5 Creative Ways To Cover Your Central Air Unit

If you like entertaining outdoors, the last thing you want is an unsightly central air conditioning condenser sitting in the middle of your space, but you can’t exactly move it out of the way. Your only option is disguise it. These 5 DIY projects will keep your condenser out of sight and help you put your home’s best face forward for your guests.

5 Creative Ways To Cover Your Central Air Unit

Fence It In

The easiest way to disguise your central air conditioning condenser is by building a simple fence around three sides of the perimeter. Since most condensers are placed against the home, there’s no reason to enclose the back of the unit. This also helps increase airflow around the condenser, which can get very hot if not ventilated properly.

For a quick disguise, you can build a pallet-style picket fence using a few basic picket pieces from the hardware store, wood glue, nails, and paint. For each side, just set the pickets next to each other and connect the group with two unadorned support boards. Hinges tie the whole thing together and make it easy to access the unit; even when it’s covered, you need to clean your condenser regularly.

Add Some Storage

If you’re up for a more complex DIY project or your yard is short on storage, another way to disguise your condenser unit is by building a joint cover and tool shed. This classy storage tower rises above the condenser and contains a hidden compartment to store gardening tools and other supplies. Just be careful that you leave room for ventilation and that your tools don’t drop debris into your central air conditioning unit, as this can damage the fan and other internal elements.

Lattice Works

Lattice-style fencing is a popular backyard accent used for trellises, around pools, and around decks and patios, so it would hardly look out of place in a small side garden surrounding your condenser. Construct a simple fence from lattice and trim – you can just glue the fence edging to the lattice with wood glue or even buy premade lattice fence panels – and connect them with zip ties to keep the segments in place. Lattice is perfect for this application because the spaces in the woodwork help keep your central air conditioning condenser cool without disrupting the design.

All Hedged In

Some people don’t like fencing in their central air conditioning unit because it can seem rather obvious; what else could be inside that little enclosure? A subtler option is to plant hedges, rose bushes, or other tall, dense plants in front of your condenser. You can plant these along a much greater length of yard without arousing suspicion and they’re easy to trim back to clear the air vents, perform drain tube maintenance, or clean the coils. Furthermore, since the plants are only parallel to one side of the unit, you can be sure it won’t get too hot.

Mount A Mosaic

Perhaps the most beautiful option for disguising your condenser is to create a mosaic on a standard wood or plastic fence. Just take a low prefab fence and apply grout across the surface. Then add glass fragments or bits of tile to create a design in the grout, let dry, and add sealant. This versatile decorating strategy can also be used to upgrade old tables or applied to planters for a coordinated look. One word of caution about this design; because these panels are solid, it’s especially important to leave space inside the fence and to leave the fourth side open. The mosaic panels may trap heat if they’re to close to the unit, causing it to malfunction.

No one likes the look of their central air conditioning condenser, but it’s a necessary evil if you want to keep your home cool and comfortable. By disguising the unit with fencing or plants, though, not only do you give your backyard an upgrade, but you also protect the condenser from damage and theft. It’s a win-win solution to an unsightly problem.


Tags: cover, fence, storage

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