Your air conditioning unit is essential for the summer months; especially for those in some parts of the country where air conditioning is a necessity, not a luxury. Regardless, nothing beats walking into a nice air-conditioned home on a hot day. Even the best A/C units can be an eyesore in comparison to the rest of your landscape, so what can you do about this? In this article, we will share 8 clever ways to hide your outdoor unit.
Things to Remember Before Enclosing Your Outdoor Unit
Before you begin, make sure the method of concealing your outdoor unit adheres to the recommended safety measures of your air conditioner to allow proper airflow. Most units will provide a required distance necessary for operation. Also be sure to regularly check the enclosure to avoid unexpected blockages. Remember that you will need to service your AC unit at least once a year, so it’s important to provide easy access for maintenance.
1. Add Some Bushes
If you prefer to keep a natural look, planting bushes around your A/C unit is a perfect solution. Keep in mind that the area around the unit needs to stay clear in order for a proper airflow, so as a rule of thumb it is best to place bushes 3-5 feet away from the unit. As the bushes grow taller and wider, you will need to trim the bushes to avoid overgrowth and encourage airflow.
2. Build a Fence
Fences are another great way to conceal your outdoor unit. There are so many variations of fencing you can choose from, but just make sure whatever you choose allows for air to flow freely around the unit. You’ll also want to include a gate so there is easy access whenever maintenance is needed. Similar to the bushes, place your fencing at least 3-5 feet away from your A/C unit.
3. Build a Ventilated Structure
If you’re in the mood for a DIY, try building a ventilated structure to go around your A/C unit. If you are starting from scratch, be sure to use wood that can stand up to outdoor conditions where you live such as cedar, redwood, or wooden pallets. If you are looking for a more heavy-duty solution, aluminum slats might be a better choice for you. Aluminum slats are more of a long-term solution that won’t be vulnerable to weathering, insects and animals, and any other nuisances.
4. Place a Trellis
Placing a trellis around your outdoor A/C unit and introducing vines or climbing hydrangeas is a beautiful addition to any backyard. If you are someone that wants to maintain the greenery of their landscape, this solution is for you. The great part about vines and climbing hydrangeas is that they will continue to grow as far as you allow it to with your lattice fencing. Iron trellis’ are more expensive, while wood is a more affordable option and just as stunning. Patience is needed for this solution however, as it will take a few months for the vines and climbing hydrangeas to grow in. If you live in colder climates or want greenery all year-round, consider evergreen varieties.
5. Privacy Screens and Repurposed Shutters
If you’re feeling creative, you can use privacy screens or re-purpose old window shutters to create an artsy enclosure. Vines and plants can also be incorporated as well. Keep your eye out for older structures where you can re-purpose old shutters with a fresh set of paint. Privacy screens can be bought or made yourself. Unless properly secure, their durability might not be as strong as other options.
6. Build a Mini Shed
If you’re willing to spend some money and have the outdoor space for it, consider looking into buying a mini shed for your A/C unit. There are plenty of outdoor sheds that can be repurposed as a A/C unit enclosure. They’re built to be tough and durable, so you know your unit will be protected. Just be sure to choose one with a material that can handle the heat created by your unit, and provide enough openings for proper airflow. If you have enough room in your shed to store a few tools, even better!
7. Security Cage
If you’re mostly concerned about protection and durability, a security cage might be the right choice for you. It may not look particularly pretty, but it will definitely keep out unwanted animals and other nuisances from tampering with your outdoor unit. Keep in mind that this is a more expensive option. But for some, this durable solution with added security is worth it.
8. Flower Planter Boxes
Flower boxes are an excellent way to camouflage your outdoor A/C unit while also adding a pop of color. You can use traditional flower boxes with flowers of your liking, or you can also incorporate a vertical garden to really make sure your A/C is hidden from sight. Vertical gardens are not only great for the added height they provide, they also help conserve yard space if you do not have that much room to work with.
Hiding your A/C unit will help improve your landscape and can give you a chance to showcase your creativity. Choose to right solution for your home and budget, but always remember to maintain proper airflow.