How to Hide an Outdoor Air Conditioner Compressor

An outdoor AC unit.
What You'll Need
Tape measure

There is no doubt that an outdoor air conditioner compressor is a bit of an eyesore, and it is natural to want your lawn to appear less ugly by hiding appliances that just do not have any cosmetic appeal. There are a few ways to keep your lawn looking attractive while still enjoying a nice cool home indoors.

Shrubs: The First Thought of Many

The first thought many homeowners have is to plant shrubs around the air conditioner compressor to completely block it from view. This can be problematic on many levels. In order to have this type of arrangement many different criteria will have to be met.

The Problems with Shrubs

In order to cool the home, the air compressor pulls out the warm air from your home and pumps in lots of cool fresh conditioned air. All that hot air is not going to do the shrubs much good, and in fact, might kill them. The other problem is that the last problem the air compressor needs to have are the dead leaves or branches shrubs generate getting stuck in the housing. The other fly in the ointment is that shrubs which grow tightly enough together to hide the compressor might actually block the airflow and this will result in problems with the unit being able to keep running cool. Lastly, if you have shrubs planted around the housing of the air conditioner unit, how can you get to it easily to do maintenance or repair? There are so many downsides to using shrubs that you might want to consider them as a last option.

Other Options

Either make or buy a covering for the air compressor. While this does not completely hide the air compressor it does not make a little less ugly.

Either make or buy a removable lattice work or short wooden block fence of some type to hide the air compressor. This has the advantage of hiding the compressor completely, but it becomes another piece of the air unit that needs to be cleaned.

Step 1 - Measure the Unit

Measure your air compressor for both the width and length.

Step 2 - Check for Obstructions

Look around for obstacles for either option. For instance, is there room enough for the lattice work or a panel type block? Remember you need the make the lattice and block wide enough to allow air flow around the compressor.

Step 3 - Search for Catalogs

Look for catalogs to get an idea of what you want.

Step 4 - Set a Budget Amount

Take into account the cost of materials you will to buy as opposed to the prices of commercial products. It is possible you might find products ready to use that would fit your compressor unit for less or the same amount of money it would take to make one.

Step 5 - Look for Patterns

If you decide to make your own housing cover, look for patterns that you can use or ask friends if they have an old one no longer being used. You can use this to create a workable pattern.

No matter the option you decide remember that allowing airflow to the air conditioner compressor is important to the working life span of the machine.