How to Disguise an Outside A/C Condenser

The next time you turn on your central air conditioning unit, thank that ugly condenser unit sitting outside on your property. It might look like an eyesore, but it does an important job. However, you do not have to sacrifice functionality for attractiveness. A few simple steps can make the gray, boxy condenser unit practically disappear.

Things You'll Need

  • Fence
  • Shrubs
  • Trellis


    • 1

      Erect a fence around the condenser unit. Pick a fence with thick slats, which makes it more difficult to see through. Leave enough room for the air expelled from the condenser to circulate. If you place the fence too close to the unit, the condenser will overheat, and you will find yourself hiding a unit which does not work.

    • 2

      Plant shrubs around the circumference of the unit. As with fencing, you need to leave enough room around the condenser for air to circulate adequately. Engineering experts at Kansas State University recommend three feet of clearance for non-contiguous shrubs, and five feet of clearance for shrubs which will form a contiguous border around the condenser.

    • 3

      Place a trellis in front of the unit to act as a screen. You can find trellises at your local hardware store. Trellises provide another advantage: they can be a great tool for growing roses or other plants. They offer the protection and opacity of a fence while giving you the option of adding the beauty of flora and fauna. Just leave enough clearance for the condenser to do its job.

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  • Photo Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

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