14 Easy Ways to Hide Your Outdoor Air Conditioner
Your air conditioning unit is essential for summer months. It works hard to keep you cool, but it can also be a noisy eyesore. AC units can take away from your exterior design, so what can you do? In this article, we’ll share 14 easy ways to hide your outdoor unit and level up your outdoor aesthetic at the same time.
Be Safe While Enclosing Your AC Unit
Before starting, make sure any solution adheres to the recommended safety measures of your air conditioner and allows for proper airflow. Most units will share a required distance necessary for operation. In some cases you can negate your warranty by placing enclosures too close to AC equipment.
Be sure to regularly inspect any enclosure to avoid unexpected blockages.
Note that you’ll need service your AC unit at some point, so it’s important to provide an easy access for maintenance activities.
Using flora to camouflage your AC unit is an old trick, and it can be a perfect solution for exteriors that already use greenery. As long as bushes are kept far enough away from your AC unit (and can grow high enough), they can add a special green touch to an environment. When choosing a plants, think about native species that are easy to maintain but also tough enough to deal with heat given off by units. Don’t forget to trim bushes to prevent overgrowth and encourage unit airflow.
You may not want to look at your AC unit and attempt to hide it, but blocking it off from outside air can cause it to have to work overtime and reduce its lifespan. Trim back bushes this spring so it can work properly and don’t plant trees this close. #ACtips #HVACTips #staycool pic.twitter.com/QRDtBSvy1Z— Westerhouse HVAC (@WesterhouseHVAC) April 29, 2018
2. Wood Fence
Your classic wood fence can be a great way to hide your outdoor air conditioner. If you decide to go this route, start with solid post holes, use a wood that can stand up to outdoor conditions where you live (like cedar or redwood), and maintain it regularly. Leave at least one opening for servicing the unit.
3. Flower Planter Boxes
Are you ready to level up your AC unit camouflage game? Grab yourself a planter box and your favorite flowers!
Flowers can be a great addition to any building, and they’re just as useful in concealing AC units. Think about starting with a wood enclosure and adding on some plants to liven up the setting.
4. Aluminum Slats
For a more heavy-duty solution, surround your AC unit with aluminum slats. For many modern homes, a combination of a fence and gate created with aluminum can work well with existing aesthetics. It’s also a long-term solution that won’t be vulnerable to weathering, insects, and other risks.
5. Vinyl Enclosure
Vinyl can be an affordable and clean way to hide you outdoor air conditioner. It’s durable and widely available in many different patterns. Don’t forget to add a gate for maintenance!
6. Lawn Ornaments
For more eclectic folks, lawn ornaments can be a great way to hide your AC unit and bring a little more character to an exterior. From pink flamingoes to wind spinners, lawn ornaments have added artistic flair to gardens, lawns, and yes, even air conditioners.
7. Willow Tri Panel
For a quick and easy solution, use a willow tri panel. You can grab these relatively inexpensively, and these folding covers give an attractive and natural covering for your AC unit. Note that they’re not particularly durable, especially in areas with high wind.
8. Vine Lattice
Vines can be a great way to conceal your outdoor AC unit. By creating a wood lattice structure and introducing vines, you’ll be able to grow a beautiful addition to your exterior that brings more green to your setting. Plan for vines to grow in a few months, and think about getting evergreen varieties to keep the enclosure full throughout the year.
9. Old Shutters
A few old shutters can make a great enclosure for your AC unit. Keep an eye out for older structures whose shutters could be repurposed to conceal your AC unit after applying a fresh coat of paint.
10. Pool Pump Cover
AC units are about as large as pool pump covers, and you’ll be able to find a variety of designs to choose from. Just make sure you’re leaving enough room for airflow and are using material that will stand up to your air conditioner’s workload.
11. Security Cage
Depending on where you live, a security cage can deter animals and other nuisances from interacting with your air conditioner. It may not look particularly pretty, but if you’re searching for a durable solution with added security, this might just be what you’re looking for.
12. Small Storage Shed
There are plenty of small outdoor storage shed models that can be repurposed as AC unit enclosures. They’re made to be tough, and if you’ve got enough room, they can be an easy solution to house your air conditioner.
Just make sure the material can handle the heat created by your system, and provide ample openings for sufficient airflow.
13. Bamboo Screen
Did you know some bamboo species can grow nearly three feet in a day?
Bamboo is increasingly used in outdoor structures, and it’s lauded for its strength-to-weight ratio. When used to enclose an AC unit, be sure that the wood has been treated to resist rot and insects.
14. Pallet Fence
For the thrifty, creative, and crafty bunch, a pallet fence is a simple solution for enclosing outdoor air conditioners. Pallet wood is durable (but shouldn’t be used inside), and it can be made into many different designs.
Extra points for staining or painting the wood!
Hide Your AC Unit Wisely
Hiding your AC unit is a great way to improve your exterior, illustrate your creativity, and showcase your craftsmanship. Choose the solution that fits your style and budget, and don’t forget to adhere to recommended safety guidelines.
How do you hide your outdoor air conditioner? Share in the comments below!
Still have questions? Ask an HVAC expert directly via chat or phone.
Published on 2019-01-28 by Ben Travis
Last updated on 2020-06-10