If you spend any time at all on Pinterest, then you have likely seen quite a few examples of DIY a/c covers used to hide unsightly, bulky units. We love the idea of these covers, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind before you jump into a project like this.
1. The Air Conditioning Unit Needs To Remain Accessible
If you’re planning a construction project around your a/c unit, you need to keep the future in mind. If something happens to your air conditioner, will a technician still be able to access all of the required parts without damaging your cover? If the answer is, “no,” then consider making some modification to your plan, such as adding access doors, that will allow for easy future repairs if necessary.
2. The Air Conditioner Need To “Breathe”
If there is too little space around the air conditioner, you are setting yourself up for some potential maintenance problems. Air conditioners require clear space around them so that they can easily pull in air for the system. If a cover is too close, it can create a situation where any debris that gets between the unit and the cover could cause a clog, reducing air conditioner efficiency and possibly causing a major maintenance problem.
When planning to build your own cover, we highly recommend keeping somewhere between 18” and 24” of space between the cover and the air conditioner unit on all sides.
3. The Cover Needs To Be Stable During Severe Weather
Here in Alabama, we get some very strong storms. One of the things we recommend before a storm hits is clearing your yard of any object that could be turned into a damaging projectile. That includes your air conditioning cover, if it isn’t secure enough to withstand the strong winds that can come with severe weather. An unsecured cover can bang against your a/c unit, causing more harm than good.
Some of our favorite projects include:
We like the look of this cover, and the fact that it’s easy to make is a plus. Just make sure there’s plenty of space around the a/c unit, in case a repair is needed.
A modern take on lattice fencing, this seems like a great option with some modifications for spacing, security, and access for repair techs.
Plants are always an option for helping to camouflage your air conditioner; you just want to make sure you keep an eye on them. Quick growing plants that can grow out of control easily may not be the best option, as they could cause damage to your system. Or, you can opt for an artificial plant option like the one shown.