Got ugly? Air conditioning compressors and condenser units can be unsightly and inconveniently placed -- and they can't be moved. This has prompted homeowners to get very creative in their efforts to hide or disguise these "eyesores."
IMPORTANT: It is essential that air conditioning condensers receive sufficient air flow above and around them. Be sure to check with your air conditioner's manufacturer for specific recommendations; most specify a clearance of 2-3 feet (0.6-0.9 meters) on the sides and 4-6 feet (1.2-1.8 meters) above.
Failure to supply enough airflow will result in an inefficient air conditioner, creating significantly higher expenses for running, maintaining and repairing the unit. In extreme cases, it is possible that insufficient airflow around a compressor or condenser can create a fire hazard right against your home's exterior wall.
The examples below may or may not follow these guidelines; if you choose to do one of these projects, ensure that you modify the specifications to comply with your maintenance accessibility needs and your manufacturer's airflow recommendations.
1. DIY AC unit cover
Design Dining Diapers created a wooden design to hide their air conditioner: a miniature fence around the unit, complete with concreted support posts.
With decorative bark keeping the weeds at bay, the result is a neatly done "fence" accentuated with plants that can be switched out seasonally.
2. "Accessorize a giant eyesore"
Lattice panels provide the screening to hide The Feminist Housewife's air compressor. She used white landscaping rocks to help anchor the panels and discourage plant growth, with a small frame to keep the rocks from scattering.
3. "Slatty goodness"
This creative design from HousePet utilizes steel rod hinges that allow the barrier to be folded up for winter storage. From "monster" to "slatty goodness," this design was a hit!
4. Blue pallet AC cover
Pallets once again provide wonderful solutions to a DIY problem -- this homeowner painted pallets a bright color and used them to create mounted planters for a floral touch.
5. Vertical garden visual barrier
A vertical garden is a lovely way to disguise an ugly air conditioning unit. The method is best used as a visual barrier -- installed several feet away from the unit (better for the unit and the plants), it can be as tall as you like to hide what's behind it.
With proper attention to the repair and maintenance accessibility needs of your unit and its manufacturer's recommendations regarding the proximity of plants and barriers, it's possible to hide an outdoor eyesore with a landscaping thing of beauty.
Have you built visual barriers to hide something ugly in your yard? Tell us about it in the comments below!