An outdoor AC unit is not the most aesthetic object due to its bulky nature. It’s an eyesore, especially during long hot summers, and ruins the ambiance if you have guests over for a party.
Not to worry, there are several ways to conceal the AC unit outside. The first thing is to consider how the AC unit needs space to breathe.
All units, especially through-the-wall air conditioners and even the quietest window air conditioners, generate significant heat, which needs to be vented, and for that reason, the metal casings are perforated. Take the manufacturer’s recommended distances to any enclosure when designing any enclosure.
Fencing the Air Conditioner in
One common approach to hiding air conditioners is fencing them from view. You can take ideas from elements already in place in the garden to get an integrated look.
Consider if the fence also adds to the outdoor space. Most hide the air conditioner by extending the wall in a curve or 90-degree angle. Similarly, make a spot for a table and two chairs or a bench.
The fence should draw the eyes from the AC unit and make the enclosure part of the yard. If you decide to go the route of a classic wood fence, begin with solid post holes.
A wood fence that stands up to outdoor conditions is preferable though it needs to be regularly maintained. It is also prudent to leave one opening for servicing the air conditioner.
Structural Vegetation Screens
A customized cover or patio furniture could be expensive, but a plant screen is an economical option. The trellis will cover the unit and allow access from the back while adding a vertical attribute.
You can add to it by planting climbing plants such as beans and adding to the functionality. Note the trellis has to be far from the air conditioning units, so the vine does not grow into it.
Monitor the vine’s growth carefully and keep it on the outside as well. Some plants sprout tendrils that find their way inside the unit, leading to costs in the long term.
Install Aluminum Slats
These are great as a heavy-duty permanent solution. Many modern houses come with metal fences and gates so aluminum additions can blend well with the already present décor. They do not weather and are invulnerable to insects.
Flower Boxes on AC unit
If you do not prefer vines because of the constant maintenance but appreciate the aesthetics of vegetation, hanging flower boxes may be the way you want to go. The enclosure would be constructed from wood pallets with the addition of your favorite flower boxes.
Use your Storage Area
If the AC unit is located in the side yard, you might consider converting the entire area for storage space. That would be a project space separate from the rest of the yard. A small storage shed with gardening tools and other hobby-related equipment would also be an alternative. That way, the air conditioner is no longer a part of the obvious landscape.
Decorated Painted Pallet Screens
What you need is an old shipping pallet and paint. If you are not talented in the decorative part, you could go with the next best bright color that matches your décor for the exterior.
Another creative approach would be to paint the pallet using your hand or footprints for an abstract method.
Bring in Bamboo Walls
Besides being a structural element for structuring, a bamboo screen may also serve other functions such as paneling and privacy. Aside from blending with most backyard vegetation, it adds a serene ambiance and can hide an outdoor AC unit very well.
Try Willow Tri-Panel
This is a quick and easily assembled alternative. Tri-panels are relatively economical to purchase, and the folding covers have a natural covering for the AC unit. Though they allow easy access to the HVAC unit, they are not durable, especially if you live in a windy place.
Use Pool Pump Covers
An AC unit is around the same size as a pool pump cover, and they come available in various designs. However, you would have to customize it by leaving the right amount of air flow.
The pump cover should also aesthetically blend in the yard or be situated near a pool, so it would make sense.
Grow Grass Around the Air Conditioning Unit
It may seem like an odd option, but it is not the one you typically walk on. Rather, tall ornamental grass is the preferred alternative and an excellent way to screen the AC unit while outside.
The grass also provides aesthetic advantages, and it is conveniently easy to move out of the way when you need to access the outdoor AC unit for maintenance.
Install Security Cages
These are not the most aesthetic options considering they stick out from most outdoor décor. Depending on where you live, the security cage would be great to deter animals and other things that would interfere with the outdoor air conditioning unit.
This option for an AC unit is great if the goal is a durable and secure solution, especially if burglary has been a recurring issue.
Lawn Ornaments for the Yard
It is one of the more creative alternatives. Lawn ornaments are a unique way of hiding the air conditioner unit while also bringing character to the yard . You can use wind spinners, pink flamingoes, or other items that add to the décor.
Bring in an Ocotillo Fence
Ocotillo fences are unique design-themed cacti that are prevalent in the Southwest where the rusty appearance adds to the landscape style and space. They would be great for hiding the AC unit if you access these plants.
Cement blocks are an excellent planter idea, and they are economical. Stack the breeze or screen blocks in front of the condenser, and you have a wall that allows air circulation to the AC unit.
You may also place decorative items within the gaps if you want for beautification. Others prefer to paint each block a different color to make the setting vibrant.