Idiot builds Homemade Air Conditioner

Geoff has built a Homemade Air Conditioner – by running ice water (made from ice-cubes, and bottles of water he’s frozen in his freezer) through copper tubing at the back of a stand fan – fluid motion provided via capillary action.

Once the water runs out, the house has cooled off enough that the fan alone provides sufficient cooling.

That would be evaporative cooling, Geoff.

Geoff also suggests adding salt to your mix, because

this will drop the freezing point of the water and increase the cooling effect of the fan.

Uh, no. That would be lowering the freezing point of the water. It doesn’t lower the temperature of the water, it means that it takes more energy to freeze the water in the first place. But you’re already dumping frozen water into your water bucket, so you’re too late.

Geoff apparently had to “poke a little hole” through his flywire for the exhaust of his water tube, but draws the line at digging up his landlord’s garden to make a geothermal cooling system. I’m glad for his landlord, but what’s the problem with digging up a backyard only to cover it up again? A hole in your flywire is there for good!

Geoff goes on to suggest that if you hang a car radiator off your fan – in a bid to increase the efficiency of the system – you might want to check it can handle the weight.

Nice work Geoff.

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13 thoughts on “Idiot builds Homemade Air Conditioner

  1. Peter

    You’d have to give him full marks for trying, though.

    However the consequences of a water spillage around carpet and
    electricity would be a spectacular audio, visual and olfactory

    Though I hadn’t done it, the first thing I’d do is put the fan
    in a box. Then put an old towel over the front of the box. Then
    find some way of keeping the towel wet. Maybe a sealed container
    atop the box and some trickle irrigation tubing dropping down from it?

    This should be cheaper, safer and quicker to build.

  2. Ren

    Definitely marks for trying, however those marks are subtracted from his final score for being, well, stupid in what he was
    trying to achieve. CAR RADIATOR? Please.

  3. cole

    wow ur retarded, i built one with a car radiator with a water pump and bucket of ice water on the back of a box fan, the weight is fine, and the effect of it is awesome, cooled a HUGE room about 15 degrees in an hour or so, u have to keep it iced down but no leakage, and pretty much free cooling if you make your own ice. it blows colder air then my actual 2ton A/C unit if u have plenty of ice in it, works great for partys when a house is packed with people.

  4. Ryan

    Pretty much all of your points are false. First of all it’s not capillary action that draws the water it’s gravity via a SIPHON. He says so on his website if you did more than just look at the pictures (which I doubt). Secondly, adding salt to ice melts the ice by lowering the water’s freezing point which is an endothermic reaction, that means the melting ice absorbs heat making the water COLDER. Haven’t you ever seen the old ice-cream makers that use ice and rock salt to lower the temperature below freezing? Lastly Geoff says the water temperature at the exhaust is higher than the temperature of the inlet (16 Celsius opposed to 23 degrees Celsius). Where does this extra heat come from? Maybe the friction of the tubing? Maybe little green men are shooting the water with heat guns? Or maybe, just maybe, the water is absorbing heat from the air in his room.

  5. Surestick

    I agree with Ryan. The idiot here is Josh:

    “That would be evaporative cooling, Geoff”
    Err, no it wouldn’t be Josh. It’s an exchange of heat from the air in the room to the cold water cooling the air and heating the water. The cooling water is sealed in copper tubing, how is it going to evaporate?

    “Uh, no. That would be lowering the freezing point of the water. It doesn’t lower the temperature of the water, it means that it takes more energy to freeze the water in the first place. But you’re already dumping frozen water into your water bucket, so you’re too late”
    Uh, yes. The key here is ice water. Ice water under normal conditions is at 0C, the melting temperature of the ice. Lower the melting temperature of the ice and you lower the temperature of the ice water. The lower temperature water will absorb more heat from the air due to the greater difference in temperature between the air and the water making the system more efficient.

  6. Rasputin

    Fockin weak dude…Geoff’s idea is quite good. The whole point is trying to beat the heat when you can’t afford an AC. If you are so smart or rich then you don’t need to search the internet for DIY air conditioners…

    Also Geoff doesn’t use capillary action…he used water siphoning which is a means of transferring water from higher to lower level by avoiding introduction of air bubbles in the tubing (also called priming)…I seriously doubt if you have even taken the trouble of reading the whole article…also adding salt to water reduces the melting point of ice, so assuming the ice is already below 0 deg Celsius adding salt is a smart idea…

    Get a life and try to build something instead of poking fun at other people…and if you have balls don’t delete this reply and let people know

  7. Chris

    Thanks Geoff. You have got me thinking. My idea is to place a coil inside of a bucket with both ends of the coil protruding out the side. Pour water around the coil and place into the freezer. I then will run tubing through two small holes drilled into the feezer and connect to the coil. The oposite end of the tubes will connect to another coil which will be placed inside of a duct near a squirrel cage fan. Pumping antifreeze through the tubes by the use of a washing machine pump hooked to the fan there will be constant cold air. The fan can be hooked to a thermostat to stop when the house becomes cold. Using antifreeze will allow much colder temperatures inside the coil. Since the freezer is always being used. The fan will be the only added extra electricity.

  8. Kyle

    Chris your idea is good, my old man made a water heater for camping.. basically consisted of a coil in a steel box, and a drum to hold water, the coil was thrown in the fire and attached to the drum by hose, now hot water would be pumped out the top hole and cooler water in the bottom to be heated more.. dont know the name for this but could it not be applied in a cooling situation too thus creating a closed circut system?

  9. Kai

    Chris, awesome idea, with the freezer and antifreeze, but you also use electricity for the washing machine pump; even though the same energy is supplied whether you use the pump or not, having a single fan motor used to power two loads divides the power available to the fan by at least half. Although it looks as though you’re running the pump “for free”, it results in a slower fan blade speed, and therefore severely degraded air circulation. Not to mention, that while the room is cooling off, the freezer is warming up as the heat is removed from the tubing, meaning either having more electricity used by your freezer to maintain sub-zero temperatures or risk thawing all your frozen items stored in there if the freezer isn’t strong enough. You might decide to forgo the pump and rely on fluid density changes for convective circulation, depending on the position of your freezer in relation to your air conditioner. It would probably result in a slower flowing liquid in the pipe (definitely use antifreeze for this), and degrade the effectiveness of the cooling, but by the same token, the freezer would warm at a slower pace, allowing it to keep up with the temperature changes. This would both reduce the rate of cooling and electricity consumption per unit of time, but with a net gain in circulating the air, meaning that the temperature will be more evenly distributed, rather than having a “cold spot” around the fan. Otherwise, excellent idea!

  10. adam

    Chris, you need to vent the heat from your freezer outdoors. Otherwise, this system will actually increase your indoor air temperature. The freezer is a heat pump which removes heat from inside and dumps it into its surroundings. It does not just produce “cold.” If the freezer is absorbing heat from its surroundings with your coil system, and then dumping heat into its surroundings, the surroundings will gradually rise in temperature as the freezer uses energy to pump heat, and the energy used turns into additional heat dumped into the surroundings. If you put your freezer outside, however, you will have mashed up a clever homemade air conditioner.

  11. billybob

    Josh, do a little homework before you launch into someone’s post and make an a## of yourself. You’re incorrect on about every single “fact” you posted. Ask yourself; Are YOU smarter than an 8th grader?

    As for Geoff, great effort and thanks for sharing.

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