I currently live in New Mexico, where daytime summer temperatures are usually between 90 and 100 degrees fahrenheit. However, there is one thing I am missing in my place that I have normally had access too, and that’s air conditioning. It’s a really small space that I work in, but it warms up rather quickly in the afternoon due to the temperature outside and the fact that the majority of glass faces due west — getting the brunt of that hot afternoon sunshine. I decided not to buy a real air conditioner for the place because it’s only a rental, nothing would correctly fit in the windows, it would keep my energy costs down, and I wanted to see if I could go without for the summer. But some of these days get incredibly hot when sitting at home in front of a computer screen trying to work! So what did I do to try to combat the heat? I made my own air conditioner out of a box fan, a big bowl full of water, and some refreezable ice packs that most everyone has somewhere in their freezer. It’s basically just a cheap evaporative cooler (or swamp cooler) with a total cost of about $45.
So if you are still trying to combat that hot afternoon summer sun at home and don’t have air conditioning, you may want to try to make your own evaporative cooler using parts you probably already have at home. It’s cheap to put together, uses barely any energy (your freezer is already running to keep food cold, so you can’t really count that, and box fans are efficient), and it could save you some money on your cooling costs this summer. It’s worth a shot even if it only drops the inside air temperature by a few degrees!