Home AppliancesAir Conditioner

How To Disguise an AC Unit

Air Conditioner 15

Air conditioning units are a blessing, especially during those hot summer months. However, they’re not always the most appealing to look at, whether they’re installed indoors or outdoors. But don’t worry! There are plenty of creative and practical ways to disguise your AC unit without hindering its functionality or maintenance accessibility.


To disguise an AC unit, consider using greenery like tall shrubs or a living garden for outdoor units. You can also use modern covers, build a small shed around it, or install a picket fence or iron trellis. For indoor units, options include installing a wall-mounted cabinet, using a decorative wrought iron grate, building a shutter box, or using curtains or a folding screen. Always ensure proper airflow and easy maintenance access when disguising your AC unit.

Outdoor AC Units

Living Garden AC Cover

A living garden AC cover is a fantastic way to blend your AC unit into your garden. You can plant tall shrubs or create a vertical garden around the AC unit, adding greenery to your outdoor space while disguising the unit.

Modern Outdoor AC Cover

There are modern, well-designed covers available that can complement your home’s exterior while hiding the AC unit. They come in various styles and designs to suit your preference.

AC Cover/Tool Shed

You can also build a small shed around the AC unit that doubles as storage for tools and garden equipment. This not only hides the unit but also serves a useful secondary purpose.

Tall Shrubs

Planting tall shrubs around the AC unit creates a natural barrier that can effectively hide the unit.

Birdhouse Picket Fence

Another creative idea is to install a picket fence with birdhouses to hide the AC unit and attract birds to your garden.

Shabby Chic Shutter Screen

You can repurpose an old shutter screen as a fence to hide the AC unit. This is a great way to add a touch of shabby chic to your garden.

Iron Trellis

Installing an iron trellis around the AC unit and growing climbing plants on it is another effective and beautiful way to disguise the unit.

Well-Ventilated Structure

Building a well-ventilated structure, such as a lattice panel, around the AC unit can conceal it while allowing for proper airflow.

Outdoor Privacy Screen

An outdoor privacy screen can also be used to hide the AC unit. They come in various designs and materials to suit your outdoor decor.

Indoor AC Units

Wall-mounted Die-cut Cabinet

For indoor units, installing a wall-mounted die-cut cabinet around the AC unit with a decorative front panel that allows airflow is an effective way to disguise the unit.

Wrought Iron Grate

A decorative wrought iron grate can also be used to cover the AC unit while still allowing air circulation.

Shutter Box

Building a box with shutters that can be opened or closed to hide the AC unit when not in use is another practical solution.


Curtains can also be used to conceal the AC unit. They can be drawn when the unit is not in use and add to the room’s decor.

Folding Screen

A folding screen in front of the AC unit can hide it from view while still allowing air to circulate.

Custom Cabinetry

You can also integrate the AC unit into custom-built furniture, such as a bookcase or entertainment center.

Decorative Lattice

Installing a decorative lattice panel in front of the AC unit allows for proper airflow and access for maintenance while effectively hiding the unit.

Considerations When Disguising an AC Unit

When disguising an AC unit, it’s crucial to ensure proper airflow around the unit and easy access for maintenance. Full-length covers can trap moisture inside the unit, leading to mold, rust, and other issues, so it’s best to cover only the top of the unit.

Also, avoid using plastic or rubber covers as they can suffocate the unit. Instead, opt for a cover made of breathable fabric. It’s also recommended to cover your AC only during the fall months to protect it from debris.


There are countless ways to disguise an AC unit, both indoors and outdoors. From using plants and greenery to building custom enclosures, the options are endless. Just remember to keep the unit’s functionality and maintenance accessibility in mind when choosing a disguise method. With a little creativity, you can turn your AC unit into an appealing part of your home’s decor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I paint my AC unit to match my home’s exterior?

Yes, you can paint your AC unit, but it’s crucial to use a paint specifically designed for outdoor use and heat exposure. Also, avoid painting the actual coils or any internal parts as it could affect its performance.

Can I hide my AC unit behind a solid wall?

No, a solid wall can block the airflow and cause the unit to overheat. Any cover or disguise should allow for ample airflow and easy access for maintenance.

How much space should I leave around my AC unit for proper airflow?

You should leave at least 2-3 feet of space around the sides of the AC unit and about 5 feet at the top for proper airflow.

Can I use any type of plant or shrub to hide my outdoor AC unit?

While you can use a variety of plants, it’s best to use plants that don’t shed leaves, as these can clog the AC unit. Also, consider the plants’ growth habits and ensure they won’t grow into the unit.

Is it necessary to remove the covers or disguises during the winter months?

Yes, it’s recommended to remove any covers during the winter months to prevent trapped moisture, which can lead to rust and other damage.

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