As temperatures rise, it can be difficult to find anywhere that’s comfortable. Yet, air conditioners are expensive, and they’re hard to install. So, what can you do when the temperature gets unbearable and you don’t have air conditioning? Let’s take a look at how to easily make your own air conditioner.
How to Easily Make Your Own Air Conditioner
There are many different DIY air conditioners. Some require copper pipes, others are made from old computer parts, and others are more complex. This DIY air conditioner is one you can make at home with things that you may already have, or that you can easily buy.
This homemade air conditioner gets its cool air from ice, which you can make at home in the freezer, get from an ice vending machine, convenience store, or even a fast food restaurant. It also uses a fan, which can be plugged into the wall, battery powered, or even solar powered. If it uses batteries or solar power, you could potentially use it even if you lose power. By taking in warm arm, moving it over the ice, and expelling cold air, it works much better than a fan by itself, which simply moves warm air around.
DIY Air Conditioners and Blackouts
Though a homemade air conditioner won’t work as effectively as regular air conditioners, they’re also a fraction of the price, and they can cool the air in emergency situations. Heatwaves put stress on energy grids as more people stay indoors and try to keep cool, which can cause blackouts. Obviously, it may be difficult to find ice in these situations, but a battery-powered or solar-powered fan will make it possible to take advantage of the ice that’s available, and stay cooler longer.
Step 1: Gather What You’ll Need
To make your own air conditioner easily at home, you’ll need a few simple things. First, you’ll need a container to hold your ice. The container should be insulated enough to keep the ice cold for as long as possible, but you’ll also need to be able to make holes in it. If you have a drill or other power tools, you’ll be able to work with a lot of different containers. However, if you only have scissors or a box cutter, your options will be more limited.
You’ll also need a small fan, and some pipe. You might use a handheld fan, small desk fan, or something similar. Any type of pipe will work, including PVC pipe, flexible exhaust tubing, or even, if you can’t find or buy other tubing, a toilet paper or paper towel roll. You could even make your own tubing by cutting both ends off a plastic bottle.
- Container: Your container will hold the ice, which will cool the air. You’ll need to be able to make holes in this so your fan and tubing can be inserted inside it. With this in mind, you might use a styrofoam cooler, bucket, storage bin, or something similar. If the container isn’t insulated, try to insulate it as much as you can, so the ice will melt slower.
- Fan: The fan will pull warm air into the container and push cool air out. You’ll need to be able to cut a small space in the container where the fan will sit, so a smaller fan is ideal. A battery-powered or solar-powered fan may be preferable, so you can still run the homemade air conditioner if the power goes out.
- Tubing: This will allow cold air to escape as the fan pushes warm air into the container. Most people use PVC pipe, but any tube-shaped object will work. Plastic will work better than cardboard, as the wet air will cause the cardboard to fall apart over time.
- Drill, saw or box cutter: A drill, saw, or similar power tool will work better for cutting holes in the container. However, with the right container and some patience, you may be able to use a box cutter or even scissors. Always use these tools with the utmost care and caution!
- Tape or Glue: You’ll need some tape or glue to secure the pipe and fan in place.
- Ice: Once you’ve made your own air conditioner, you’ll need to fill it with ice. If you don’t have a place to store your ice, leave this item for last. If your freezer is working, you might fill plastic bottles with water and freeze them.
Step 2: Cut Holes
Place your fan on the lid of the container, and draw an outline around it. Ideally, the fan should sit on top of the lid, with enough space for the air to travel through it, into the container. If the hole is too big and the fan falls through it, into the container, your homemade air conditioner won’t work. If the hole is too small and the air can’t travel through it, you’ll need to make it bigger.
You’ll also need to cut holes for your pipe or pipes. These should be placed above where the ice will sit, either in the lid, or high in the container section. Outline these areas carefully, so you’ll know where to cut. Remember, you can always cut more off, but holes that are too big will be harder to work with.
Step 3: Place Fan and Pipes
With your holes cut, you’ll need to place your fan and pipes. A snug fit will keep your container better insulated. If your holes are a bit too big, use some tape, glue, or calk to make a more secure seal. Make sure you can still open the lid, since you’ll need to place your ice inside it.
With your fan and pipes placed, try out your DIY air conditioner without ice first. When you turn on the fan, you should feel air moving out of the pipe or pipes.
Step 4: Get Ice and Enjoy
Get a bag of ice from a vending machine or convenience store, or fill some containers with water and put them in the freezer. As long as the ice fits in the container, there’s no wrong way to do it!
Once you’ve fill the container with ice, point the pipe towards you, turn on the fan, and enjoy!
Making your own air conditioner won’t keep your entire home cold, but it can make a small area more comfortable. This can be essential if you’re trying to sleep in a very hot environment, for example. Remember to drink plenty of water, and use other methods to stay cool too.