Homesteading and Livestock

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Our Do-It-Yourself Air Conditioner

8/22/2011 1:25:48 AM

Tags: do it yourself, air conditioner, staying cool naturally, fan, ice, Liesl and Myles Petersen




Hot, muggy, sweltering August heat? No air conditioner? Tapped for cash? 

 Not everyone is able to run out and purchase an expensive air conditioner for their home.  Besides, the operating costs of one are sky-high.  We've found that this simple, do-it-yourself solution saves the day when summer heat is melting you.

do-it-yourself air conditioner

  what you need: 

  • a few trays of ice
  • shallow container or bowl
  • a standard fan

 what to do: 

 1) Place ice in the shallow container. Set container on a low table top.

 2) Place fan in front of the ice. Turn fan on. The fan will suck the cool air generated by the ice into the blades and push it out into the room. Refill ice as necessary. We found this technique to work most effectively in a small, enclosed room.


bowl of ice 

fan and ice 

 Overall result? A noticeably cooler, ice-chilled room with minimal effort and cost!

 For other ways to stay cool naturally check out this article!

All Photos: Liesl & Myles Petersen 

 Liesl and Myles are from Alberta, Canada. You can also find them on Nest.


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Post a comment below.


Keith Karolyi
9/6/2011 8:34:58 PM
I made a simple unit back when I was playing around with the idea of using groundwater as the cooling medium for a room air conditioner. I substituted a small radiator from a motorcycle for the ice tray and used a 12 volt fan running off a solar panel to move the air over the radiator's vanes. To prove the concept I hooked the radiator hoses to a faucet set on a very slow drizzle and turned the unit on. The temp in the kitchen dropped noticeably but the real difference was in the room's humidity. That's when I discovered the need to drain away the condensation. At the very least, it made a great dehumidifier. Based on this demo, I figured it's possible to scale this up to a whole house unit but I'd like to change the design to circulate a non-corrosive coolant like propylene glycol through the radiator unit powered by a solar panel and have that cooled by an external radiator sunk in a well bore. Feel free to adapt and use as you like. This is an open source design. Keep innovating! It's not the corporations that will save us, it'll be us nuts in the basement!

JosepH Estep
8/29/2011 9:57:00 AM
This works well for cooling however it does add humidity to the cool air. An air conditioner cools the air and also reduces the humidity.

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