With record high temperatures forecast for the next several days (102°F to 104°F highs accompanied by high humidity) we've been worried about Ginger and George.
They're outside dogs due to my allergies, George's destructive tendencies, and our concern for our bird Marco's safety. They live in our garage, which has access to our main house entrance, the laundry room, and a large fenced yard so it's not like they're really outdoors....but the garage and laundry room are not air conditioned. (There is a large fan in front of their big doggie bed that runs 24/7 in the summer, though). Anyway, their quarters get pretty darn hot in the summertime and we've been looking for a cost effective way to keep them more comfortable.
Well, we found a project on Pinterest and YouTube for a homemade, low cost "air conditioner" and we decided to give it a try. Behold, the finished masterpiece currently cooling down the laundry room for our beloved pups!
It's an old cooler we had stashed away in the garage. We used a Dremel to cut out a hole in the top just big enough to insert a tiny fan purchased at the dollar store for $4. Near the bottom we cut out a hole just big enough to insert a piece of PVC pipe for an air outlet. (You can see it on the left side, just not very well.) Inside the cooler we put 3 gallon jugs of frozen water. The fan on top pushes warm air in and around the ice, and then the air exits through the PVC in a cool stream.
There you have it...easy, energy efficient a/c for the dogs! We can re-freeze the jugs of water at night in our deep chest freezer. Besides the $4 we spent on the fan, and another $1 for a roll of duct tape (to seal the cut edges of the cooler before adding the fan and pipe) this didn't cost us anything as we used stuff we had around the house.
Now there's a small comfortable room for Ginger and George to retreat to during the hottest part of the day!