There’s no doubt that the air conditioning unit is your primary source of comfort in every season. However, its outdoor unit can be very unappealing! It can ruin your decor and be an eyesore while strolling in the garden or throwing a backyard party. So how to hide air conditioner unit outside?
If you are tempted to conceal your air conditioner outdoor, we have a variety of options for you. Hiding your air conditioner unit outside can be a great way to showcase your creativity and improve the aesthetics of your house.
5 Things to Keep in Mind Before Hiding Your Air Conditioner Unit Outside
Before you dive right into concealing your outdoor AC unit, here are five things that you should take into consideration:
1. Make Room for Maintenance
Your outside unit needs maintenance, just like the inside unit. When hiding the ugly external part, make sure the cover is removable to make room for the routine service.
2. Ventilation Is Key
Your air conditioner needs proper ventilation as it works hard to remove heat from your home. The air conditioner cover you choose should not suffocate the outside unit as it will make your air conditioner work harder, reducing its lifespan.
Make sure there’s plenty of open space around the outdoor HVAC unit.
3. Don’t Plant Shrubs Too Close to the Unit
You might be tempted to conceal your outdoor unit behind long, bushy shrubs. You can totally do that, but don’t plant them too close; else, it will impact the air circulation and, subsequently, the proper functioning of your air conditioner.
4. Create a Cool, Shady Space
Hiding your air conditioner using a cover might cause overheating. To prevent this issue, you can create an air conditioner camouflage by placing plants around the outside unit. This will keep the outdoor cool and protect your air conditioner from sunlight.
5. Check the Manufacturer’s Recommended Distance
To be on the safe side, check the manufacturer’s recommended distance for closure before putting your unit under a cover. Make sure you meet the requirements and then plan on how to hide air conditioner unit outside.
6. Strategically Protecting AC Outdoor Unit from Sunlight Will Save Energy
If, besides hiding the air conditioning unit, you’re also wondering how to protect the outdoor AC unit from sunlight, then this guide will solve both of your problems. According to the US Department of Energy, if you protect your air conditioner from the sun, it increases its efficiency by 10%. Moreover, shading your air conditioner helps reduce up to 50% on energy costs.
22 Ways You Can Hide Your Air Conditioner Unit Outside
Here are 22 creative ideas to hide air conditioning unit outside and maintain the aesthetics of your house:
1. Build a Wooden Cover
The most common solution to hiding the outdoor air conditioning unit is to build a wooden covering around it.
You can easily make this a DIY project! All you need are some wooden planks, nails, and a hammer to build your cover! Make sure that the cover is bigger than the unit to ensure proper ventilation. Further, leave some spaces between planks for the same reason.
You can also contact the carpenter services in your area to make your AC cover. Convey all the necessary instructions (design, size, etc.) to your hired service, and you will have a cover ready in no time!
You can further take additional steps using paints or plants to have a decorative outdoor air conditioner cover.
2. Get Creative With an AC House
A creative way to decorate your garden and hide your condenser, both at the same time, is to build a wooden house. You can create a house in a traditional gable roof style, or you can go for something completely different. A slanting roof will help slide off snow and also serve as an air conditioner sun shield.
Additionally, you can paint your AC house in different colors and can add decorative items on top.
One thing to keep in mind is that the covering should be removable – you should be able to lift it when it’s time for regular AC tune-ups.
This method can also be a perfect way to hide window air conditioner both indoors and outdoors.
3. Hide It Behind the Bushes
For a complete air conditioner camouflage, plant big green bushes, vines, or ornamental trees. Select plant species that can tolerate the heat released by the condenser; you don’t want to burn your bushes. Hydrangeas, roses, clematis, and trumpet vines are some options! Moreover, do not plant the bushes too closely; leave space in between. Keep on trimming them when they grow to maintain proper air circulation
4. Make a Box With a Door
This method is quite similar to making a wooden box. Instead of removing an entire box, the difference is that you can open the door for your maintenance needs. It requires only a tad bit more effort to add a door, but it can be super helpful in the long run.
5. Stack Planter Boxes in Front of the Unit
If you live in an area where you can keep plants outside all year round, make use of this opportunity to camouflage your condenser.
Use planter boxes big enough to conceal the air conditioner outside. As mentioned above, only plant those species that can tolerate heat emitted by the air conditioner. Placing colorful pots that match a theme can add a great touch!
6. Place the Outdoor Unit Inside Aluminum Slats
Want to create a cover that won’t be affected by weathering or pests?
Go for Aluminum slats!
They are a robust solution to hide your air conditioner. You just have to install the slats, and they will last a long time without any maintenance. You can also add additional shelves on the side to store different things using the slacks to increase your storage space!
7. Grow Vines Around Outdoor AC Unit
They will take a few months to grow in length if not fully grown. Added greenery is always a pleasing addition that everyone loves!
