That was a title of an internet post I read…minus the "crappy" part. And I fell for it hook, line, and sinker – basically ‘cause I had no other options. Let me back up a bit. The year was 2002. I was 31, and living in a walk-up sliver of a building in NYC. Seriously sh*tty conditions for a mere $1200 a month. Just to give you an idea, a studio in a Bronx crack den would’ve run me around $1150 a month. So you realize what kind of bargain I got. Anyway, this particular summer was HOT AS BALLS. The NBC weatherman’s words, not mine. And the best part was the air conditioner that came with the apartment DIED. It made noise really well, but did nothing else. I couldn’t replace it ‘cause I had like zero cash. I was spending all my money on my bargain rent. Which brings me back to the internet post. I had nothing left to lose, so I tried it. I BUILT MYSELF A CRAPPY AIR CONDITIONER FOR ONLY $10. And now I am passing on this treasured piece of wisdom to you all.
- Styrofoam cooler
- tinfoil tray
- 3 bags of ice
- small fan
- coffee can
Step 1. Turn the cooler on its side and tape it to the nightstand by your bed.
Step 2. Use the coffee can to trace a circle in the middle of the backside of the cooler (now facing your bed).
Step 3. Poke as many holes as you can inside that circled area.
Step 4. When you are ready to sleep pour 1 bag of ice into the tinfoil tray and add a cup of water (use the other bags for refills).
Step 5. Place the tray behind the Styrofoam cooler.
Step 6. Position the fan behind the tray.
Step 7. Turn on the fan.
Step 8. Sleep in cool comfort. (see below visual for reference)
SO DOES IT WORK? Not really. Ok, maybe for about 3 minutes. But in my case I did 2 stupid things that screwed up my cheapo air conditioner. First, the fan I had was way too big. Second, I didn’t add enough ice. Not saying if you do it the right way it’d work perfectly. But hey, this AC costs only 10 bucks, so what do you have to lose.