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How to Avoid an Eyesore When Installing an AC or Heating System

An HVAC system is essential for keeping your home cool and cosy. But truth be told, it’s not much of a looker.

If your air conditioner is ruining your elegant home decor or cluttering your patio, look no further. In this guide, we’ve compiled eight simple tips to avoid an eyesore when installing an AC or heating system.

Let’s begin!

Things To Keep In Mind Before Hiding Your AC

hvac decorating ideas

Before we jump right into covering your AC or heating unit up, there are some important things you should keep in mind.

  1. Leave enough room for maintenance. Your outside heating unit or AC will need regular maintenance, so make sure the cover is removable for when maintenance day arrives.

  2. Create a cool, shady place. Covering your AC or heating unit can cause it to overheat, which can damage the electronics. Ensure that the unit is in a cool place by placing plants and protecting the unit from direct sunlight.

  3. Check the manufacturer’s recommended distance for closure before covering up your unit. Make sure you meet the requirements before you go about hiding the unit.

  4. If you’re planting shrubs to conceal the unit, don’t plant them too close. This can impact the air circulation and the overall performance of your AC or heater.

  5. Make sure there is proper ventilation. The cover you choose should not suffocate the outside unit completely, as this can reduce your device's lifespan.

If you’re unsure about the right place to install the outside unit, reach out to experts instead of taking a risk yourself. Alliance offers professional air conditioning installation all over NSW to help when you’re in a fix.

How To Hide Your AC or Heating Unit

Now that you understand the basics of installing an AC or heating unit, give one of these eight ideas a shot if you’re looking to dress them up.

Build A Wooden Cover

One of the easiest ways to hide an outdoor AC unit is to build a wooden covering around it. This simple DIY project shouldn’t take you long, but you can always call a professional carpenter if help is needed.

Get some decent-sized wooden planks and hammer them into place using nails to create a simple cover for your unit. You can use any wood of your choice and even paint it a fun colour for a unique touch. Ensure the cover is bigger than the unit, and leave spaces in between the planks for proper ventilation.

You can even install a door with a latch at the front of the wooden covering. It requires only a tad bit more effort to install the door, but it makes it easy to access the unit for maintenance in the future.

Plant Some Bushes

Plants can act as the perfect air conditioner camouflage. From roses, clematis, and vines to bushes or ornamental trees, some big old greens can cover up your unit while also beautifying your space.

However, make sure you don’t plant the bushes too close to the unit, or they will burn from the heat the condenser releases. Leave enough space to provide ventilation to your unit, and keep trimming the plants to ensure they don’t end up growing into your unit.

Create A Fence

A simple fence around your AC unit will prevent it from being an eyesore and also blend in wonderfully with your outdoor decor. Fences are affordable, easy to install, and will stay put for the long haul.

It’s a good idea to choose a short picket fence or solid cedar fencing sections — just make sure to leave at least two feet of space between the unit and the partition to ensure your conditioner works properly.

Use Lattice Panels

When trying to hide an unappealing HVAC outdoor unit, lattice panels are a quick fix. The material is so lightweight that you can easily build a box to cover the entire unit, and simply lift it off when you need access.

Try An Artificial Hedge

If you’re not a fan of caring for plants, an artificial hedge can be the perfect covering for your unit. Many artificial hedges can look like the real deal and also allow a decent airflow to the conditioner.

Since they won’t be at risk of dying from the heat, you can also plant these closer to the unit and save some space in your backyard.

Install A Screen

A simple bamboo or reed screen can serve as the most natural-looking covering for your unit. They are tolerant to heat and allow plenty of air movement, making them a better option than bushes or other plants.

While bamboo looks great on its own, you can also stain it a different colour to match the wooden tones in your landscape. These screens are also easy to install and remove, and can be an excellent option for renters who don’t want to invest too much time and money into covering their heating units.

Build A Stone Wall

Another great way to cover your HVAC system is building a simple stone wall around it. You can either purchase decorative stones or use everyday bricks lying around in your backyard. Either way, a stone wall gets the job done, requires little maintenance, and will last a long time.

hiding an hvac

Paint Your Unit

If you can’t find a suitable covering for your unit, a simple coat of paint can work wonders.

Try painting the metal parts of your unit the same colour as your home or other surrounding features to help it blend into the background. For a more whimsical finish, you can choose a bright colour as long as it flows well with your outdoor decor.

Just make sure to use a heat-tolerant paint, so that it doesn’t peel when your conditioner heats up.

Final Words

Depending on your preferences and the type of outdoor space you have, these eight ideas can be a great way to hide your AC unit and improve the aesthetics of your home.


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