Warm summer days can spell goodbye to your productivity. And living without an air conditioner during the months of summer can turn your usual life rhythm upside down as you battle the heat.

And, sometimes, even with an air conditioner in your house, the cooling air won’t be felt in every corner, making you crave additional cooling devices.

For exactly this reason, I’ve decided to share a budget-friendly and simple way to achieve a comfortable temperature in your house this summer.

The Portable Solar-Powered Air Cooler

Dubbed “the Blast Chiller,” this easy-to-make device will regulate the temperature of your home and/or workspace, and you can even take it with you while camping.

The principles of the solar air cooler are straightforward: Coldwater cools the window screen surface and the fan dissipates the coolness across the room.

You’ll find this device of great use if you’re living off-the-grid, especially if you reside in the southern states where summers are scorching hot.

But it works in more temperate climates as well – cooling an extra room of your house or the workshop in your backyard or garage are more reasons why you’ll want to build this.

Of course, purchasing a solar air conditioner might be a better option for you, but doing it yourself is so much fun and comes at an exponentially cheaper price.

And if you have a bug out spot, you’ll want at least one of these devices stocked for when SHTF, including the knowledge of assembling additional coolers in case the need arises.

Having said all this, let’s dive right into the action and see how you can get this done.

As an alternative, you can watch the video tutorial from desertsun02

I’ll post one link here and one at the end of this text tutorial.

Materials Needed 

  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Fan (you can find one on your old PC or use a traditional fan)
  • Window screen, black plastic (at least 24’” X 76”)
  • Cooling pad of filter material
  • 1/4” Aquarium tubing
  • Fountain pump
  • Clamp
  • Pushpins
  • Solar panel (for off-grid and camping)


  • Box cutter
  • Yardstick
  • Marker
  • Electric drill with 1.5” and 2” hole saw bit

How It’s Done

#1 Partially fill the bucket

Start by pouring two gallons of water just below the drill holes.

#2 Draw and cut circular holes

Above the waterline, draw circular holes 2 inches in diameter and 5-6 inches apart, forming a circle around the bucket.

In between every two holes, draw a pair of vertically aligned holes 1.5 inches in diameter.

Now cut the holes out using your drill.

#3 Trim the cooling pad

Take into consideration the bucket’s measurements and start cutting the cooling pad to line the bucket. 

It should be around 13-14 inches high and 30-31 inches in diameter, depending on your bucket’s specific measurements.

Line the bucket with the trimmed cooling pad.

#4 Adjust the window screen

Fold the window screen in two and fit it between the bucket and the cooling pad.

You may also use garden cloth as an alternative.

This will act as a retainer that keeps the moisture of the cooling in place and won’t allow it to touch the air holes directly. 

#5 Draw and cut the fan edge

Place the fan on the lid and trace a circular line around it, then cut it out using the box cutter.

#6 Fit the fan in the hole

Your fan should now fit perfectly in the bucket and hang without falling

#7 Secure the tubing and clamp the end of hose

Insert the fountain pump into the bottom of the bucket and link it to the 1/4-inch aquarium tubing.

Wrap the tubing around the bucket and then around the top of the bucket.

Clamp off the hose’s end to prevent water from escaping.

#9 Make the hose soaker

This will help saturate the cooling pad and create additional moist. All you have to do is use a tack to add a hole to the hose every 1 inch so that the water starts dripping as it flows through. 

#8 Link the fan to the solar panel

Connect the fan to the solar panel and you’re done!

Turn it on and you should enjoy at least a 20-degree temperature drop.

And if you wish to generate even more cool air, you can always add ice to the bucket.


Get rid of the accumulated water after a day of use and change the pad from time to time to prevent any bacteria from forming inside.

In addition, you can also add a few drops of bleach to the water to keep your solar cooler sanitary.

Final Note

The solar air conditioner is extremely efficient and doesn’t rely on a grid power source to work.

It’s portable and requires only basic resources to build. 

You can take it with you while camping or integrate it with your bug out location. 

And it’ll make your summer experience much more bearable.

Watch the video of how it’s done here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHbQYajfGqM

Article reference

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