15 Creative Ways To Hide Your Outdoor AC Unit

Posted On: May 22, 2017

In Utah, a working air conditioner is a necessity. You need it to combat the heat and humidity of our summer months; yet, the outdoor component of your air conditioner can be an unsightly addition to your home.

If you want to improve the look of your backyard without compromising your family’s comfort, consider hiding it.

Ready to put that eyesore out of sight? Consider these creative ideas.

  1. Pallet fence: Using old pallets, create a fence around your air conditioning unit. You can paint this fence any color you like.
  2. Shrubbery wall: While you have to be careful with shrubs because they can contribute to debris in the unit, you can build a wall around your system with shrubs to help hide it.
  3. Lattice fence: Lattice is affordable and attractive and can provide a place for vines to grow away from but around your air conditioning unit.
  4. Wooden enclosure: Using 4-foot wooden fencing and gate material, build an enclosure around your unit to add visual appeal.
  5. Picket fence: Picket fencing is an attractive way to hide your AC unit.
  6. Mosaic screen: Build a mosaic, then attach it to fence posts around your AC unit.
  7. Stone screen: If you have a stone house, build a wall out of paving stones to block the sight of your AC unit.
  8. Shutter screen: Get some shutters and paint them the same color as your home’s shutters. Hinge them together to create a mobile screen around your AC unit.
  9. Bamboo screen: Purchase some bamboo screen and place it around your AC for a unique look.
  10. Leftover fencing: If you have a fence and have attractive fencing material leftover, place it around your AC unit.
  11. Vented box: Build a box or covering with vent openings in the boards and a hinged lid.
  12. Vertical garden: Build a vertical garden using planter boxes and a pallet, then place it in front of the AC unit.
  13. Artificial hedge: An artificial evergreen hedge eliminates the maintenance concerns with traditional hedges while achieving the same look.
  14. Potted plants: A wall of potted plants adds color and hides the AC unit without the risk of growth affecting the unit’s effectiveness.
  15. Vines on a trellis: Your air conditioner gives you a brilliant place to plant the climbing plants you want. Just make sure the trellis is far enough from the unit for safety.

Hiding Your Ductless Mini-Split HVAC System

Many of the same techniques can be used to hide a ductless mini-split that is at ground level, but due to their small sizes, the condenser unit is often mounted above ground level, making it more of a challenge to hide.

Here are a few tips to hide the condenser unit outside and the air handler inside:

Keeping the Condenser Out of View

The small size of a ductless HVAC can make the condenser easier to hide. Some effective methods include:

  1. A small fence or lattice wall: A small bump-out around the condenser is all you need to keep it hidden, just be sure there is plenty of airflow.
  2. Bushes or shrubs: A few small bushes or shrubs should be enough to hide most condensers, just keep them trimmed to maintain airflow.
  3. A rock wall: Ductless AC condensers aren’t too tall, so a small rock wall or stacked bricks could effectively hide it.
  4. Potted plants or vines: Strategically placed tall plants or dangling vines can obscure the view of the condensers.
  5. Fencing or screen: Whether the condenser is at ground level or mounted higher, a small fence or screened enclosure can be built to mask its location.

Hiding the Air Handler

The downside of having no air ducts with a ductless system can be a large air handler in the living area instead of small heating registers. Here are a few ways you can hide the air handler in your Ogden home:

  1. Build a vented soffit: If your ductless mini-split can be remotely operated, a small box or soffit can be created to hide the air handler, with venting at the bottom to let the conditioned air out.
  2. Add a screen or artwork: A framed screen or painting can be mounted a few inches in front of a wall-mounted air handler to hide it from direct view without affecting airflow too much.
  3. Mount it in a bookcase: A built-in bookcase constructed around the mini-split can minimize its appearance with slats or lattice masking its location.
  4. Mount it above a large cabinet: When located above an entertainment center, a large cabinet, or the refrigerator, a mini-split air handler will be harder to spot.
  5. Recess it in the ceiling: A ceiling-mounted air handler can be recessed into the ceiling to conceal its profile.

Important Considerations When Hiding Your AC Unit or Condenser

Hiding your air conditioner is a great way to improve the aesthetics of your yard, but you need to be careful. If you aren’t, you could end up damaging your unit. Make sure whatever structure you create does not block airflow to your unit.

Airflow is essential to keep the system operating well and avoid overheating. Also, make sure the fence doesn’t increase the risk of debris getting into the unit. This is particularly risky when your solution includes plants.

Have further questions about how you can safely hide your AC unit? Contact the team at Mountain Air.

We love coming up with new, creative ideas for your outdoor space. And we’re South Ogden’s air conditioning experts, so we can help with any of your AC needs too!