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  • Writer's pictureBrian Harm

5 creative ways to hide your A/C unit

Outdoor air conditioning units can be an eyesore, especially in high-traffic areas. Fortunately, there are many creative and cost effective methods for hiding your AC unit, including using landscaping features and repurposed items from around the house.

Wood Fencing Wood fencing is the option most commonly used to conceal air conditioning units. There are many potential options for fencing design, including shadowboxing, but there are several important considerations:

• Leave space below the fence to help facilitate water drainage

• Try to leave sufficient distance between the AC unit and fence to help the AC vent

• Make sure to include an access point in the fence design in case the unit needs to be serviced

Creative Landscaping Options Tall greenery like bushes and grasses can be used to hide air conditioning unit from sight. These options also add to vibrancy of your yard. When identifying plant options remember to pay careful attention to plant growth height and width. The plants you select should conceal without overcrowding the AC unit.

Recommended plant varieties include evergreen bushes or shrubs, which will remain green for the duration of the year and provide continuous coverage in cold weather months. If you decide to go this route, make sure to plant bushes and shrubs at a distance of at least a foot from the unit and trim errant branches that may interfere with the operation of the AC unit.

Using Trellis or Lattice Trellis or lattice is also commonly used to conceal AC units. Lattice provides natural ventilation, while also adding a nice architectural feature to your yard. Wood lattice can be cut to fit around AC units and can also be used to support vines and other flowering plants. Morning glories can be planted at the base of the trellis on the side opposite the AC unit. This approach may help to deaden sounds emanating from the AC unit.

Repurposing Household Shutters Household shutters are another unique and viable option to hide air conditioning unit because vent designs allow air to flow freely to and from the AC unit. Shutters, which offer more complete coverage than trellis, help to further deaden sound from AC units and are a good option for ac units located on or near patio or sitting areas.

Shutters and other repurposed materials should be weatherproofed to preserve the integrity of the wood. Paints and stains present viable options, but it is also possible to preserve the patina of older shutters by clear coating.

Creating Structural Designs with Old Window Frames Old window frames can provide another sturdy form of potential shelter to partially shield AC units. Whatever structure you build, make sure to anchor everything securely to the ground to improve wind resistance and avoid potential damage to the AC unit.

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