I've had a window air conditioner for a while. It seems to only cool the immediate area by the unit, while making a Lot of Noise. Rather annoying, and nearly useless for putting cooling where needed. How could the unit be made quiet, and allow you to get cool air anywhere in the room?
Step 1: Connecting Air Conditioner Blower to Flexible Air Duct
Central air conditioning units blow air through ducts to each room. Maybe this could work with a window unit.
To be honest, I wasn't sure that the window air conditioner could push air through that much duct. Maybe it wouldn't. Maybe the unit would overheat from the extra air resistance. Well, the AC was a thrift store find, about $25, so I didn't mind too much if it got messed up.
I didn't want to put much effort into prototyping a concept which might not have merit, so I used stuff I had around. Cardboard box, tape, etc. The only thing I bought was the flex duct, which is a silver mylar slinky sort of thing. It came in a 20 ft length. It turns out, it works fine with the full length, which can reach anywhere in the room.
At first I had the air conditioner several feet outside the window to moderate noise. But efficiency is lost when the cool air in the tube is warmed by outside air. it's not too loud a few feet from window.
Step 2: Second Iteration: More Professional
The second unit is set up with a tin floor vent, not the cardboard box.
It is still a bit funky since the shortest vent I could find was 10", about 2" too long. but it should last longer than the box, as well as looking better. I also switched to mylar duct tape which is much more suited to ducts.
Step 3: Sealing the Window Around the Duct
Again, this is not a pretty solution, but I was dying in the heat. I just stuffed old pillows around the duct to fill the gap of the open window. Yes, I'll do something better later. For now, it works.
Step 4: Testing Efficiency
Here is an IR Thermometer indicating 41 degrees F. Not bad.
It tends to produce air 20 to 30 degrees cooler than the outside air.
Step 5: Cooling Exactly Where Needed
The flexible duct can be routed anywhere in the room you need it. Since I cope with a condition called erythromelalgia, my feet are often hot. I direct cold air onto them.
Step 6: Rain Protection
Part of the theme of this project is doing it with the least effort. If I made a proper roof over it, I would be working hard, and Not staying Cool. ;)
This floor pad will shed rain away from the electrical bits. The hot side of the unit is meant by the manufacturer to be outside the window, potentially in rain, and the cool side will condense water, even in an ordinary setup.
So a little dampness wont hurt it.
Step 7: Keeping Up Appearances
The contraption works fine. But looks weird. So a piece of camouflage net makes it less obtrusive. Tan net is similar in tone to the brick behind it. The net may also help keep the machine cooler by shading it without completely blocking airflow.