DIY 5 Gallon Bucket Swamp Cooler

We have already felt the hot days last week. My home does not have central air conditioning, and a window air conditioner is not an option either. I was wondering how I can do differently than last summer to keep cool. Maybe I can buy an evaporative cooling unit, but it will still cost you upwards of $200 to $300 to purchase brand new. I am so excited to come across the easy DIY project of making 5 Gallon Bucket Swamp Cooler. What’s even better is that this DIY can be solar powered.

The equipment and materials for The 5 Gallon Bucket Swamp Cooler can either be found in your garage or in home improvement stores. This invention will work great even in a humid climate and it’s a simple design. Water and ice will be used as the refrigerant and the cool air is being dispersed by using a small electric fan. All you need to do is to assemble all the parts to make a DIY air conditioning unit.

A Homemade Evaporative Cooler is Just in Time for Summer. Hopefully it will cool down your home without having to use a heavy, electricity hogging air conditioner.

DIY 5 Gallon Bucket Swamp Cooler

What you will need:

  • 5 gallon bucket with lid
  • 13 in. x 30 in. cooling pad.
  • Garden Screen (size is similar to that of the cooling pad).
  • 4 1/2 feet clear PVC tubing (1/4 inch diameter)
  • Aquarium or waterfall pump
  • Drill and cutter
  • Small fan with a removable base


  1. Drill 3 2-1/4″ holes in the bucket
  2. Drill 3 2-1/8″ holes in the liner behind .( drilling these holes near to the base of the bucket cools better than holes in the top.)
  3. Cut a larger hole in the lid, measured to fit your small fan.
  4. Attach PVC segments to holes. If your liner holes are too big, you’ll have to glue them in.
  5. Fill with loose ice or a frozen gallon jug. (Reader Mattie Z recommends 4x 1 quart frozen bottles instead for greatly increased surface area.)
  6. Rest fan in the hole you cut in the lid and turn it on.