DIY: Swamp Coolers

Written by sue stepp
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DIY: Swamp Coolers
Cool your home with a swamp cooler and avoid turning on the air conditioner. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Swamp coolers, also known as evaporators, lower the temperature in a small area by as much as -12.2 to -6.66 degrees C. Swamp coolers work best in hot, dry areas. Swamp coolers are less effective in places with high humidity. In areas with high humidity, the cool area isn't as noticeable because the swamp cooler uses water for lowering the temperature. Create several of these simple swamp coolers for your porch, patio or home and keep cool the whole summer.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Box fan
  • 3 2-litre empty bottles
  • Permanent marker
  • 5-gallon bucket with lid
  • Sheet rock cutter
  • Electric 9-inch fan
  • Drill
  • 1 1/4-inch drill bit
  • 1/8-inch drill bit
  • 4 plastic zip strips

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Instructions

    Super Fast Swamp Cooler

  1. 1

    Fill three 2-liter bottles full of water and screw on the caps tight. Leave 2 inches of the bottle empty because the water expands as it freezes. Put the bottles into the freezer. Let them freeze overnight.

  2. 2

    Set the box fan in a room you want cooled. Place a waterproof square plastic container 6 inches in front of the fan.

  3. 3

    Put the frozen water bottles into the pan a couple of inches apart. Turn the fan on the desired speed setting. The air blows through the bottles, blowing the cool water off the bottles as it sweats, and cools the air in front of it.

    Bucket Swamp Cooler

  1. 1

    Fill three 2-liter bottles full of water and screw on the caps tight. Leave 2 inches of the bottle empty because the water expands as it freezes. Put the bottles into the freezer. Let them freeze overnight.

  2. 2

    Draw an 8 3/4-inch circle in the centre of the bucket lid. Cut out the circle using the sheet rock cutter. Drill a 1/8-inch hole 1/2 inch from the edge. It doesn't matter where you place it as long as it's 1/2 inch away from the edge of the large cutout circle. Cut three more 1/8-inch holes, forming a cross pattern with the 8 3/4-inch circle in the centre. These holes work as tie downs for the fan.

  3. 3

    Change the drill bit to the 1 1/4-inch bit. Drill another set of four holes in the bucket lid with the 1 1/4-inch drill bit 1/2 inch away from the outer edge of the lid. Space the holes out the same way you did for the small holes. These holes let the cool air blow out of the bucket.

  4. 4

    Put the lid with the top facing up on a flat surface. Place the fan face down on the 8 3/4-inch hole. Attach the fan to the lid by sliding the zip strips through the 1/8-inch holes, go back up through the big hole and the wire on the edge of the fan and put the plastic through the head on the zip strip. Make sure the strips are pulled tight so the fan is quiet as it runs. Repeat this process at each 1/8-inch hole. Trim off any excess strip material using a pair of scissors.

  5. 5

    Place the frozen 2-liter bottles into the bucket so they are standing up right in the centre. Put the lid on the bucket. Plug in the fan and turn it to the desired setting. As the frozen water in the bottles melts, the bottle produces cold moisture on the outside that evaporates. The fan forces the cool air out the 1 1/4-inch hole on top of the lid.

  6. 6

    Unplug the fan and remove the lid when the ice in the bottles melts. Replace the 2-liter bottles with frozen bottles. Put the lid back on, plug the fan in and operate the fan on the desired setting speed.

Tips and warnings

  • Make your bucket swamp cooler portable. You can use a 9-inch 12-volt fan instead of an electric 110-volt fan for this swamp cooler in your car, or use a car battery for the power source.

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