It’s a hard worker with a great personality, but let’s face it, your air conditioner isn’t a looker. When you’re trying to landscape or sell your home, this fairly homely appliance sometimes sticks out like a sore thumb, but there are lots of things you can do to make your outside air conditioner unit a little less obvious. Give one of these five ideas a shot if you’re looking to dress your unit up:
Build a Fence. It’s pretty common to see air conditioners hidden behind short picket fence or solid cedar fencing sections. These fences are affordable, easy to erect and will stay put for the long haul. Although you can see through picket fence, by painting it a contrasting color your air conditioner will visually melt to all but the most scrutinous eye. Make sure to provide at least a two foot space between the unit and a solid partition to allow your air conditioner to work properly.
Erect a Lattice. Lattice boxes and panels are another popular choice for making an air conditioner disappear. The material is so lightweight that you can easily build a box that houses the entire unit and simply lift it off whenever your air conditioner needs to be serviced. A word of caution with plants, though: don’t try to grow them up a lattice planted too close to your air conditioner. It’s bad for the unit and bad for the plants — not enough air flow can destroy your air conditioner and the excess heat that your unit puts off may kill your plants.
Try an Artificial Hedge. Unlike a real hedge that needs care and will eventually grow into your air conditioner if it doesn’t die from the heat first, artificial hedges are designed to be the perfect companion to your unit. Many models allow a decent amount of airflow and look like the real deal, too. If you leave your hedge temporarily installed, you can place it reasonably close to your air conditioner, saving space in your yard.
Screen it. Reed and bamboo screens lend a natural look to even the most artificial items in your yard, like your air conditioner. They allow a lot of air movement and are tolerant of heat, making them an excellent choice for hiding your unit. These screens usually install simply with stakes, making them an option for renters who don’t want to invest much money or time to hide their air conditioners from the world.
Paint Your Unit. Sometimes, all you need is a little make up to dress your ugly air conditioner up. Painting the metal parts of your unit the same color of your home or other nearby building will make it a less obvious feature in your yard, and may help it blend into the background better. Not just any paint will do, make sure you choose a heat-tolerant mixture so that it won’t peel with exposure to the heat your air conditioner expels.
There are lots of interesting and fun ways to disguise your air conditioner or make it seem more like part of the landscape, but think ahead before hatching your big air conditioner housing project. It might seem like a neat trick to build a storage compartment or planter to cover your unit, but remember that you’ll need to have good access to your unit at least twice a year for routine maintenance. Ask yourself, “Will I be able to give your air conditioning professional good access to my unit after I’ve installed my screen, planting or structure?” If the answer is no, do yourself a favor and go with something more mobile.
(lots of ideas about this on Pinterest, some better than others)
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