5 Easy To Make Homemade Air Conditioners That Will Save You $200 Per Month On Your AC Bill and Keep You Frosty Cool All Summer

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!

Also, check this out:

So Here’s What We Did

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:

  • Cost to Make
  • How Easy It Is To Make
  • Works The Best
  • Positive Comments From Users

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 Easy To Make Homemade Air Conditioners That Will Save You $200 Per Month On Your AC Bill and Keep You Frosty Cool All Summer


 #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.

#4-DIY: Make your own Air Conditioner

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.

Also, check this out:


#3-Homemade AC Air Cooler DIY – Can be Solar Powered!

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.

#2-Homemade Air Conditioner DIY – The “5 Gallon Bucket” Air Cooler

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.

Also, check this out:

#1-Homemade air conditioner DIY – Awesome Air Cooler! – EASY Instructions. Can Be Solar Powered

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:

  • Fan 12 VDC 10W 0.8.
  • Solar Panel (optional) 15W 1 amp

You won’t go wrong with this DIY air conditioner. So go ahead, build it, and stay cool this Summer

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  1. Lauren Jordan

    December 30, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    What great ideas! I don’t have any big buckets, or styrofoam bucket liners, but I do have loads of styrofoam boxes, and a couple of unused fans…..so I’m sure I can make something similar! Thank you.

  2. rosemarie sariego

    May 19, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    isn’t it bad for our health to use this type of diy a/c?because they say that the water evaporating from the ice is going through our lungs? is it true? just want to clarify. thank you.

    • Jason The Good Survivalist

      May 20, 2015 at 6:22 pm

      Inhaling steam from your shower is more harmful to your health due to the chlorine
      in your water. I wouldn’t breathe DRY ICE directly, but normal ice is fine. You most
      likely breathe far worse going about your day.

    • Sarah

      June 13, 2015 at 3:04 pm

      No. Do you breath in water when it rains? There is moisture in the air anyways.

      • a

        July 5, 2015 at 5:12 pm

        Its not for perfection idiot!

  3. lm

    June 2, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    what size fan are you using I’m having trouble picking between like 4 inc h 9 inchjust curious on the blade length…

  4. Walker

    June 6, 2015 at 2:51 am

    This doesn’t make any sense… the energy removed from the bottles of water during freezing comes out of the condenser at the back of your fridge…

    • Danny Burrow

      June 10, 2015 at 9:50 am

      I agree that this doesn’t make sense in places where you air condition for 24 hours/day. In my region we open up the house at night, so I could freeze bottles overnight when the heat from my freezer is exchanged with outside air, and then use them in the afternoon to stay cool.

      Could also work if you don’t mind your kitchen being warm, but you want another part of the house to be cool. You are essentially moving heat from one room to another. Also some people have freezers in their garages.

  5. Nikkoli

    June 8, 2015 at 12:05 am

    Freeze jugs of water and it’ll stay colder longer and keep it dry…

  6. Andrew

    June 18, 2015 at 11:54 pm

    What kind of fan are you using. I searched high and low for a 9″ fan that moves some air and all I could find is low velocity. I built Your top ac unit but couldnt find a fan good enough. I bought mine at walmart.

    • deeg

      June 24, 2015 at 12:37 am

      Get a computer fan from frys.

  7. Patricia Morris

    June 21, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    While these work reasonably well in emergency situations they don’t work very well in humid locations since one of the functions of a mechanical air conditioner is to dehumidify the air. We’ve used similar setups during power outages sure to hurricanes just to provide a quick shot of cool air since some cool is better than none.

  8. Pingback: Stay Cool and Save Energy in FL | Gator Air and Energy

  9. shimon

    January 24, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    does it cool up the whole room???

    • Tony

      June 8, 2016 at 7:34 pm

      no I made one did not cool the room at all but if you sit right in front of it, will cool you a lil

  10. AJ

    April 16, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    The negative comments are really useless. If you don’t like the idea, move along and enjoy your day exploring something else.

    The heat generated making the ice really is nothing more than usual output. Many already freeze water jugs etc. in their freezers or deepfreezes, so nothing out of complete normal for them.

    The humidity is just a side-effect that you can live with, it would be no more than putting that block of ice out to thaw normally. Or de-icing your freezer (eewww). 🙂

    While these ideas were not what I was looking for, I found it fun to watch the ideas come together into a workable, inexpensive product that also saves power.

    • Stacy

      June 2, 2016 at 3:43 pm

      Love this response. I enjoy all these videos and hope people keep making them. I don’t want to ditch those that take the time and hope to help others.

