7 DIY Air Conditioners | DIY Experience

7 DIY Air Conditioners

Air conditioners help you beat the summertime heat each year. However, switching on your AC raises your utility bills and puts additional stress on your home’s energy usage. What better way to save money and still stay cool than with a DIY air conditioner? DIY air conditioners are becoming more popular and can actually be a lot of fun to make using a few basic and inexpensive supplies. They also are perfect for people who want to save energy or live in homes without centralized air conditioning systems.

1. Styrofoam Cooler Air Conditioner

For as little as $8, you can make a fast and simple air conditioner that will cool you down quick. You do not have to be a handyman or an electrical whiz to put together this simple air conditioning project. To make this DIY AC, you need:

Cut out spaces for the vents and fan on top of the cooler’s lid. Then securely attach the fan and the vents face down on the lid. Place the frozen water containers inside the cooler and then turn on the fan. This DIY AC is great if you do not have central AC or if you want to stay cool without spending a lot of money this summer.

melting ice cubes close up

2. DIY Five Gallon Bucket Air Conditioner

Making this DIY five gallon bucket air conditioner is relatively simple and fast. However, it costs a bit more than the Styrofoam AC and also requires that you use tools like a hole saw. Once assembled, this AC works great for cooling down a hot room quickly.

To make this DIY AC, you will need:

Follow these steps for putting together this inexpensive and practical air conditioner. You can even paint it or add decorations if you want it to add some visual appeal to your home. You can keep your home cool during the hottest of summertime weather.

3. DIY Solar Panel Air Conditioner

When you want a DIY air conditioner that will last for hours, you should make this solar panel AC. This project requires you to use power tools like a drill and jigsaw. However, it is still cheaper than running central air conditioning all summer and better than going without AC at all.

a solar power panel in the sun

This DIY AC project calls for:

Mark and cut out spaces for the PVC pipe and fan on top of the cooler’s lid and then fill the cooler with ice. The solar panel and portable battery allow the fan to keep running without draining your home’s electricity.

This DIY air conditioning hack is an affordable and simple way to save money and still stay cool this summer. You can also take this AC with you on camping trips or outdoor excursions without having to keep the fan plugged into an electrical outlet.

4. Bowl of Ice & Fan DIY Air Conditioner

If you are strapped for cash but desperate for heat relief, you can make a DIY AC for pennies, that is as long as you have a fan. All you need for this simple DIY cooling trick is:

  • ice
  • a plastic or Styrofoam bowl
  • a desk or box fan

Fill the bowl with ice and then place the fan behind the bowl on a sturdy surface. Turn on the fan and allow the air to blow over the ice. The air will not be as cold as air conditioned air. However, it will still be cool enough to help you be more comfortable in an otherwise hot room.

Make sure you keep your ice trays full and enough ice on hand to refill the bowl when the ice melts. Empty any water out of the bowl to help the ice last longer.

5. Plastic Bottle & Ice DIY Air Conditioner

When you want to stay cool this summer, don’t throw away those empty 20 ounce soda bottles. Instead, put them to good use as an important part of a simple DIY air conditioning hack. This easy DIY AC project calls for:

  • two 20 ounce plastic soda bottles with lids
  • a desktop fan
  • a box knife
  • something to poke holes in the bottles
  • ice

Using the box knife, cut almost all the way around the bottom of the bottles, leaving the bottoms still attached, however. Then use a screw driver tip or another circular sharp object to poke about a dozen holes around the body of each bottle.

Attach the upside down bottles to the back of the fan with yarn or a twist tie. Fill the bottles with ice, making sure that the lid bottles are on tight. As the fan blows, it will pull the cold away from the ice and into the air that it blows toward you. This project is a simple and effective way to beat the heat while recycling your unused soda bottles.

hundreds of ice cubes

6. DIY Juice Box Air Conditioner

Why throw out those cardboard juice boxes when you can convert them into handy and even portable DIY air conditioners for your home? To make a DIY juice box AC, you need an empty cardboard juice box, of course. But you will also need supplies like:

This juice box AC takes a bit of hand tool know-how particularly when stripping down and connecting the wiring. However, once assembled it can keep you cool in the hottest of rooms. It also can be made cheaply without having to buy expensive fans or motors.

7. Fan & Cooler DIY Air Conditioner

You can convert a large desk fan into a simple and effective DIY fan air conditioner by following a few easy steps and using some inexpensive and common items found at any hardware store. To make this DIY AC, you need supplies like:

rotating black fan

This DIY AC does not require that you cut into the cooler or even cut the tubing and hoses a significant amount. Simply connect the copper tubing to the inside of the fan’s face and then assemble the clear tubing, fountain pump, and other items to the copper tubes. The end of the clear tubing and pump fit inside the cooler, which you can fill with ice or bottles of frozen water. You can instant cold air without a lot of work or money.


Escaping the heat and humidity of summer no longer requires that you spend big bucks on central air conditioning or expensive AC units. You also do not have to be a skilled craftsman to create a DIY air conditioner that will help keep your house cool during the long summer months. These top 5 DIY air conditioning projects are simple and fun to put together. They also give you the fast relief you need without putting a serious dent in your household budget.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4.