July 20 Make an Air Conditioning Unit

“Whenever I found out anything remarkable, I have thought it my duty to put down my discovery on paper, so that all ingenious people might be informed thereof.” Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

I live in an old house. I believe it’s close to 80 years old. The man who built this house built many of the other houses in the neighborhood, but he built this one for himself. It is gigantic as a single home, but is currently broken up into three apartments. Two of them are two bed, two bath, and one is a three bed, one bath. Everyone has a good size yard and there is a double garage. When this was one house, it was mammoth! Seven bedrooms and three baths, plus living rooms and laundry rooms, fireplace, not to mention two of the bedrooms are big enough to have a tennis match (including mine). I absolutely love it here, more than any other place I’ve ever lived. There is a really good energy in here. Some people feel it and they love my place, other people wonder (out loud) why a grown woman lives in a basement and why I haven’t moved. Whatevs. I’m happy here with my plants and my son. My apartment is hidden and private, my neighborhood is super-chill and it’s ten minutes from work. So, I’m staying.

But we don’t have AC. I’ll say that again: we don’t have AC. And I live in a desert. They have AC (air conditioning) upstairs, but I don’t. It’s very temperate because my part of the house is literally in the ground. My apartment is an underground bunker. There are a few windows in the front and I have to look up and out to see out of them. The floor of my apartment is approximately 6 feet lower than the ground outside of my windows, if you can visualize that.

It has been over 100 degrees every day for about three weeks now in Albuquerque, New Mexico and maybe in your neck of the woods too. I’ve been out of town for most of that, but I’m back now and I’m HOT. Tall, Handsome Son and I decided to make Redneck Air Conditioning Units out of ice, a cooler, a fan and an empty water bottle. And guess what? It worked!

Starting materials: styrofoam cooler for ice, ice (not shown), empty water bottle, fan
I cut the lid to measure how much of a semi-circle was necessary to make the cut for the fan which sat neatly in the lid without falling through
Finished Product (Configuration #1): The fan on top and water bottle conduit on the side configuration worked pretty well but it required the air to make a 90 degree turn which is not ideal. My son suggested we move the fan and the conduit in a straight line (he’s so smart).
Finished Product (Configuration #2): The fan and conduit in a straight line worked better although I had to tape the fan to the cooler because the weight made it almost fall out of the hole. The icy water was down below and the fan blew the cooled air across and out of the other side. The AC unit worked much better in this configuration.


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