DIY Bucket A/C


Like us, you've probably had this project pinned for some time. Anyone who has ever worked in a hot garage, in summer, in Florida knows that even a tiny hint of cold air is welcome relief! I wanted to try the project but didn't want to go to the expense and effort of ordering the needed styrofoam bucket liner that the project required.
I was on the lookout for something that would eliminate the need for
diy bucket a c, garages, home maintenance repairs, how to, hvac, tools
Materials:
- Insulated bucket (this was picked up from a yard sale for $2)
- Plastic or PVC tubing
- Tape to seal tubing (optional)
- Fan to fit top of bucket
- Jugs of ice
Watch the video!
diy bucket a c, garages, home maintenance repairs, how to, hvac, tools
before
diy bucket a c, garages, home maintenance repairs, how to, hvac, tools
Using a hole saw bit, drill three holes to match the diameter of the plastic tubing you are using near the bottom of the bucket. Mine was 2 1/8". In hindsight I should have drilled mine closer to the bottom. (I will plug the existing holes and re-drill them.) The theory for holes closer to the bottom is that cold air settles to the bottom. That way the fan is blowing out the coldest air possible. Science-go figure!
diy bucket a c, garages, home maintenance repairs, how to, hvac, tools
Cut three sections of plastic tubing or PVC pipe about 6" long. Place tubes into bucket. I did not secure mine, but they can be sealed into place with any number of products including wrap and seal tape.
diy bucket a c, garages, home maintenance repairs, how to, hvac, tools
diy bucket a c, garages, home maintenance repairs, how to, hvac, tools
To use:
Place frozen jugs of water into the bucket, place fan on top, turn on and enjoy the tiniest amount of cold air ever!
This really doesn't produce any discernible cooling of the surrounding area but if you are right in front of the tube vents, there is a noticeable cooling. I wouldn't say this is a fail as any sort of cooling in Florida is blessed relief but I wouldn't count on a DIY bucket A/C to keep you cool.
This was a fun project/experiment of a pinned project.
diy bucket a c, garages, home maintenance repairs, how to, hvac, tools
diy bucket a c, garages, home maintenance repairs, how to, hvac, tools
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 16 questions
  • Feather
    on Jun 21, 2018

    What would the effect be if you blew the air out the top instead out out the tubes?

    • Leah M
      on Jun 25, 2018

      I have seen where some people attach a fan to a small opening near the bottom of the cooler and then direct the air out of the top. I suspect that any single exit of the air, and more directed, will be cooler than a wider or multiple openings either way. I remember seeing something where the guy actually was sitting over the cooler and the air was mostly directed up behind him and then over. Back in the 1980's I had a car where the air conditioner failed and in the summer before I went home from work, I would go and wet a shirt to wear and let the breeze of the car cool me despite the 100+ heat index days in Texas. It wasn't perfect, but it was better than nothing. I also have been known to do work around the house in wet shirts when I don't want to turn on the ac. Again, not perfect, but with ceiling fans and not being in the sun, it worked pretty well.

  • Nikki
    on Jun 21, 2018

    How did you cut pvc




    • Linda
      7 days ago

      Power saw or homedepot will cut them for you when you buy the tube there.

      Not expensive and all you need is one..the may have 1:2 of one in the remnants and the will still cut it for free. 👍🏼

  • Judy Constance
    on Jun 28, 2018

    You said you've had this project pinned for a while. Do you know where the original project is located? I have room air conditioners but only in 2 of my rooms. I was going to try something like this for the other 2 rooms only when I'm in there.

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2 of 124 comments
  • Debbie Paul Child
    on Jun 28, 2018

    I lived in Texas for 25 yrs and understand the heat problem. This is a great idea if u live up north like I do now. Honestly I would cut a hole in the garage and install a airconditoner up high so it doesnt interfere with my projects. Heat rises but cold air comes down. Y our idea is great for a rental. I would also like to know how it worked with the William's idea. Great advice thanks for sharing.

  • Charlotte Koch
    on Aug 11, 2018

    I was born in Florida and the summers get hotter every year. This sounds like a great simple idea to stay a little cooler while working on something outside. Thanks.


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