Homemade Air Conditioner DIY – The “5 Gallon Bucket” Air Cooler! DIY- can be solar powered!

Published on Aug 18, 2013 by desertsun02

how to make a non-compressor based “5 gallon bucket” air conditioner. simple DIY. items needed: bucket, styrofoam liner, pvc pipe, small fan, and ice. (small solar panel is optional). one frozen gallon jug of water lasted 6 hours. temperature in house was 84F. cooled air was in the mid. 40F range.

22 thoughts on “Homemade Air Conditioner DIY – The “5 Gallon Bucket” Air Cooler! DIY- can be solar powered!

  1. Awesome!!! I am going to build one soon. This is a great idea. Thanks for sending this in. This could be handy in a workshop as well.

    1. we just bought one of those harbor freight 45 watt solar panel systems yesterday. It will probably work great for this!

          1. thanks Cathleen. do i need these too? I’m ignorant on this subject but want to do something in this vein. 12 volt storage battery and 300 watt power inverter (sold separately).

          1. Hey if its not too much trouble. once you check it out. would you let me know what i would have to do to make it serviceable for charging laptops, cell phones, or running the cooler gadget? I am totally ignorant in this regard.

          2. No problem. I had too much fun with the green house yesterday, so it will probably be next weekend. We don’t know much about solar, so we will figure it out as we go. We will give you updates as we go.

  2. I wonder if this contraption would work in reverse. Like painting the bucket black to absorb heat in cold weather..

  3. They used a similar device in Las Vegas to cool my apartment house. I think it was called a “swamp cooler” and it was basically a fan blowing hot air through cool water, but it didn’t work very well.

    This device probably works better, but you need to supply it with ice.

  4. If we dont have any power (grid down) I have everything even the solar panel with two large batteries but how do you freeze the jug of water. This is key.

    1. When I was in Iraq we used to cover our water bottles with wet socks to keep them cool. Even when the water was warm it help if you spun the bottle in the air. The circulation of air over the wet sock cooled the water. I bet just having the fan blow over water would have a cooling effect. Not as much as ice, but it might help. I will try it when I build one.

  5. IMO i think its great for quick room cooling. When its hot and humid out though, the last thing you want to do is put more humidity into your home (once the jug starts sweating you will get that). As far as energy used in freezing the jug, if you have a full freezer which i usually do, sticking a 1 gallon jug in there wont make much difference. By morning its froze, and i can cool my bedroom a few degrees, and its run maybe 2 cycles more… Thats how i see it at least.

  6. I am a solar power pro..Busy for the next few days but I will write something soon and send it to Henry.

    1. great hweingard i for one am completely ignorant on this subject, and feel it would be good to get into it to use during the forthcoming fight.

  7. Also remember that evaporative coolers do not work well in high humidity. This is why you don’t see them in most states in the south or south west. They do work better in drier climates.

  8. I live in a city with 80% humidity and a temperature of 37 deg centigrade (98.6 deg fahrenheit) in March !!!!!

    Its very humid . Would this system help or would it throw unnecessary moisture in the air causing bad health ?

  9. Three thoughts:

    1.) A device that isn’t removing the humidity out of the air really shouldn’t be called an “air conditioner.”

    2.) This device does absolutely nothing to cool the air. In fact, the device actually adds a slight amount of heat to the air via the fan motor. All this device is doing is transferring the cool air from the ice through the holes in the bucket.

    3.) During a power outage, you typically don’t have a renewable method of creating ice… so this bucket device is extremely temporary without a massive available supply of ice.

    To cool air and remove humidity from the air, you need evaporation and condensation to take place. There’s really nothing you can do to cool a room in your house for an extended period of time without a compressor, evaporator, condenser coils, and electricity to power a blower.

  10. Buy some of those large wild color hankerchiefs you know the ones guys use on their foreheads and girls as bandannas, fold into a triangle and sew a compartment (at the longest end) about an inch and half wide and long enough to allow the ends to tie. Sew one end of the compartment. Cut excess material left ovre. Fill the compartment with those expanding beads while dry. about 1/2 package seal the ends. Sew the other end and soak in water. When fully wet and beads expanded spin in the air tie around your neck and you get a cool down. You can refresh them by taking them off hold both ends and spin in air put back on. As they dry wet them again.

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