How to Hide an Air Conditioner Unit Outside
Tips & Tricks

How to Hide an Air Conditioner Unit Outside

The air conditioner unit is your primary source of comfort in every season. However, an outdoor air conditioner unit can be unappealing; therefore, hiding it might be your best option. In addition, hiding the unit is an excellent way of improving the aesthetics of your house and showcasing your creativity.

What Should You Consider Before Hiding Your Air Conditioner Unit Outside?

There are several things that you should consider before concealing your outdoor AC unit. Here are some of them:

Ventilation Is Crucial

Your air conditioner needs ventilation because it works hard to remove heat from your home. It’s best not to choose an air conditioner cover that will suffocate the outside unit because it will make your air conditioner work harder, reducing its lifespan.

It’s also best to ensure that there’s a lot of open space around the outdoor air conditioner unit.

Make Room for Regular Maintenance

Your outside air conditioner unit needs maintenance, just like the inside unit. When hiding the unpleasant external part, ensure the cover is removable to make room for regular maintenance and service.

Avoid Planting Shrubs Too Close to the Unit

You might be tempted to hide your outdoor unit behind long, bushy shrubs. While it’s okay to do that, ensure that you don’t plant them too close because doing so might impact the air circulation, and ultimately the proper functioning of your air conditioner.

Place the AC in a Cool, Shady Space

Using a cover to hide your AC could result in overheating. You can prevent this issue by creating an air conditioner camouflage by placing plants around the outside unit. They will help keep the outdoor cool and protect your AC from direct sunlight.

Check the Manufacturer’s Recommended Distance

If you want to be safe, it’s best to check the manufacturer’s recommended distance for closure before putting your unit under a cover. Ensure that you meet the requirements, and then plan accordingly to hide the air conditioner unit outside.

Protect the AC From Sunlight

Protecting your air conditioner from the sun increases its efficiency by 10%. Additionally, protecting it from sunlight can help reduce up to 50% of energy costs.

Creative Ways to Hide an Air Conditioner Unit Outside

When hiding your air conditioner unit outside, you should look for solutions that will:

  • First, boost your AC’s performance.
  • Second, not affect your AC’s performance.
  • Third, allow you to reuse the space around your AC.
  • Finally, keep the AC out of sight.

Here are some creative ways to hide your AC and help you achieve the above goals:

Build a Wooden Cover

Building a wooden cover around your air conditioning unit is one of the most popular techniques of hiding it outside.

The best thing about this solution is that you can make it a DIY project. You will only need to get some nails, planks, and a hammer to build this cover. It’s best to ensure that the cover is bigger than the AC unit to ensure proper ventilation, and ultimately, efficient functioning of the air conditioner unit.

It’s also best to leave some spaces between planks for proper ventilation. If you can’t make the cover, you can contact a carpenter and relay all the necessary instructions to help you have a functional cover.

Build a Stone Wall

Building a stone wall is an excellent way of hiding your AC outside. You can opt for simple stones or purchase decorative ones if you want to spruce up that space; it’s up to you. The best thing is that a stone wall will require very little maintenance and last for a very long time.

A Wooden AC House Will Help

You can decide to build a wooden house if you want to hide your AC and decorate your garden simultaneously. You can opt for a house in a traditional gable roof style or choose something completely different. A slanting roof will help slide off snow and serve as your AC’s sun shield.

In addition, you can paint the AC house in different colors and some decorative items on top. However, ensure that the covering is removable to enable you to lift it during regular AC tune-ups.

Hide the AC Behind Bushes

You can plant big green bushes, ornamental trees, or vines and hide your AC behind them. Be sure to select plant species that can withstand the heat released by the condenser because you don’t want to burn the bushes.

Additionally, ensure that you don’t plant them too closely and trim them regularly when they grow to maintain proper air circulation.

Flower Planter Boxes

Flowers are a great addition to any building, and they are equally helpful in concealing AC units. You can start with a wood enclosure and add some flowers to liven up the setting. However, ensure that you only choose flower species that can tolerate the heat emitted by the air conditioner.

Aluminum Slats

If you’re looking for a more heavy-duty solution, you can surround your AC with aluminum slats. The best thing is that the slats will not be affected by pests, weathering, or other types of risks. You can also add shelves on the side to store assorted items using the slacks to increase your storage space.

