Air conditioning units are the summertime hero of modern appliances, deftly holding the season’s oppressive heat and humidity at bay. Despite keeping our indoor living spaces cool and comfortable, AC units are not as friendly to the great outdoors. Between their ugly bulk and incessant droning, a naked AC unit is a noisy eyesore that diminishes a home’s curbside appeal and disrupts its serene outdoor oasis. If your neighbors are complaining about the view – or if the noise from your air conditioner interferes with your afternoon hammock snooze – don’t take it lying down. Build an air conditioner privacy fence!
How to Hide an Air Conditioner: Building an Air Conditioner Privacy Fence
There are several reasons why putting a fence around an AC unit is a good idea. Not only does it enhance your home’s exterior appearance, but an air conditioner enclosure may also reduce noise by muffling some of the sound emitted during operation. It protects the unit from pets and children and keeps grass clippings and dirt from getting sucked into the unit as you mow the lawn. And, depending on where you live, knowing how to hide an air conditioner might even help you avoid citations for violating local ordinances or homeowners’ association regulations.
Building an air conditioner privacy fence can be simple. A basic stand-alone design that can be easily moved out of the way for maintenance or servicing, like the one below, will do the job. Generally, since most units are installed next to the house, you’ll only need three panels to hide it from view.
How to Build a Fence Around an AC Unit
› 2-3 lattice sheets, 4-ft. x 8-ft. each. Choose weather-resistant vinyl, pressure-treated wood, or cedar.
› Lattice molding cap. You will need enough to build three frames to accommodate the panel sizes needed.
› Decking or construction screws.
› Drill or screw gun.
› A circular saw.
Building an Air Conditioner Privacy Fence
1. Measure and record the length, width, and height of the unit. Check manufacturer recommendations regarding spacing requirements to ensure adequate airflow around the unit. Add the unit’s measurements to the recommended space requirements to determine the size of the lattice panels needed. A fence that’s four feet high will provide ample cover to most units.
2. Once you’ve figured out panel sizes, use the circular saw to cut the lattice sheets to the appropriate sizes.
3. Use the lattice molding cap to build frames for each lattice panel. (Do not attach top of frames yet.)
4. Slide corresponding cut lattice sheets into the bottom and side molding caps and attach top caps to complete each framed panel.
5. Screw the three panels together in a “C” shape, to form the front and sides of the air conditioner fence.
6. To increase the structure’s stability, you may want to attach a brace across the back of it, using an additional molding cap or a 1x4 wood slat screwed to the back of each side.
7. If using pressure-treated wood, paint, or stain to match or complement your home. Cedar can be stained if you choose.
Tailor these instructions to suit your needs and personal style. There are dozens of ways to hide an AC unit without compromising its efficiency. Choose weather-resistant materials that have openings or slats to allow air to circulate well.
Design an enclosure that offers easy access to the unit for servicing. A removable panel or a gate that opens are good options for enclosures that are anchored into the ground.
If you are looking to add a little pizazz, consider a few creative options. Use vertical slats that can double as a trellis to grow flowers or vegetables on the fence’s exterior surface. Or, attach yard décor to horizontal slats to add interesting features. If you have an artistic touch, use stencils to etch or paint a colorful design on wooden slats.
Conserve Energy with Regular AC Maintenance
Whether your air conditioner unit is hiding or hanging out in plain sight, regular maintenance is a smart choice. A well-maintained air conditioning system saves you money on energy costs and keeps your home comfortably cool all summer long. The HVAC experts at Aire Serv can take care of all your air conditioning needs, from routine maintenance to emergency repairs. Our anytime service means we’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can always beat the heat. Check us out online or call 855-679-0011 to schedule an AC inspection and tune-up today!
Need some help building the perfect air conditioner fence? Get expert fence design and building tips from our friends at Mr. Handyman, a fellow member of the Neighborly® family of trusted home service brands.