To make an air conditioner, required items include a PVC pipe, small fan, cooler and some ice along with a power saw for making cuts into the cooler. As of 2016, all necessary items for this project should cost less than $50, and building it takes about 15 minutes.
After gathering the necessary items, use a power saw to cut holes in the lid of the cooler. One hole must be measured to fit the diameter of the PVC pipe while the other hole must fit the diameter of the small fan. Fill the cooler with ice. An easy solution is to freeze two one-gallon jugs of water, and place them inside so when the ice melts you don't need to clean inside the cooler. Position the fan on the hole facing the ice or frozen jugs.
To make the air conditioning unit portable, attach the fan to a battery pack. Otherwise, plug it into a power source. To be energy-efficient, a solar power energy solution is also an option. If using a battery pack, the unit can function for around seven hours before having to replace the power source. The air conditioning unit is affordable, costing around $100 to $200 less than a typical store-bought unit.