As summer heats up, people want to stay cool. In fact, you probably can’t imagine surviving the summer without the comforts of air conditioning in your home. At the same time, people tend to spend much more time enjoying their outdoor living spaces in the summer, too—patios, yards, decks, outdoor dining areas, and more. But let’s face it: most outdoor AC units are just plain ugly. Wouldn’t it be nice to find a way to conceal it while allowing it to safely cool your home? Good news, there are some fairly simple ways to do just that.
Before we get into these easy tips, please remember these important cautions. You may think your air conditioning unit is an eyesore, but it’s a pretty important one, so make sure you keep it accessible. At some point you or a service technician will have a very urgent need to access the unit. If you’ve blocked all access to the unit, you could have a very serious problem on your hands. Second, your outdoor AC unit needs plenty of ventilation. It won’t do its job well if it can’t breathe, and this could even lead to an AC repair.
4 Clever Ways to Conceal Your AC Unit
Tip #1: Hide It with Plants
If you have a green thumb or know someone who does, consider building out a garden or green space around your outdoor air conditioner unit. Some well placed bushes, small leafy trees or evergreens, or some species of tall wild grasses could all do a good job of hiding (or at least distracting from) your unsightly AC unit. Depending on how your property is situated, especially if people will often walk past the unit, consider creating an attractive green space on the opposite side of the path. Lead your guests’ eyes away from the air conditioning unit and toward something more attractive.
Tip #2: Build a Fence around It
For the handymen and women out there, building a fence or structure around your outdoor air conditioning unit could be an enjoyable weekend project. This could take dozens of forms: wooden fences range from plain, simple options such as straightforward cedar planks or a lattice screen all the way up to luxurious stained woods intricately crafted together. Or take another popular approach and repurpose some old pallets or shutters into an attractive fence-like structure. And why stop with just wood? People have built structures out of cinder blocks or stone pavers of all sorts. Maybe you have some old bricks lying around. A patchwork brick wall could be a great way to conceal your air conditioning unit.
Tip #3: Hide It with a Decorative Cover
OK, so plants and fences and gardening and building are all fine and good, but maybe you’re not up for a weekend project. For those who don't have a green thumb and don't want to build a DIY project, good news, there’s hope! You could also hide your unsightly air conditioning unit using a premade or repurposed decorative cover. Prefabricated privacy screens (you know, the ones you might see by the pool) could easily be repurposed for air conditioner concealment. These are easy to find at most hardware store chains. In fact, quite a number of items for sale at the hardware store might easily be used for this purpose. You’ll find pre made sections of decorative fencing— yes, this is similar to Tip #1, but without having to build it yourself. Any number of decorative garden items in the right combination could do a great cover up job. What about a metal trellis or two, a couple potted bushes, and maybe even a bird feeder? Use your creativity and imagination to find a solution that works well for you.
Tip #4: Don’t Forget the Big Picture
Remember to consider the overall look of your home and yard. Whatever solution you choose for concealing your AC unit needs to add to the overall look and flow, not detract from it. Choose a solution that has a similar feel to or pairs well with your home’s existing style. Now what are you waiting for? Go make your AC beautiful!
Ashley Morse is with The Cooling Company which has provided the absolute best comfort in heating and air conditioning for Southern Nevada homes since 2011.