Vinyl Enclosure

Vinyl is an affordable and clean way of hiding your outdoor AC. It’s available in many different patterns and is durable. If you opt for this method, be sure to add a gate to help you access the unit during regular maintenance.

Create a Shed

If you already have a small shed, you can repurpose your outdoor air conditioner enclosure. However, if you don’t have one, you can create it from scratch or have a professional do it for you. Be sure to leave optimal space around the unit for ventilation.

Pool Pump Cover

Air conditioner units are almost as large as pool pump covers, and you can find a variety of designs to choose from. If you opt for this solution, ensure that you’re leaving enough room for air circulation and you’re using material that will stand up to your AC’s workload.

Place Decorative Ornaments

You can buy oversized decorative items such as big vases with faux plants and accessories like mushrooms and garden gnomes and use them to hide your air conditioner. This method allows you to hide your AC and also decorate your garden.

A Security Cage

Depending on where you live, a security cage can prevent animals or other nuisances from interacting with your AC. While it might not look pretty, it’s a durable solution that will also offer added security to your unit.

Use a Door Screen

A door screen is a unique way of hiding your AC unit outside. You will require a door that you can paint in any color, and you might need two doors connected if one isn’t big enough. Ensure that the door has openings for adequate airflow.

Create a Cement Wall

You can stack cement breeze blocks or screen blocks in front of your condenser. You can also place small planters or other decorative items within the gaps of the blocks if you like or are looking for a unique and creative look. Additionally, you can make the blocks look vibrant by painting a different color to each of them.

A Decorative Air Conditioner Cloth Cover

If you want to hide your outdoor AC, but don’t want to go through the hassle of planting bushes, or creating a wooden cover, then you can consider buying a decorative cloth cover. The clothes come in various designs and colors; therefore, you can choose one that suits your tastes and preferences.

However, the main disadvantage of the cloth cover is that it can only work when you’re not using the air conditioner, for example, during the cold weather or when you’re on vacation.

Outdoor Privacy Screens

You can hide your outdoor AC behind a privacy screen. It will also help you maintain the beauty of your outdoor landscape.

The best thing is that the privacy screens come in different colors and styles; therefore, you can choose one that compliments your décor and overall style.

A Bamboo Fence Will Help

Using bamboo sticks is an artistic way of blocking your condenser from ruining your garden’s view. Bamboo sticks come in various sizes; therefore, you can choose one that suits your tastes and preferences.

Bamboo is pretty heavy; therefore, you might have to call a professional to help because DIYing a bamboo fence to hide the AC might be challenging for you. The best part about using bamboo is that while it looks great on its own, you can still stain it to look like other woods in your garden.

Purchase Aluminum Screens

If you’re not a DIY person, you can purchase an aluminum screen that’s sleek and big enough to hide the AC unit outside. An aluminum screen is completely covered on one side but has spaces on other sides for ventilation so that you can use it without any worries.

Make a Picket Fence Cover

If you’ve seen picket fences around gardens, then you know that they are a true classic and have an unbeatable charm. While picket fences tend to be more prevalent in old-fashioned houses, they never go out of style.

The fences also look great in modern homes and conceal your outdoor AC perfectly. You can put a picket fence around your outdoor AC until you hide it entirely.

You can also opt for small birdhouses to create an attractive fence for hiding your outdoor AC.

Make a Big Storage Unit

You can create a storage area that’s large enough to hide the AC unit and store your items. However, ensure that you don’t put too much stuff to affect the ventilation required for your AC unit to function correctly.

Wooden Wall With Small Plants

You can use wooden planks to make a wall to help you hide your outdoor AC unit. First, however, don’t forget to create a support for the wall; you can use the remaining planks to generate support and then place it in front of the unit.

If you want to install small planters, you can buy ring-shaped holders and insert them in the planks. The final step is to place your planters in the ring holder, and you’ll have a beautiful piece that also hides your outdoor AC.

What to Avoid When Hiding an Air Conditioner Unit Outside

You might want to hide your outdoor air conditioner because it can be pretty unappealing. However, the following mistakes can cost you and make your unit fail to function adequately.


