Don't have AC? Here's how to build a homemade bootleg cooler

Don't have AC? Here's how to build a homemade bootleg cooler »Play Video

If you believe what you find online, there's finally a solution for anyone without air conditioning that doesn't involve buying expensive products or taking a last-minute cool weather vacation.

The Internet is full of instructions for building homemade air conditioners with little more than $20 and a quick trip to the hardware store.

We found some simple do-it-yourself videos on YouTube and decided to test it out ourselves.

We bought a 5-gallon bucket, a small 9 inch fan, a foot of 2 inch PVC pipe and a few bags of ice.
Instructions also said to buy Styrofoam lining to place inside the bucket, which will keep the ice from melting too quickly.

Unfortunately, we couldn't find this product or something similar at Home Depot, Target, West Marine, Sears or Sports Authority. We also could not find a Styrofoam cooler.

You'll find plenty of competing instructions and designs, but the concept is the same. A fan blows onto ice inside a container, and the chilled air is re-circulated through openings you make in the container using pipe or similar vents.

You'll also need tools to cut your container. In our case, we borrowed a circular drill from the KATU maintenance department to drill round holes in the bucket for our PVC pipe.

We also borrowed a razor to cut part of the bucket's lid because that's where you place the fan.

The results?

You can definitely feel cool air coming out of the pipes, although the ice melts fairly quickly without the insulted lining (which we could not find at any stores we visited).

Click the "Play" button above to watch our video demonstration.