8. Create a Shed
If you already have a small shed, it can be repurposed as your outdoor air conditioner enclosure.
But if you don’t have one, you can have it created from scratch. Make sure to leave optimal space around the unit for ventilation. You can repurpose the shed always as a storage unit also!
9. Place Decorative Ornaments
Buy some oversized decorative items such as big vases with faux plants, accessories like mushrooms, and garden gnomes to use them as air conditioner hiders. Using this method, you get to decorate your garden in addition to hiding the ugly condenser unit.
10. Use a Door Screen
This is an interesting way to hide your AC unit outside. You would need a door that you can paint in any color. You might need two doors connected together if one door isn’t big enough. Just make sure it has openings for airflow. You can then install mirrors, paintings, or anything else you want to make it a decorative outdoor air conditioner cover.
11. Use a Lattice Screen
You can place lattice screens in front of your HVAC unit. This will work just perfectly without requiring any effort, or you can use the screen to make a removable box to enclose the unit. A plain wooden plank may be too boring, and a plant-based wall may be too hectic.
Lattice screens work well with many outdoor decors!
12. Create a Cement Wall
Stack cement breeze blocks or screen blocks in front of your condenser! You can place small planters or other decorative items within the gaps of the blocks if you like. Painting each block a different color can also make them very vibrant.
13. Circle Big Planters Around the Outside Unit
Take some big planters and make a circle around your AC unit. You can plant heat-tolerant species such as Cosmos or Viburnum to put a decorative touch.
14. Hide It With a Decorative Outdoor Air Conditioner Cloth Cover
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of creating a wooden cover or planting bushes to hide your air conditioner’s outside unit, consider buying a decorative cloth cover. They come in various colors and designs, and you can pick one according to your preference.
It is an easy solution but has one drawback – it can only work when you are not using your air conditioning unit. Such as when on vacation or during the cold if you prefer to use another heating option.
15. Make a Picket Fence Cover
You might have typically seen picket fences around gardens. They have an unbeatable charm and are a true classic.
While a picket fence might be more prevalent in an old-fashioned house, they never go out of style. They also look great in modern homes and can do wonders to conceal your outdoor air conditioning unit!
Moreover, wood is not the only choice you have when it comes to selecting a picket air conditioner fence. There are other low-maintenance options like vinyl, PVC, and metal as well.
Put a fence around your external HVAC unit until it is fully concealed. You can also add small birdhouses to create an attractive fence to hide your air conditioner.
16. Make a Big Storage Area
Running out of storage areas inside your home? We have a creative idea that can solve your issue!
Hiding the air conditioner unit outside can be an opportunity for you to build a storage unit. You can create a storage area large enough to store your items and hide the AC unit. Just make sure you don’t stuff it too much to affect the ventilation required for your HVAC unit to work properly.
17. Use Outdoor Privacy Screens
You can maintain the beauty of your outdoor landscape by concealing the AC outdoor unit behind a privacy screen.
Privacy screens are available in a wide variety of styles and colors. Choose the one that best compliments your overall garden decor! Add planters, decorative chairs, maybe add a bench and keep your garden decor top-notch.
18. Wooden Wall With Small Plants
For this method, use wooden planks to make a wall. Do not forget to create a support for the wall. You can use the remaining planks for that. Then place it in front of the unit.
For installing small planters, buy ring-shaped holders, and insert them in the planks. The final step is to place your planters in the ring holder and ta-da!
19. Purchase Aluminum Screens
Not really a DIY type of person?
You can purchase an aluminum screen that looks sleek and is big enough to hide the air conditioner unit outside.
It is completely covered on one side but has spaces on the other sides for ventilation so you can use it without any worries.
20. Use a Bamboo Fence to Enclose the Outside Unit
One artistic way to block your condenser from ruining the view is by using bamboo sticks. They come in various sizes. DIYing a bamboo fence to hide your air conditioner unit outside won’t be easy as bamboo is heavy. You can hire a professional to help.
The best part about bamboo is that while it looks super great on its own, you can stain it to match other wood tones in your landscape.
21. Create a Stone Wall
Another great way to cover your HVAC unit is to build a stone wall. You can use simple stones or purchase decorative ones; it’s all up to you. A stone wall will require little maintenance and will last a long time.
22. Use Iron Trellis
Opt for the iron trellis to camouflage your outdoor air conditioner unit. Let the vining plants such as English Ivy grow all over it to make it look like a backyard décor piece.
This method is perfect for homeowners who don’t want to take the DIY route and want an easy solution.
Just remember to keep trimming the vines as they can take over your unit due to their fast growth rate.
You can choose from the variety of options discussed above depending upon your decor and budget. One last thing- don’t forget to follow the safety guidelines; otherwise, all your hard work will go to waste!