Anonymous’ Homemade Air Conditioner

This version of the homemade air conditioner implements two improvements, a flow valve and a condensation collector.


Here’s the overall view of the unit. The condensation collector and flow valve are both visible. It’s a good idea to place the unit higher in the room like this, the action of the fan will circulate the hot air at the top of the room. Just make sure that your ceiling tiles aren’t flaking off abestos and you’re set.


This is the rear of the unit. You can see the copper tubing coiled along the back of the fan, attached by zipties.


The condensation collector sits below the unit. A towel catches any spare moisture not managed by the collector.


Here is a closeup of the flow valve. This is extremely useful in managing flow rate, or stopping water flow entirely. If installed on the outflow side of the system, the flow valve allows the siphon to be restarted very easily once shut off. If the system lacks a valve such as this, air will bleed back into the tubing and make it more difficult to restart the siphon.


An additional benefit of the ice water source is shown to the right. In extreme heat situations, one may sit in the ice water source for drastically improved cooling effect. Additionally, one could simply drink the beer cooling in the ice water. In heat waves, do your best to stay out of rehab.


Waste warm water is directed to a garden, no student ghettos here. Oh, how I yearn for the days of a mortgage and a house without concrete as a landscaping tool.

Homemade Air Conditioning Plans and Pictures
Original Design
Geoff’s Homemade Air Conditioner
Heat Exchanger Improvements
Water Supply Improvements
Technical Notes
Other Designs
Pete’s Homemade Air Conditioner
Anonymous’ Homemade Air Conditioner
Spencer’s Homemade Air Conditioner
Final Design
The Black Beauty

14 thoughts on “Anonymous’ Homemade Air Conditioner

  1. Do you think it is possible to make an air conditioner by running a tube down into a well if you have one. 300 ft down should be about 56 degrees. Also what about using meat freezer filled with water to the tempeture of 33 degrees, running copper or other piping in an looping motion. No water running through pipes. Could probably run a hundred feet by looping from top to bottom. dont know if it is feasible to freeze water or not, due to expansion on freezer. Would appreciate you input.

    • Hey Doran –

      A well could be a great source of cold water – the only issues are pumping it and ensuring that your radiator doesn’t get clogged/corroded if particulates or other compounds are present. It’d be best if you pumped the water out of one well and back into a (different well/lake/river/lawn) just to make sure you don’t warm up the well that’s supposed to stay cold!

      I’m not sure what you mean by the other comment – water needs to run through these pipes in order to transport heat effectively. The copper simply transfers heat from the air to the fluid. Also if you’re using a meat freezer, realize that any cooling effect comes with an equal heating effect – the heat is not magically gone, it is simply transported from inside the freezer to the air outside of the freezer.

      • Could I use AntiFreeze instead of Water? And Fill A 50 gal Drum/Trash can with 90% Dry ice or ICE with Salt water added. And put a Copper Coil about 50ft long down in that and then run copper over to the Fan with insulation leading up to the fan. And have the Copper Coil on the fan like yours. Then run It outside into the Ground about 5 Ft deep and run it back into the 50Gal Drum. Using a Fish Tank pump or something large enough to pump that slowly?

  2. Dear friend,

    could you please tell me a good method of constructiong a home made
    air conditioner by using a table fan as the evaporator and other system components whih gives minimum power consumption when operating the equipment. I want to do this as a project.

    • Hi dilantha – I’m a bit confused as to what you’re looking for. These air conditioners do not use evaporation to cool the air, they exchange heat between the hot air and cold water.

      All the plans I have are on this website – if you have any specific questions about construction feel free to ask.

  3. If I used a cooler ( say a normal size 1 case of beer cooler) of ice on a closed system how long would you think the ice would last? The water in the tube would circulate and return back to the cooler or simply would circulate closed in the ice and return to the fan etc.

    • Hi John –

      It really depends on your loading, and if any new heat is entering the system. If you had a bedroom that was retaining heat in the evening, and sun was no longer shining inside, you could probably make a distinct and comfortable difference in the temperature for the night.

      That same bedroom with windows open and sun shining in full force – you might be lucky to get an hour of cooling out of it.

      You can’t beat thermodynamics, no matter how much you try!

  4. How about this:
    A garment made of fishnet material with flexible plastic tubing through which cold water is pumped. Cooling the air in a room is wasteful. Cooling the person is more efficient.

  5. I made a closed circuit version of this with a pump, and the coils go around the front. It does not work, it blows air only 3 degrees F cooler that the room. It is a small room. The inlet temperature is 42 F and the outlet temp is 55 F. So there is heat exchange I just don’t know where. Room temperature is about 80F. It is extremely humid here, and the unit seems to be working as a dehumidifier if anything. I get about a cup of condensation every 2-3 hours. Please advise.
    Thanks. Any help is appreciated

    • Hi Johnny –

      Like you said, there’s heat exchange – the issue is that the rate of heat exchange is too low relative to the volume of your room. You can’t beat themodynamics. I’d strongly suggest using a heat exchanger instead of copper coils, as the performance is far better. Closed circuit versions need lots and lots of ice too.

      The best performing design will use a heat exchanger and an open water supply – a closed circuit design with copper coils is not the highest performance option.

  6. Can ice chilled alcohol or any other liquid like salt water be used instead of water?If so,how will it effect the heating?

  7. Thermodynamics is the idea you seek
    Yes Ice will improve the thermal conductivity for a while until the ice in an sense melts.
    Salt would not be beneficial unless it were creating a chemical reaction which resulted in rapid evaporation.

    What you normally call air conditioning is simply the adoption of a chemical which evaporates rapidly under key conditions, in this case dichlorodifluoromethane (R12 or Freon). R12 evaporates around -22 deg/F, controlling that evaporation cycle from liquid to gas state is what causes rapid cooling, exposing air to a “radiator” cooled by that controlled expansion process, is what removes the heat and moisture from the air and thereby conditions the air.

    These versions of cooling or conditioning room air using an ice chest will have varying degrees of cooling capability based upon their design. If the air contacts the water mixture directly, then the emitting air will be laden with moisture (not the most desirable), however if a form of closed coil or heat exchanger (radiator) is used in the ice chest and on the fan, the air temperature and moisture will be reduced (most desirable).

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