Using a Rain Barrel to Collect Condensate From Your Air Conditioner!

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The a/c causes lots of condensation that just runs out onto the ground. From what I've read, condensate water from the a/c is 99% pure clear water, no chemicals, just a bit of dust! Why not catch it and use it? We did just that! Here's how we did it.
It took right at a full week to gather a barrel full of water. That's approximately 55 gallons of water that would have otherwise jut gone onto the ground. Now we use it to water all the little plants and the garden!
Time: 45 MinutesCost: $30.00Difficulty: Easy
  • rain barrel air conditioner condensation solution, diy, hvac, repurposing upcycling
This is our final product and it works perfectly! Why didn't we think of this a long time ago? We don't know, but I'm glad my honey decided he wanted to try and catch the dripping water.
  • rain barrel air conditioner condensation solution, diy, hvac, repurposing upcycling
These barrels are actually all one piece, no lid to take off so you can get to the inside. Using a reciprocating saw, cut the "lid" off. As you can see, this barrel was nasty! After it was open, it got a good scrubbing with soap and water.
  • rain barrel air conditioner condensation solution, diy, hvac, repurposing upcycling
You can get the the whole story and a list of supplies on our blog and then just follow the step by step directions for installing the spigot. Remember to add the Teflon tape to the spigot for a better seal.
  • rain barrel air conditioner condensation solution, diy, hvac, repurposing upcycling
We used a piece of screening to filter out any unwanted yuck into our water barrel.
  • rain barrel air conditioner condensation solution, diy, hvac, repurposing upcycling
Next, my honey used the hole saw again and made some drain holes in the lid just in case it rained, the barrel would catch the water. Double duty!
  • rain barrel air conditioner condensation solution, diy, hvac, repurposing upcycling
The lid is actually turned upside down. It makes a perfectly snug fit to hold the screen in place.
  • rain barrel air conditioner condensation solution, diy, hvac, repurposing upcycling
To raise the barrel off the ground, my honey built a stand using left over 2x4s, 4x4s and some more of our fence pickets. That's another post though! The stand was necessary so we could get a water can under the spigot to use the water we'd gathered.

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      • Carole
        Carole Australia
        on Aug 9, 2014

        We keep two buckets under ours and it only occurred to me recently to use it on the garden as we are in drought like conditions. I regularly empty it onto our garden plants now.

        • Amy P
          Amy P Frontenac, KS
          on Aug 11, 2014

          We do this but it goes to a big water bowl for our dogs. They never run out of water when it is hot outside, because the air conditioner is working extra hard to fill it up!