’re curious), there are lots of DIY projects for cheap air conditioners on Instructables. If you want to get the most out of your fan or are just looking for a cheap and simple project this Fourth of July weekend, you can pretty easily make your own. They all work on the same principle: Water plus fan equals cooler air. Stay cool!

If you’re just planning spending the weekend in a Netflix binge, a desktop air conditioner might suit your needs. This project’s creator claims you only need about $5 worth of materials to make this little guy, assuming you already have a computer fan on hand. You’ll also need 20 popsicle sticks; “solar panel, batteries, or other low-voltage power source”; absorbent cloth (now’s the time to dig out that ShamWow you bought all those years ago); scissors; hot glue gun; and water. You construct a sort of bunk bed with the popsicle sticks, put the fan on top, strategically cover with the soaked cloth, and power it with your solar panel or batteries. There’s also a video that shows you how to create a similar mechanism with a soda can, if the thought of a hot glue gun makes you even sweatier.

To cool down more than just your personal space, you’ll need something similar but bigger. Buckets and coolers are popular options. For either, you’ll need PVC pipe, a fan, a drill, and a power supply. If you’re wary of drilling, you can use a Styrofoam cooler. One guy even Brita’d it. Instead of using bags and bags of ice, you could try filling your receptacle with freezable cold packs.

None of these options are particularly attractive, but they’re all prettier than sweating buckets.

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