5 Easy Ideas for Covering Your Outdoor AC Unit

You’ve spent so much time, energy and money turning your backyard into a relaxing oasis, but there’s still one inescapable feature that’s throwing everything off. The big, bulky air conditioning unit. It’s one of the most common problems for homeowners that are decorating their outdoor space.

The outdoor unit houses the compressor and condenser coil – two of the three major components of an air conditioning system. Heat is transferred out of the house to the condenser coil by way of the compressor. That’s why outdoor AC units can be heard humming away during the hot summer months.

There are a variety of ways to conceal the AC unit so that it’s not sticking out. Adding a barrier will also help to muffle some of the noise that’s created when the unit turns on. Three things to keep in mind before covering your AC unit:

  • ·  Hire an air conditioning service to come out before starting the project. That way they can check all the components and make any needed repairs that may undo your work if you don’t get it done ahead of time.
  • ·  Don’t put materials right against the unit. The outdoor AC works overtime to keep the inside of the house cool. Too much excess heat is built up inside of the unit and expelled out of the perforated sides. Blocking the flow of the air can damage the unit.
  • ·  Make sure the unit is still easy to access. With any major system you want to keep access as easy as possible in case a repair or regular maintenance is needed.

Here are 5 ideas that take your air conditioning unit from an eyesore to an attractive focal point without compromising the system.

Add Latticework Fencing

One of the easiest, most cost effective and common solutions is to make a basic fence around the AC unit using latticework. It’s worth the extra work and expense to add a hinged door if the fence is going to surround the unit on all sides. A few climbing vines like morning glory can also be added for additional concealment.

Use Pre-Made Screens

If you want a ready-made solution pre-built screens are a great option. They come in a variety of styles and finishes and set up in minutes. Another benefit is that many screens are easy to move aside if the unit is being worked on.

Incorporate the Unit Into a Storage Space

If you are already considering a way to incorporate a storage space into your backyard use it as an opportunity to conceal the AC unit as well. A structure can be built around the AC unit to fit your exact needs. However, keeping it open-air and/or well ventilated is a necessity if the AC unit will be inside.

Use a Natural Barrier

Shrubs are a natural way to cover up the AC unit. However, keep in mind that regular pruning will be needed to keep the plants from growing up against the unit. Plant fully grown, slow growing shrubs like purple smoke bushes or variegated boxwood to minimize the maintenance.

Create a Wall

If the AC unit is located away from the entertainment area a wall or privacy screen can be built to partition it from the outdoor space. This is particularly effective if the unit is located near the edge of the yard. The space behind the wall can be made large enough so that gardening tools, water hoses and other equipment is stored out of sight as well.

No matter which solution you choose, covering up an unsightly AC unit is one of the quickest ways to improve the overall appearance of your backyard. As long as the unit can still be accessed and has room to breath, a stylish cover will be a value add that doesn’t cost much.


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