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Air Conditioner

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This five gallon cooling system developed by DesertSun02 on YouTube blows air over a frozen 1 gallon milk jug to create 5 hours of surprisingly cold air. Unlike the swamp cooler we published last summer, this invention will work great even in a humid climate – and it’s a much simpler design.

Materials Needed

  • 5 gallon bucket with lid
  • Pail Liner for insulation (try a styrofoam “minnow bucket” or a stiff plastic one)
  • 2″ PVC pipe cut into short segments
  • Small fan with a removable base or one that won’t get in the way like this one.

Tools Needed

  • 2 1/4″ and 2 1/8″ hole saws (we use DeWalt – they make both 2-1/4 and 2-1/8)
  • Drill
  • Box cutter or exacto knife to cut lid


  1. Drill 2-1/4″ holes in the bucket (3)
  2. Drill 2-1/8″ holes in the liner behind (3)
    note: drilling these holes near to the base of the bucket cools better than holes in the top.
  3. Cut a larger hole in the lid, measured to fit your small fan.
  4. Attach PVC segments to holes. If your liner holes are too big, you’ll have to glue them in.
  5. Fill with loose ice or a frozen gallon jug. (Reader Mattie Z recommends 4x 1 quart frozen bottles instead for greatly increased surface area.)
  6. Rest fan in the hole you cut in the lid and turn it on.

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