No, this isn’t some Rube Goldberg contraption with a fan, a housecat and a bucket of ice; this is the real deal. I found a Canadian company which makes DIY ductless mini-split AC units in 12,000 BTU/h and 18,000 BTU/h models. They come pre-charged with refrigerant and there’s a high pressure mating connector so that you can attach the indoor and outdoor units yourself without needing to hire an expensive HVAC technician. I ordered one of the larger units for my house, and they sent it via rail freight to California and then to my house with a private trucking company. The boxes arrived okay with no damage.
I installed the indoor unit and poured a concrete slab along the side of the house last week, but I didn’t have time to do anything else until Monday evening when I came home to find a temperature of about 95 degrees in my house with high humidity due to an exceptionally warm weather pattern. I was extremely motivated then to complete the installation!
It still needs some trim and a more code-compliant electrical connection, but I managed to get it up and running to cool things down when i really needed it.