For those of us who go to school in and around Boston, there is nothing quite like the city in September: the searing heat, the relentless humidity, and the astonishing lack of air conditioning in most college dorms. In the midst of this fiery torment, my friend found a solution: Easy Mac. With our favorite college staple, he made a device that produced significantly cooler air to the utmost astonishment of our group of friends.

As a person who finds more familiarity in Shakespeare than thermal energy, I was utterly baffled, until he explained exactly how it all works: a fan blows air through pipes full of cold water so that it circulates cool air around the room. My friend was able to take the basic form of a standard air conditioner and recreate it using simpler materials.

The result: an AC unit that is cost-effective, energy-efficient, and just plain awesome. Don’t be overwhelmed by the cook time – that’s just so the seal can dry.

Easy Mac Air Conditioner

  • 1 10 ft. soft copper tube with a quarter inch outside diameter
  • 3-5 cable ties
  • 1 tower fan
  • 1 Easy Mac container
  • Sugru (or other type of waterproof hardware sealer)
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 24 hours
  • Total Time: 25 hours
  • Servings: 1 serving
  • Advanced Course

Step 1

Clean out your Easy Mac container. Then, clean it out again. Trust me, you do not want any trace of food in your container or you’ll have mold in your air conditioner.

Step 2

Shape your pipe. To get the maximum surface area to cool the air, mold the pipe into a wave on the way down and a straight line on the way up.

Since I had some extra copper piping, I doubled up the waves before going back up, making sure that there was still space between the layers for the air to go through. Keep the edges smooth so that the cold water can flow.

#SpoonTip: Bend the wire around a hard round surface (a water bottle or mug works well) to help shape the wire without hard edges.

Photo by Becca Leviss

Photo by Becca Leviss

Step 3

Use a sharp object (a screwdriver or pen is perfect) to poke two adjacent holes in the bottom of the Easy Mac container, corresponding with the two ends of the pipes.

Step 4

Attach your pipes to the container. In order for the water to circulate throughout the piping system, the straight end (left tube) should be about an inch higher than the wavy end. Make sure that both ends fall at least an inch below the edge of the container.

Photo by Becca Leviss

Photo by Becca Leviss

Step 5

Seal the pipes. I used Sugru, a moldable glue that hardens into waterproof rubber, but any equivalent works. Place the seal around the edges of the pipes inside the container, making sure that they are airtight.

Photo by Becca Leviss

Photo by Becca Leviss

Step 6

Attach the pipes to the fan. Feed the cable ties through the slots in the fan and pull them tight around the piping. I found that I only needed three ties, so use as many as you need to keep the piping attached and sturdy.

Photo by Becca Leviss

Photo by Becca Leviss

Step 7

Now you wait. Read a book, watch grass grow, run a marathon, twiddle your thumbs for however long your sealant needs to dry.

#SpoonTip: If you are using Sugru, it takes at least 24 hours. If you are using another type of sealant, check the packaging for drying instructions.

Step 8

Fill the Easy Mac container with ice cold water. Wait five to ten minutes for the water to start filling the pipes.

Step 9

Then turn on your fan. When the water becomes warm, refill the container.

Step 10

Close the door of your dorm to create a sealed room of air conditioned bliss.

Photo by Becca Leviss

Photo by Becca Leviss