How to Make an Ice Cooler

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When summer heat gets to be too much to handle, sometimes a little intervention becomes a necessity. While air conditioning is ideal for these times, sometimes this option is too big, too expensive to run, or just not available. Luckily, if you can freeze water, and if you have a household fan and a few select pieces of junk, you can easily create your own swamp cooler. This creation will provide not only cold air, but refreshing, cool moisture in a small room.

Things You'll Need

  • Wooden crate or box Smaller metal box (such as a lock box) Old blanket Fans Ice
  • Make a hole in one side of the box for the face of the fan to sit in. Do this if your fan will not fit inside the box next to your metal box. Leaving space for a larger metal box will make your cooler more powerful. If you are placing the fan beneath the box, consider cutting a small notch in the top (or bottom, once it's turned over) of the box for the extension cord, as this will help maintain a seal between the box and the floor.

  • Cut some holes in the sides and top of the wooden box for air flow. These holes should be minimal in order to force the air from the fan to circulate inside the box, getting colder, before exiting into the room. A spiral of grooves is one good design, or a few slatted lines of cuts, but keep the design in more or less the center of the square. Don't let your holes take up more than 25 percent of the surface area of each side.

  • Fill your metal box with ice and close it securely. If the box is small enough to fit in your freezer, consider filling it with water and freezing the entire thing into one large block, as this will create more ice overall and better cooling. Either way, it's best to use a galvanized or otherwise rust-proof box, or, at least, to thoroughly dry the box after the ice has melted.

  • Fold the blanket into a size and shape as close as possible to the mouth of your wooden box, and place it on the floor. The blanket will serve as an insulator, keeping the cold of the ice box from escaping through the bottom. It will also absorb dripping water (there will always be some, though the bulk of the water from the melted ice will remain inside the box).

  • Place the ice box on the folded blanket.

  • Position the fan to point at the ice box. Cover the ice box and/or fan with the overturned box. Turn on the fan.

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