How to Hide Window Air Conditioner: 15 Genius Ways to Disguise Your Unsightly AC Unit
Your air conditioner is your perfect comfort partner; it works hard day and night to keep you relaxed at all times.
However, there is one problem. Window air conditioners can be a big eyesore clashing with your home décor!
For example, when you install a window air conditioner, the outdoor unit weirdly hangs out, disrupting your beautiful patio or garden view. Similarly, the indoor unit doesn’t sit right with the theme of your room, ruining your otherwise perfectly designed interior.
But fret not! There are plenty of ways you can disguise, spruce up and hide your AC unit outside!
We have compiled 15 brilliant ideas on how to hide your window or through the wall air conditioner, both for your interior and outdoors. Some of these ideas are DIYers’ dreams, while some are for homeowners who want a quick fix. So, let’s get started!
Things to Remember When Camouflaging Your Window AC Unit
Before starting how to hide your window air conditioner guide, focusing on these three points is extremely important:
1. Make Room for Airflow
The outdoor part vents out the generated heat, and if you place an air conditioner cover way too close, your unit will overheat, causing problems for your system.
The indoor part of your window AC needs space to throw in cool air. If you place obstructions right in front of it, without leaving any empty space, it will hinder the airflow. Resultantly, your system will have a hard time achieving your ideal room temperature.
Tip: To achieve and maintain your preferred temperature, pair your window air conditioner with an external window AC thermostat or smart AC controller. They automate your home climate and have features such as weekly scheduling, location-based controls, Comfy Mode, usage reports, and so much more!
2. Your AC Should Be Accessible
When using shrubs to hide the unit, it’s also important to keep them trimmed, so it stays within reach.
3. Maintain the Recommended Distance
Check your manufacturer’s recommended distance for enclosure before concealing your unit. Not maintaining the required distance can void your warranty in some cases. Also, make sure to adhere to safety measures mentioned in the user manual.
5 Ways to Hide Window Air Conditioner Unit Inside
Here are some creative ways to blend your window AC with your room decor or hide it completely:
1. Build a Cabinet Around Your AC
When your window or through the wall air conditioner is not in use, you can use creative solutions to camouflage your unit. One such inventive idea includes making a cute little cabinet from scratch!
You create a small cabinet around your unit, decorate it with modern designs, or go crazy with fun colors.
Just make sure that you can easily remove it when it’s time to remove it in the summer months or during AC repair. You can also install proper doors in the cabinet, so there’s no need to remove the cabinet when using your AC. Instead, you can just open the doors and let the air conditioner work normally. However, in this case, you will have to build a bigger cabinet to accommodate air circulation.
2. Use a Folding Screen
Don’t want to create art from scratch but still want to use something decorative to hide the window AC?
Use a folding screen!
They come in a wide range of colors and patterns; some are even made to hold in pictures or paintings. You can display your family picture or your favorite piece of artwork.
This is surely a fun way to hide the ugly-looking front of your window AC unit. Some folding screens have a fabric front which allows the light to come through the window but can still block the unit. You can choose the fabric design to go with the theme of your room, and the screen can be a decorative piece while concealing the eyesore of a unit.
3. Conceal it Behind Curtains
Want to add a vintage look to your room while hiding the ugly window AC?
Try café curtains!
Café curtains are short and can fit a small area perfectly. Installing curtains halfway down the window can hide your AC unit and won’t block the natural light coming in.
Moreover, the curtains won’t interfere with the airflow as you can pull them aside when in use, making them a great choice to conceal your window unit all year round.
Install curtain rods just above the window unit and then hang a curtain of your choice. You can choose colors and designs that go with your room’s design to blend it with the interior.
4. Convert Your AC Into a Piece of Art
One easy way to hide your window air conditioner inside is to convert it into a piece of art.
The front plastic section of the AC can be covered with colorful paper using double-sided tape. You can also use patterned fabric instead of paper and decorate the plastic cover. Match the colors or patterns with your overall theme to blend in the AC.
This solution makes your AC look like a part of your room décor instead of an eyesore.
Just make sure the decoratives don’t block the vents, or else your air conditioner’s airflow could be obstructed.
5. Opt for a Decorative Box
Want to show off your creative skills while hiding the unsightly window AC? Try covering your unit with a wooden box and decorating it with style!
For this method, measure your window AC and cut wooden pieces accordingly. Nail the pieces together to form a box; you can just do top, front, and sides and leave the bottom part open if it’s not noticeable. Then, spray paint the box in white and decorate it with different materials. You can even paint it in a bright color and leave it as it is. Dressing the whole box with decorative paper is another idea.
Once you are done with your design, place flower vases or small decorative items on top to finish the look!
