While you deeply appreciate the coolness and heat your HVAC delivers during summer and winter, respectively, it’s hard to love the average HVAC unit’s appearance. Since they are built for utility rather than aesthetics, HVAC systems are made to be as unobtrusive as possible. Still, they stick out, whether outside or sitting in the wall or window. Fortunately, we have a few easy fixes for this situation. Here are some creative ways to conceal your HVAC system without impeding performance.
If you’re handy with a hammer and saw—or know someone who is—break out the lumber, screws, and nails and construct a wall or corral to hide the condenser. It doesn’t have to be grand. Outdoor-treated wood, like cedar, is charming and smells great. Build a screen, box, or corral to surround the unit. Leave about 18–24 inches of space between the unit and the wood so it has room to “breathe.” Then, add a door or a removable section so you can easily clean and maintain the condenser.
Set up a barrier around the condenser made of rustic wood pickets, or go modern with metal or plastic fencing. Once again, leave 18–24 inches of room for all that hot air to expel in the summer. The space also benefits HVAC professionals so they can access, repair, and clean the unit. You could even paint and decorate the fence for maximum appeal, and be sure to mend it when necessary.
Hopefully, your HVAC system is already energy efficient; you can go even greener by growing shrubs and bushes or setting up planters around the unit. Again, leave some distance between the plants and the device, and remember that plants grow wherever they can. Perform regular pruning and clipping throughout the year to keep leaves and vines from growing into the vents while allowing the “bad” air to exit the unit. Look for fast-growing plants that can take the heat! You can also use plants to block the view of indoor devices, such as concealed mini splits. Flex your green thumb indoors and out!
The last of our creative ways to conceal your HVAC system should help you get in touch with your inner artist. The main goal is to conceal the unit without covering the vents and other parts so that it can do its job. Airflow is key, and too many obstacles will reduce the effectiveness of the unit. Keep window units, large vents, and other HVAC elements out of sight yet functional with standing and folding wood and fabric screens. They allow air to pass right through! You can also paint certain HVAC devices so they blend in or stand out as an artsy statement.