Homemade Air Conditioner With Cool Water

Written by andrew leahey
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Homemade Air Conditioner With Cool Water
Even just drinking cold water can help reduce your core temperature. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Air conditioners, whether window units or central air installations, can be expensive. If you'd like to cool a small area for a short amount of time, constructing a homemade air conditioner with cool water may be a viable option. It won't reduce the air temperature dramatically, but it may help you reach a comfortable temperature for a short period.

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Simplest Setup

The simplest set-up you can have when constructing a homemade air conditioner with cool water is a basin full of cool water and a fan. As long as the water remains colder than the room temperature, the fan blowing across the surface of the water will cool the air temperature. If you aim the fan directly towards where you are sitting or working, you will feel a cool breeze for a time.


Hooking up a pump can increase the sophistication of your set-up. Consider attaching a small pond pump to some copper tubing and coiling the copper tubing around the outside of a box fan. Have the pond pump push the cool water through the copper and back in to the basin. As the air passes across the copper tubing, the copper will absorb heat from the air, as it is a highly heat-conductive material. This heat will transfer to the water inside the copper, which is cooler, and cycle back in to the basin.

Incorporating Ice

If you can incorporate ice in to the mix, you will have the ability to keep the water temperature cooler for a longer period. This will substantially increase the amount of time that your homemade air conditioner will be able to continue cooling the air, but it not likely reduce the air temperature any faster.


Using a plant mister attached to the basin of cool water can further help cool you down. This will not reduce air temperature, but it will help you feel cooler as the water evaporates from your skin, taking body heat with it. This is ideal if you are working in a garage or shed, but it is less useful indoors.

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