If you want to hide your outdoor AC, do not hide it and make it inaccessible. You want to ensure that an HVAC professional can get to your unit and do repairs and regular maintenance. Therefore, choose a technique that will allow you and the professional to access the unit without a hassle.

Putting the AC in a Sealed Box

It’s best to ensure plenty of airflow around the AC. Therefore, putting it in a sealed box means there won’t be enough airflow around the AC, making it harder for the unit to do its job.

The primary purpose of an AC is to pull hot air out from the interior of your house; inadequate ventilation might make this take unbearable.

hiding outdoor air conditioning unit

How to Hide an Air Conditioner Unit on a Balcony

The balcony is often a wide, open-space area in your house that might seem impossible to hide things around it. However, you can follow these tips to hide your AC on a balcony:

Use a Shutter Screen

You can use a shutter screen to hide your AC on the balcony. Additionally, you can also repurpose the shutter screen as an outdoor fence.

Your air conditioner unit and shutter screen should have the same colors. If not, you can paint the shutter screen the same colors as your AC to help you use it as the unit’s hideout.

Use Several Birdhouse Picket Fences

You can create birdhouse picket fences using plywood to hide your AC on the balcony. If you want to hide your AC in several birdhouse picket fences, you can place the fences at the bottom parts of your AC and cover it using the flower garlands usually attached to the picket fences.

Use Wild Plants to Build Fences Around Your Balcony

You can build fences around your balcony to preserve your privacy and hide your air conditioner unit. You can use wild plants to beautify your fences further, and you don’t have to plant those with wide-sized leaves. You can also opt for tiny-sized but colorful flowers, such as larkspur or lavender. Ensure that the branches and leaves are hanging in garland shapes.

Build Wooden Cabinets With Plants On Top

Cabinets are an excellent and economical way of hiding your air conditioner unit. Rectangular and square-shaped cabinets are the most popular ones for hiding an AC on the balcony. You can also place potted plants and flowers on top of the cabinet, and when people look at it, they won’t think that it contains an air conditioner unit inside.

How to Hide a Window Air Conditioner

Window air conditioners can be an eyesore, clashing with your home décor. When you install a window air conditioner, it often hangs out, disrupting your beautiful patio or garden view. However, you can use these tips to hide your window air conditioner:

How to Hide Window Air Conditioner Unit Inside

You can blend your window air conditioning unit with your room décor or hide it completely. Here’s how to do it:

Hide It Behind Curtains

You can try café curtains to add a vintage look to your room and hide the unpleasant window AC. Café curtains are perfect because they are short and fit a small area perfectly. Installing the curtains halfway down the window can hide your AC unit and not block the natural lighting coming into the room.

Additionally, the curtains will not interfere with airflow as you pull them aside when in use; therefore, they’re an excellent choice to conceal your window unit all year round.

You can install curtain rods just above the window unit and hang your chosen curtain. Then, again, you can select the designs and colors suitable for you and your interior.

Use a Folding Screen

You can hide your window AC using a folding screen. They come in a wide range of colors and patterns, and some can even hold pictures or paintings. Some folding screens have a fabric front that allows light to come through the window but still blocks the air conditioner unit.

You can choose a fabric design that matches the theme of your room, and the screen can be a decorative piece that conceals the unappealing AC unit.

Build a Cabinet Around Your AC

If your window air conditioner unit is not used, you can use creative solutions to hide it. One of the solutions includes creating a cute little cabinet from scratch and decorating it with designs that suit your style and preferences.

This solution is excellent when the AC is not in use. However, ensure that you can remove the cabinet easily during AC servicing and repair or in the summer months.

It’s best to install proper doors in the cabinet so that you don’t have to remove the entire cabinet when using the AC. Instead, you can open the cabinet doors and let the AC work normally.

How to Hide a Window Air Conditioner Outside

You can use these tips to hide your window air conditioner outside:

Create a Plant Wall

A plant wall is an excellent way of beautifying your outdoor space while also concealing the window air conditioner unit.

You can put the wall together using wooden planks and add small boxes to accommodate the plants. It’s best to use hardy plants if you opt for this option so that they can survive the heat generated by your window AC.

