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How to make a mini solar air-conditioner (swamp cooler)

Here’s a DIY to make a simple, cheap, and energy-efficient air conditioner with basic materials that should cost less than $5.

How it works is evaporating water in the A/C (air-conditioner) pulls heat away, making the inside cold. The fan sucks air through the A/C, making the air cold. The warmer it gets, the more effective this A/C gets.  And it’s easy on your wallet! 


  • popsicle sticks (about 20)
  • cooling fan from computer
  • solar panel, batteries, or other low voltage power source
  • cloth that absorbs well
  • scissors
  • hot glue and a glue gun
  • water

Step 1: Cooling fan… Meet the popsicle sticks

You can get cooling fans free from computer repair shops and are in power supplies. 
Once you find a suitable one (the bigger ther better), attach six popsicle sticks like the picture above. You can trim the round ends with scissors if you want.

Step 2: Dress Up Time!

Now cut a few strips of the cloth that absorbs well (shamwow, towel, burlap…) like the picture above.

Next, cut using scissors four or more popsicle sticks so it’s the same size as the base width. Glue the cloth strips onto the cut popsicle sticks. Then glue that on like the first picture.

Attach another stick on the opposite side and glue the cloth onto it.

Step 3: Dress Up Some More!

Glue another of these together. Then stick two popsicle sticks together like the two back ones on the first step.

Glue it on like the pic shows and put another stick that’s the base width size onto the other side. Stretch the cloth across and attach it to the stick.

Step 4: Coveralls

If you have any extra cloth left, glue that on the sides. Remember: the more cloth, the better if there’s easy airflow around everything.

The End

That was the Mini Solar A/C! Ugly but works.

Add water to the cloth with a spoon until it’s all soaked up, power it up with a solar panel (one or two watts), batteries, or a low voltage power source, and cool your house.

Make several of these or a large scale one to lower your power bill in the summer.