Thursday, May 27, 2010


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
- tape
- nightstand
- coffee can
- pencil

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. 

Stumble Upon Toolbar


  1. Is it 10 bucks every time you want to use it or only once?

    I'm going to try that with a candle instead in the winter for some heat.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Dude, you are a walking treasure of useless information....and I love it!

  4. Where were you with this information when I was dying of heatstroke, laying in front of a fan trying to sleep and knowing it wouldn't happen because my eyelids had spontaneously burst into flames?

    Sleeping in the lap of 3 minute luxury, that's where.

  5. Ah, but those three minutes were worth it--weren't they?

  6. We don't have AC, so on really hot days I just sleep in the refrigerator.

  7. Your post was great! The second part of Powdered Toast Man's comment was one of funniest I've ever seen...

  8. I've actually done something similar. (just ice and a fan) Darn ice melted much too quick!

  9. that is insane! i love it.

    for the record i too was living in a manhattan studio apartment on 29th and 8th as you know, my rent was only $845 a month. gotta love rent stabilized joints! place was a pit though!

  10. oh wait, it was $875 and that was in 2000, it was $912 by the time I left in 2003.

  11. Better way: after punching holes in the bottom of the cooler suspend it (with ice in it) above you. Position the fan to blow on you. As ice melts and drips on you, the fan will then freeze your ass off (if the cold water doesn't do it already! Go all the way or not at all!

  12. 3 minutes of cold air is better than no minutes of cold air.... Just wait 'til Mrs. Copyboy gets pregnant.... Then you'll be splurging for the expensive AC....

  13. Now that is just fantastic stuff. I hate the heat of I would so splurge on plenty o'bags of ice to get me through the night.

  14. Thanks for this post. I enjoyed reading it. It has really changed the way I think about internships.

  15. I sincerely thank the author for taking effort to make such an excellent blog post. Keep it up.


Custom Search