Use a Well-Ventilated AC Enclosure

A wooden box is an effective and straightforward method of hiding your window AC outside. You can buy one that’s ready to use or even make one yourself. All you have to do is get some wooden planks, nails, and a hammer, and you’ll have your enclosure ready in a few hours.

You can use L-brackets to stick the cover to the wall to help you get a neat finish. You will need one L-bracket for each side, screw them into the cover’s frame and then into the wall. Be sure to leave space between planks to ensure proper ventilation and that the AC doesn’t suffocate.

Create a Backyard Lounge

Backyard lounges are trendy, fun and hide the unpleasant window air conditioner unit. You can install metal panels in front of your window where you’ve installed the AC to create the setup. Ensure to leave the necessary space for airflow.

Next, throw in some pillows inside; add some plants, and you can also hang some decorative lights to give the space a cozy feeling. If you’re having a backyard party, your guests will probably not even notice the unflattering window AC behind the beautiful setup.

Use a Shutter Screen

An old shutter screen is an excellent way of hiding your unappealing window AC unit. Consider painting the screen to give it a new look. You can also paint it in bold colors or go for a rustic look, depending on the rest of your outdoor look.

When you choose this option, ensure that the slates are not blocking the airflow and that there’s sufficient width between each screen slate.

A Combination of Mini-Garden and Lattice Screen

A combination of a lattice screen and a mini-garden will spruce up your space and cover your AC unit. You can buy a lattice screen based on the size of your AC or have a DIY project at home. If you opt for this method, you will have to place a wooden plank on top of the screen to accommodate the plants.

Next, place the screen at a recommended distance from the AC unit, and then put small planters on the top containing cacti, succulents, or flowering plants to create a lovely mini-garden.

Hide It With Shrubs

If you want to add a touch of greenery, consider hiding your AC unit with shrubs. Window air conditioners are usually installed at considerably higher heights compared to other units; therefore, only tall varieties might work in this case.

You can also plant the shrubs along the sides of your window unit, and their dark green foliage will do a perfect job of hiding your AC.

It’s best to remember that you shouldn’t plant shrubs too close to the AC as they can hinder its functioning. Additionally, excess heat from the AC can burn their leaves.

Try a Canvas Sleeve

If you only use your window AC during summer, you could consider covering it up entirely during the colder season. During winter, you can use an air conditioner cover to help protect your AC against snow, which could melt and result in moisture buildup.

A canvas sleeve can also protect your air conditioner against hailstorms and heavy storms because gravel stones and small particles can enter the system causing damage to various air conditioner components.

If you opt for a canvas sleeve, select one made from a breathable material to avoid moisture buildup inside the cover. Additionally, find one that will protect your unit against wind, rain, and debris. It’s also best to find UV-treated sleeves because the color won’t fade, and the material won’t become brittle with exposure to sunlight.

If you don’t like a plain cover, you can find one with colorful designs and patterns to suit your personality.

Use an Iron Case

You can opt for a one-time fix if you’re not good at DIY projects or don’t have the energy for them. An iron case is a perfect fit in such cases because it can help conceal the unappealing window AC effectively.

It also looks like a small balcony and gives plenty of room for airflow; therefore, not affecting the AC’s performance.

The iron cover is quite sturdy and can fit around your window quite well. You can even coat yours to increase durability because harsh UV rays and bad weather will not affect its appearance.

Use a Flower Box to Hide Your Window Air Conditioner

You can enclose the exterior part of your window AC in a flower box to hide it and add aesthetics. You can opt for actual or fake flowers, depending on your preference.

If you opt for this method, it’s best to understand that you will have to care for the flowers’ watering and fertilizing needs. Additionally, not all flower species can tolerate heat; therefore, opt for heat-tolerant varieties such as butterfly weed, zinnia, and coneflower.

Check this too: How to Make an air Compressor Quiet

Have a Mini-House

Having a mini-house is a fun way to beautify your garden; however, you can also build it around your window AC unit to cover it up completely. In addition, you can opt for one with a slanting roof style to protect your AC during winters because it can help slide off the snow and prevent moisture buildup.

When constructing a mini-house, remember that it should be easy to remove during regular maintenance of your AC.

You can choose any methods discussed above to hide your air conditioner unit based on your budget and décor. However, you should always ensure that the air conditioner unit has enough ventilation regardless of your choice.