There’s always that one room in your house that’s hotter than the others during the summer. Instead of cranking up the AC (and your bills) or closing all the blinds and living in darkness like a bat in a cave, try this inexpensive homemade solution. It’s perfect for small rooms like dorms, dens, offices, bedrooms, or even your garage and a temporary solution for an AC wall unit on the fritz.
All you need to put together your very own air conditioner is a 5-gallon bucket with a lid, styrofoam liner, pvc pipes, small fan, and frozen bottles of water or ice packs. You can even add a solar panel to power it on a camping trip or to keep you cool during a power outage.
Use a hole saw to cut holes in the bucket for your piping where the cold air will blow out. If you want the unit to concentrate the air directly at you, cut the holes closer together on the same side. But if you plan on putting the unit in the center of the room and want 360 degrees of cold air, space the holes evenly along the circumference. Repeat the same procedure with the styrofoam lining inside the bucket and use the holes you already cut in the bucket as a guide. The lining will help keep the chamber insulated so it remains cool for a longer period of time.
Measure the diameter of your small fan and cut a hole that’s slightly smaller on the lid of the bucket so the outside edge of the fan rests on top while the front half of the fan sinks into the hole you cut. Do the same for the lid of the styrofoam liner (if it came with one). Depending on the shape of your liner you may end up choosing to use just the styrofoam lid, the bucket lid or both.
Fill your bucket with a frozen gallon jug of water and as many ice packs and/or smaller frozen bottles of water as you can. According to desertsun02, one frozen gallon jug of water lasted about 6 hours and the cold air coming out of the unit was in the mid 40F range. He even hooked up a 15-watt, 1-amp solar panel to run it.
This little winter wonderland maker may just end up being the best summer guest you’ve had. I can even imagine dressing it up with some paint or covering it with fabric to match the room and adding some wheels on the bottom so you could roll it around the house adding that cool factor wherever you go.
Check out how desertsun02 made his in this video: