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Create your own air conditioning unit with this summer staple

This simple air conditioning unit can cool a small room or provide a cool breeze during your next camping trip.

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Alina Bradford
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1 of 10 Alina Bradford/CNET

What you need

To make your own air conditioner you will need an ice chest, a drill, a skill saw, two 5-inch (12.7 centemeters) diameter PVC elbow pipes, a marker, duct tape, a battery-operated fan and batteries.

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Trace the fan

Put the batteries in the fan and then lay it down in the center of the cooler lid. Trace around the fan using the permanent marker.

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Drill the lid

Drill a hole in the center of the circle you traced on the lid. This will make it easier to cut out the circle with the skill saw.

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Cut the fan hole

Place your skill saw blade in the hole, and cut a line that connects from the hole to the circle you traced. Continue cutting around the circumference of the circle until it is cut out.

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Add the fan

Place the fan in the hole so the front of the fan will point into the cooler when the lid is closed. Secure it with duct tape around the edges. You'll want to tape the edges on the back of the fan and on the front. I used a printed duct tape for a little pizzazz.

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Trace the pipes

Place one elbow pipe on one end of the the cooler and trace around it. Do the same to the other side of the cooler.

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Drill a guide hole

Drill a hole in the circle like you did with the lid. Do this on both sides of the cooler.

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Cut hole for pipes

Cut out the holes for the pipes with the skill saw.

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Add pipes

Push the elbow pipes into the holes. Make sure that the ends of the pipes are pointing upward. Secure the pipe to the hole with duct tape around the edges, like you did with the fan.

Add ice
Add ice
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Add ice

The last step is to fill the cooler with ice, close the lid and turn on the fan. Within 10 minutes, the air conditioner should be blowing very chilly air.

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