As residents of Phoenix, we know better than most how important it is to have air conditioning in the summer. In a city that routinely sees temperatures spike above 115 degrees, air conditioning isn’t just a luxury; it is a necessity.
Of course, it is a necessity that can get expensive. We all know what it is like to grimace at a massive energy bill in July or August. Are there any ways we can beat the heat without breaking the bank? With Parker & Sons, there are many solutions, including maintenance agreements and AC tune-ups, but for the DIYers out there, we off a third fun and interesting alternative – the DIY air conditioner.
To get started you need:
2 lengths of 9.5mm plastic tubing
6mm copper tubing
Not too long of a shopping list, right? You probably have most of this laying around anyway. Let’s get started. Typically, this entire project can be done for under $80.
1. Unscrew the front grate of the box fan.
2. Using a zip tie, attach one end of the 6mm copper tubing to the center of the grate (on the inside). Twist the tube in an expanding circle around itself slowly building a series of concentric circles until you reach the outside edge of the grate. Continue using zip ties to secure to tubing to the grate. Make sure the end of the tubing is facing away from the grate so that you can attach the plastic tubing to it later.
3. Attach the plastic tubing on one end to the copper tubing and on the other end to the fountain pump you have set aside.
4. Roll two balls of plumper’s putty to form strips. Wrap the putty strips around the ends of the plastic tubing that connect to the copper tubing and the fountain pump. Press down firmly ensuring the connection is sealed. Give the putty AT LEAST an hour to dry.
5. Take your second length of plastic tubing and attach it to the beginning of the copper tube (at the center of the grate). Repeat the previous process with the plumber’s putty to seal the connection. Remember to wait for AT LEAST an hour for it to dry.
6. This is a good time to go grab lunch. Feel free to splurge on some pizza and beer. After all, you are going to be a saving a lot of money with this rather ingenious DIY air conditioner, so you deserve it. Not too many beers, though, we still have work to do.
7. Now that the putty has dried, and the connections are secure, screw the grate back on to the fan. Lead the plastic tubing out of the fan through the open spaces in the grate.
8. Fill the cooler with ice water.
9. Put both the trailing end of plastic tubing and the fountain pump in the cooler.
10. Turn on the fan and the fountain pump.
11. Lay back, relax, and celebrate. You just built your very own air conditioner!
Finally, we recommend placing a few towels below the fan as condensation is going to form on the copper tubing which will drip. Now, the only renewable resource you need to stay cool is ice!