10 Ways to Hide Window Air Conditioner Outside
From creating a mini-house to using a lattice screen, here are 10 solutions to conceal the bulky window AC unit outside:
1. Use Well-Ventilated AC Enclosure
Putting a wooden box is a simple yet effective way to hide your window air conditioner outside. You can buy the enclosure ready-made or even make one yourself. You just need some wooden planks, hammer, and nails, and in a few hours, you will have your enclosure ready!
Use L-brackets to stick the cover to the wall for a neat finish. You will need one L-bracket for each side. Next, screw them into the frame of the cover and then into the wall. When DIYing the cover, keep in mind to leave space between planks so that the air conditioner doesn’t suffocate and proper ventilation is ensured.
2. Go for a Combination of Lattice Screen & Mini-Garden
Even if you are not bothered by the ugly window unit, the combo of lattice screen and mini-garden will force you to think about covering your unit.
Buy a lattice screen according to your AC size or DIY it at home. You will have to place a wooden plank on top of the screen to accommodate the plants for this method.
Place the screen at a recommended distance from the air conditioner. Then put small planters on the top containing succulents, cacti, or flowering plants to create a beautiful mini-garden.
3. Conceal it With Shrubs
To add a touch of greenery, consider camouflaging your unit with shrubs. Since window AC is installed at a considerable height compared to other units, only tall varieties will work here.
Scarlet Peak Holly and Blue Point Juniper are some of the tall, evergreen varieties. You can plant them along the sides of your window unit, and their dark green foliage will do a perfect job of hiding your AC.
When planting shrubs, remember that they shouldn’t be planted too close as they can hinder the functioning of your AC. Also, their leaves can get burnt due to excess heat.
4. Create a Plant Wall
A plant wall is a great way to add value to your outdoor aesthetic while also concealing the big window AC unit.
The wall is put together using wooden planks, and then small boxes are added to accommodate the plants. DIYing this wall might seem like a lot of work, but it can be a fun project to take up with friends and family over the weekend. Just remember to use hardy plants so they can survive the heat generated by your window AC.
5. Use a Flower Box to Conceal Your Unit
Enclosing the exterior part of your window AC in a flower box can add aesthetics and hide this eyesore. You can use actual flowering plants or fake flowers, depending on your preference.
When using flowering plants, keep in mind that you will have to care for their watering and fertilizing needs, and not all species can tolerate heat. Choose heat-tolerant varieties such as purple coneflower, zinnia, and butterfly weed.
6. Create a Backyard Lounge
Backyard lounges are fun, and if they can also hide the ugly window unit, who wouldn’t say yes to the idea?
Install metal panels in front of your window where you have installed the AC to create the setup. Make sure to leave the required space for airflow. Then throw in some pillows inside, add some plants and hang decorative lights to give a cozy feeling.
When having a backyard party, your guests won’t even notice an ugly window AC behind the beautiful setup.
7. Opt for a Canvas Sleeve
If you use your window AC only in summers, then consider covering it up completely in the colder season. Putting on an air conditioner cover during winter can help protect your unit against snow which can melt and cause moisture buildup. It can also protect against heavy storms and hailstorms as small particles, and gravel stones can enter the system causing damage to different AC components.
When looking for a sleeve, choose one made from a breathable material, so you don’t have to deal with moisture buildup inside the cover. Moreover, look for a cover that protects against rain, wind, and debris. You will also find UV-treated sleeves, which means that the color won’t fade, and the material won’t become brittle with exposure to sunlight. If you don’t like the look of a plain cover, go for one with colorful patterns and designs.
This method won’t be convenient if you have a window heat pump that you use all year round.
8. Opt for a Shutter Screen
An old shutter screen is a great way to hide your ugly window AC unit. To make use of the old screen, consider painting it and giving it a new look. You can go for a rustic look or paint it in bold colors, depending on the rest of your outdoor look.
When going for this option, make sure that the slates are not blocking the airflow and there is sufficient width between each slate of the screen.
9. Use an Iron Case
Opting for a DIY solution to hide the AC is great; however, not all homeowners have the time or energy for these activities, especially those involving plants. Shrubs or flowering plants require daily care, which can become hectic.
If you’re looking for a one-time fix, iron cases can be a perfect fit.
It can help conceal the bulky and unappealing window unit outside effectively. In addition, it gives the look of a small balcony and has plenty of space for airflow, hence not interrupting the air conditioning performance.
The iron cover can fit around your window and is quite sturdy. Some are even coated to increase the durability, so bad weather and harsh UV rays don’t affect their appearance.
10. Create a Mini-House
A mini house is a fun way to adorn your garden. When built around your window AC unit, it can also cover it up completely. A house with a slanting roof style can also protect your unit during winters as it can help slide off the snow and prevent moisture buildup.
Keep in mind that the house should be easy to remove during maintenance.
Hiding your window air conditioner both inside and outside can help you highlight your creative skills and maintain the aesthetics of your home. So, choose the solution that fits your home style and have fun camouflaging the bulky box!