    • Kim

      July 8, 2016 at 4:44 am

      People need to know if it will work for them or not. Humid areas these are not very effective, and before someone puts in the money and time they should know that. So your comment is actually the most useless.

  11. Amanda

    April 18, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    Where do you get the styrofoam liner?

  12. aryaman

    June 17, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    how big a room can it cool???
    if i make the 5th ac??

  13. Evamarie Whittle

    June 20, 2016 at 5:51 am

    I want to say thank you so much for this our a.c. went out and this has been a blessing. Thankfully we knew it was going out and was in the process of buying one so our new one will be here on Friday. We have been surviving using #2.

  14. Lynnette Spratley

    June 25, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    Where would I find the proper solar panel for something like this?

    • RD

      June 28, 2016 at 11:59 pm

      Small solar panels can be bought at Fry’s Electronics or Harbor Freight Tools, in stores or via websites.

  15. Louie

    June 30, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    My ac went out & these look doable…however, I noticed something that IS incorrect…some notes about adding salt to make your ice last “longer” IS NOT true! Think about it! What IS used in winter to take ice OFF roads? SALT! Also, IF you’ve ever made home made ice cream with a ice cream freezer you know to add salt to the ice to make it melt faster to aid IN making IT freeze ice cream mixture inside the container faster (electrical OR hand crank “freezers” it’s all works the same when making ice cream) SO… I wonder IF the add salt comments were to make ice melt faster & therefore AIR in there would be colder faster too? (Just an idea/ theory) Also.. has anyone tried adding water to surround ice bottles? As ice water will chill stuff (AIR?) faster than a plain air (like in your freezers)that’s why champagne IS served in ice bucket with ice water to chill it & keep it chilling (Thanks to Bobby Flay, for that info BIT!) Just f.y.i.s Ya know?
    To ALL that contribute their ideas & time etc…. Thanks! TONS! You ARE SO APPRECIATED! (By many!) Have a Happy… Every Single Day! ~: )

    • Jason The Good Survivalist

      June 30, 2016 at 7:32 pm

      Couple of things Louie. One, these AC’s shown in the article work quite nicely. We had many people write in to tell us just how well they work. Second salt is used on roads to help with traction. Take a look at the following regards to your other point.

      If we take two ice cubes and add salt to one of them, then put each of them at room temperature, both of the ice cubes will absorb energy from the surroundings, and this energy as we said will contribute in breaking down the bonds between water molecules.

      The cube that has not salt been added to, has a melting point 0 ∘C
      and so if we measure its temperature during melting it will remain zero until all ice is molten. That ice cube to which we have added salt, the salt that is added lowers the melting and freezing points of water because it lowers the vapour pressure of water. This ice cube will absorb energy from environment to help break bonds between water molecules. We know that the salt added will dissolve in the melted portion of the ice. This formed solution of salt will have a lowered freezing point, so the equilibrium between the solid phase and the aqueous phase will be shifted towards the liquid phase, since such a solution will freeze at say −2 ∘C. Since both phases are close together, the ice will absorb energy from the salt solution and will reduce its temperature to the −2 ∘C to maintain the equilibrium. When all ice is molten we end up with a salt solution that has got a temperature of say −1.5 ∘C. This is due to the solution being diluted now. After that it will start absorbing heat from the room and reach zero and above.

    • Ca

      July 11, 2016 at 10:25 pm

      Are you stupid?
      Salt in winter IS NOT use to melt ice on roads BUT to PREVENT it from freezing as salt LOWERS THE FREEZING POINT ( That’s simple science you learn in primary schools).
      Adding salt (or any foreign substance) to the water upsets the delicate balance between freezing and melting. Fewer water molecules reach the surface of the ice in a given time, so water freezes more slowly. The melting rate isn’t changed by the salt, so melting “wins”

      • M

        July 17, 2016 at 12:39 pm

        I was impressed by how politely most people were responding to questions then I reached your response. Jerk.

        Salt is used in pretreatment to keep ice from forming on the roads but it rarely works very well. Salt is mainly used to remove ice by lowering the freezing temperature and keeping it from refreezing. So essentially it melts the ice and keeps it in a liquid form. It may add to traction (as someone mentioned above)for awhile but that is not the main purpose.

  16. Petr

    July 13, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    Nice information. This stuff has help me save some bucks, I got mine from https://www.etsy.com/listing/242970774/5-gallon-bucket-air-conditioner-3-pvc

  17. Ankiii

    October 20, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    I just want to ask that which length of pipe or tube should be best to use??

  18. Mustafa Bin Sam

    November 4, 2016 at 7:15 am

    Great technique, how can we ensure that the air that come out is a dry air?

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