Protect Yourself From Air Conditioning With The Air Defender Ver 2.0 Beta!

Air Conditioning in the winter – you know I hate it, but who wouldn’t?  My office, that’s who.  The office where I work my day job has an unusual HVAC system that functions beyond any reasoning I can understand.  See, you can’t simply choose ‘Fan,’ ‘Air’ (as in air conditioning) or ‘Heat’  as one usually would, but instead, the system kicks on if the set temperature deviates by a half degree in either direction.  During the winter, once it gets a half degree too hot, the fan kicks on (yeah, not the air conditioning – sorry if I mislead you), blowing air from the outside on helpless me.  As it’s winter, the air is quite frigid, and I can’t tolerate being unnecessarily cold.


This is the offending air duct.  Always sensing a challenge (after nearly 10 years of complaining), one of the guys I work for put a plan into action to protect me from the cold.


Version 1

It failed miserably (packaging tape is good at sticking to paper, cardboard, and that’s about it), but it got my wheels turning.  I quickly embarked on building my own design.

After sharing this project with an acquaintance from Tex-Perts Cooling & Heating, I realized that I needed an alternate method of holding the paperboard onto the ceiling and immediately decided that binder clips were the way to go, so I slapped these fins together to attach to the light fixture.

air-defender ver 2.0 beta-fins

Breakthrough: The Fins

Then, I attached the fins to the paperboard sheet I’d taped together to be about the same size as the duct; I wanted to make it bigger, but I was concerned that any additional weight might pull the entire thing down and a greater size might annoy the rest of my office…  more than I already was.

air-defender ver 2.0 beta-fins-mounted

Once it was all taped up, it was time to clip it up there; this was no easy feat, but a coworker was available to assist me.

As you can see, the binder clips attach the fins to the light fixture’s decorative housing.  I don’t worry about the chance of a fire; the bulbs and the paperboard are not touching, but even if they were, those bulbs would have to get a lot hotter than their operational temperature to ignite the paper.   (I think…  I took a class called Stage Electrics in college, during which all we did was talk about and build stage lights, but that seems like a million years ago.  Wow – I think I’ve now made it clear that I’m an even bigger dork than you thought!)  Of course, we never leave those lights on unattended.

Here it is, in all its glory.  Take that, vile winter winds!

air-defender ver 2.0 beta

air-defender ver 2.0 beta-label

The Air Defender version 2.0 BETA!  This is how you out-engineer inhospitable indoor weather!  In truth, it doesn’t work perfectly, but it helps – and, until the next version, that’ll do.

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About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on January 28, 2012, in creative projects, photo and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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