How to Build your own DIY Air Conditioner in 2022

How to Build your own DIY Air Conditioner in 2022 | Phyxter Home Services

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❄️ Making a DIY Air Conditioner

You can find wicked videos about building your own air conditioner, but we wanted to write down the instructions just in case someone wanted to use this guide as a reference.

Within this DIY build your own AC system guide, we’ll outline the products you’ll need, the tools you’ll need, and how to build your very own “Swamp Cooler.”

The First Step to Your Own DIY Air Conditioner.

Ok, let’s start by putting the shopping list together for everything you’ll need to build your DIY Air Conditioner.

We’re going to shop for the parts first and then the tools – although you can probably get them all at your local home improvement store.

Woman looking for AC tools in a hardware store

Parts, Materials, and Tools

Click on the links below to check out our recommendations on tooling.

  1. 5-gallon bucket with lid
  2. 1/2″ diameter clear tubing
  3. Mesh screen
  4. Thumbtack
  5. Small water pump  (AC)
  6. Fan (6-8″ diameter)
  7. 1/2″ gear clamp
  8. Utility knife
  9. Blue cooler pad
  10. Scissors
  11. Small clamp or 1/2″ plug for tubing
  12. power drill and 2″ hole saw

After you’ve picked up all your supplies, clear out some space to work and lay everything out. You may need room when cutting the mesh screen or blue cooling pad.

First off, let’s start by measuring the circumference of the bucket. Then, take a shoelace, a strip, or some fishing line and wrap it around the top of the bucket; cut or mark the string at the point where the start meets once it’s around the bucket. 

Lay the string on top of the mesh and the blue cooler pad and cut the material to that length.

Now, you’ll need to cut another piece of the mesh – then take both pieces of mesh and lay them underneath the cooler pad (which should be the exact same size as the mesh screen.

You’ll also need to make sure you cut the height of the cooler pad and mesh to be the same height as the bucket – that way; it will be able to wrap around the inside of the bucket.

Bucket with cooler pad

In the next step, you’ll use the power drill, and the 2″ hole saw to cut holes in the bucket – just make sure that you only cut holes in the top half of the bucket.

drilling bucket to make diy air conditioner

You’ll be filling the bottom half with water so make sure not the put your holes too low.


This video has a lot of great information in it.

This step to building your own swamp cooler air conditioner is very simple…

Drop the pump into the bottom of the bucket and run the tubing (usually 1/4″ or 3″8″ at about 4.5′) up to the top of the blue cooler pad and around the circumference of the bucket, and clamp or plug the end of the tubing. 

You’ll then take the thumbtack and poke holes in the tubing every half an inch to start (once you have water in the bucket and the pump running).

Look to see if the blue cooler pad is saturated and if it isn’t, add more holes with the thumbtack.

A fountain pump for a homemade swamp cooler air conditioner

Now, place the fan on top of the 5-gallon bucket lid and trace it out with a pencil or marker.

Then, making sure that the hole is a little smaller than the fan, you’ll cut out the hole in the lid so that the fan can be placed in it.

A fan being installed in the top of a DIY air conditioner

Now, you just need to add water, keeping the water level below the holes you drilled in the bucket (add ice for extra cool air), turn the pump and the fan on, and then you’ll be all set with your very own homemade air conditioner.


If you want to direct the airflow vertically, you can add ducting elbows; just make sure you buy the elbow with a large enough circumference to cover the entire fan.


Also, keep an eye on the holes to see if the water is dripping out…if it is, you may need to add another layer of the mesh screen.

completed diy air conditioner

I hope you found this DIY air conditioner section helpful, and please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions.

Jake Gibson

CEO @ Phyxter and HVAC Guru

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