There are all kinds of DIY air conditioners you can make at home. Some are easier to make than others, but they all work quite well. The 5 we came up with will keep you cool, and they only cost a few cents per day to run. Most of them can be made for $15 or less.
Here’s what one of our readers had to say about one of the AC’s below “I know from personal experience. Using this little contraption in place of our AC last Summer saved us $$200 a month”
These are meant to be room, or space coolers. Some of them can be used in your car if the AC is not working, or to keep your pets cool if they ride with you. You could can even hook some of them up to a solar panel and save even more!
We scoured the internet looking for the best of the best DIY homemade air conditioners that we could find. We came up with top 5 that we felt were the best. We based the selections on the following:
We list them below in descending order (#1 being the best) with our comments, and the video showing how to make each one. We hope you can use these to keep cool this Summer, or drastically reduce your AC bill. Please leave us your comments below as to which one is your favorite.
#5-$8 Homemade Air Conditioner – Works Flawlessly!
We really like this one. It works well, and is very inexpensive, and easy to make. You could substitute PVC pipe for the dryer vents and reduce costs even more. The video says $8 to make which is possible. We rated this one at #5 because it’s a little flimsy, and cutting the Styrofoam gets kind of messy.
This DIY AC comes in 4th place. It works well and costs about $40 in parts to make. We ranked it in this position because it’s a little tricky to make if you’re not handy. While it can be moved from room to room you can’t put in in your car, or take it camping. It is pretty sturdy, and we’ve seen demos where some pretty cool air is thrown off by it as low as 58 degrees F.
You will be incredibly surprised at how well this one works. Similar to number 5 above, except you use PVC elbow joints instead of dryer vents. It is not the sturdiest AC on the list, but it will due.
Very easy to make. You don’t need to be handy at all, and you only need a few simple tools.
Very inexpensive. Produces very cold air 40F in a 84F room. Put a big block of ice in the chest, pour some salt over the ice block (to keep the ice cooler longer), and you’ll get hours of use.
It was a tough choice between #’s 2 & 1. This 5 gallon bucket air cooler is the Grandaddy of all the DIY air conditioners. It works great. At the time this was made the house temp was 84F, and the air blowing out of this DIY AC was a chilly 45F. You do need some tools, and do need to be a little handy or know someone that is.
You need to get a Styrofoam bucket liner which some people seem to have trouble finding. However a Google search for Styrofoam bucket liner will yield some results.
Home Depot type stores normally carry them. Also your local Sherwin Williams paint stores have them. If they are out of them you can get them from their website. They are very cheap. This is a great DIY AC, and you won’t go wrong with it.
This brings us to #1. This has all the advantages of #2. It combines the durability of #2 with the extra cooling power of the Styrofoam ice chest type coolers.
This threw out very cool air 42F in an 80F room with 4% humidity. With a big block of ice it can last up to 5-8 hours. Pouring salt on the ice block will get you even more time.
We ranked this at #1 because you don’t need the Styrofoam liner, and it’s easy to transport. You do need a few tools though, but it’s a fairly easy build. Here are the specs for the fan, and solar panel if you choose to use one:
You won’t go wrong with this DIY air conditioner. So go ahead, build it, and stay cool this Summer
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