The DIY Evaporative Cooler Guide
Evaporative swamp coolers, also commonly referred to as desert coolers, are inexpensive and efficient ways to cool a home, office, patio, warehouse, or really any other area. If you live in the proper climate, these room coolers will work for a fraction of the cost of an air conditioner. If you are looking to cut costs even further, then a DIY evaporative cooler may be the perfect solution. Not only can a desert cooler be efficient and effective, but it is also a somewhat simple machine. In fact, a DIY evaporative cooler is simple enough for just about anyone to make. Just follow the guide below for an extremely easy DIY evaporative cooler:
1. Ensure your climate is right
Evaporative room coolers are called desert coolers for a reason -- they work best in hot, dry areas such as deserts. Swamp coolers work by using the natural process of evaporation to cool a specific area. As these units add moisture to the air, desert coolers will work best in areas with very low humidity. If you live in a humid area, it won't matter how much time you put into an elaborate DIY evaporative cooler -- it simply won't have much more cooling power than a normal fan.
2. Gather your supplies
Here are the only supplies you'll need for your DIY Evaporative Cooler:
- Styrofoam cooler
- Portable fan
3. Build your evaporative cooler
To begin putting together your DIY evaporative cooler, first cut a hole in the top of the Styrofoam cooler that is just a little smaller than your fan head. The idea is to allow for as much air from the fan as possible to pass into the cooler with it sitting stable on the top. Next, cut holes into one side of the cooler. Keep in mind that cold air will flow into your room through these holes, so place them in an appropriate location for your space.
Finally, add ice to the inside of the room cooler. As this is truly a DIY evaporative cooler, any type of ice, ice pack, or anything similar you have handy will work. Ice packs are recommended, however, as they will keep you from having to drain excess water from the evaporative cooler once the ice melts. Once you've added the ice, simply place the fan on top of the cooler, align it with the hole you created, plug it in, and turn it on.
4. How it works
This DIY evaporative cooler uses your fan to pull air into the Styrofoam cooler. The air blows through the ice, causing the air to cool considerably before traveling out of the unit through the side holes. This cool air is then redistributed through your room. As mentioned previously, this DIY evaporative cooler adds moisture to the air during the cooling process, so you should also properly ventilate your room. Open a window if possible to allow the air to circulate.