Ductless mini-split air conditioners are an effective cooling and heating solution for people looking for something between a window unit and central AC.
They’re great for maintaining the temps in individual rooms and spaces, and to do this, they use an outdoor condenser as well as an indoor air-handling unit.
Unfortunately, installing a mini-split isn’t always the most aesthetically appealing option, and some homeowners prefer not to see the unit at all. Well, we’ve got you covered with this complete guide on how to hide a mini-split – both indoors and outdoors.
Hiding Your Mini Split AC Indoor Units: 5 Interior Design Ideas
If you’re looking for ways to hide the indoor components of your mini split, you’ve got a few options. Some of them require some serious handiwork, so before you get started, make sure you have the materials and the right HVAC tools for the job.
Depending on the method you go with, it might be wise to hire a professional woodworker or handyman, so keep that in mind as you browse through these interior ways to hide a mini split:
Hide It Within a Recessed Wall
Hiding a mini split within a recessed wall is one of the most effective ways to camouflage your AC. It prevents it from jutting out from the way, so it’s basically invisible, at least from certain angles.
Unfortunately, not everyone has the ability to make serious adjustments to their walls, so if you’re renting your home, you’ll probably have to find another way.
Install It Above a Window or Doorway
Using a room’s focal point, like a window or doorway, is another great way to keep your mini split camouflaged. It won’t be completely hidden, but at least the window/door frame will draw the eye more than the mini split.
If you go with this method, just keep in mind that windows and doors are common points of air loss within a space, so some of the cold air pumped from the AC is bound to escape from the room.
Use a Bookcase or Custom Entertainment System
This next idea is perfect for anyone who wants to put their woodworking or cabinetry skills to the test (or is willing to hire someone to do the work). It’s possible to create a custom bookshelf or entertainment system around the mini split, keeping it entirely out of sight.
Match the Paint Color With the Mini Split
Matching the wall paint color with the finish on the mini split is a really easy method for how to camouflage a mini split unit. Most mini splits are white, so the easy thing to do is install it on a white wall so that it doesn’t take away from the room’s aesthetics.
If you prefer a dark-colored wall, it’s possible to find a dark mini split to match.
Use Wall Decor to Disguise the Unit
Adding a few shelves or pictures on the same wall where the mini split is installed is another simple camouflage tactic. You can even build a custom shelf to go around the edges of the unit, essentially making it invisible.
How to Hide Your Mini-Split AC’s Outdoor Components
Unlike window units and portable air conditioners, mini split units operate with three separate components: an indoor unit that’s mounted to the wall or ceiling, an outdoor condenser that pumps air to the indoor unit, and a line that connects the two.
We’ve already covered some ideas for hiding the indoor unit, so next, let’s focus on how to hide a mini split outside. There are a few ways to hide a mini split condenser that’s installed outside the home:
Use Bushes to Conceal the Outdoor Unit
Using shrubbery isn’t just a great way to conceal your AC’s outdoor unit, but it’s also an amazing way to improve the look of your yard and the exterior of your home. Position bushes strategically to hide the AC condenser; just make sure to keep them far enough from the AC for proper airflow.
Install a Large Flower Planter Box
With a large planter box and some of your favorite flowers, you can easily hide your outdoor unit. Plus, this is a great way to add some color to your yard!
Use Heavy-Duty Aluminum Slats Or a Wooden Fence
If you’re looking for a heavy-duty solution to not only hide the unit but also protect it, aluminum slats or a sturdy wood fence can get the job done.
Aluminum is especially good for holding up against weather, pests, and insects, but a wooden fence might fit better with your home’s exterior. Whichever one you go with, just make sure to leave a clear opening so that you can service the unit.
Create a Vinyl Gate Enclosure
Vinyl is another great material to use for concealing your mini split condenser unit. Not only is it affordable and easy to keep clean, but it’s also durable and nice to look at, too! Vinyl enclosures come in a variety of patterns and colors, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one that fits your home.
Repurpose Old Shutters
Before throwing out those old shutters, consider repurposing them as a condenser enclosure. Just add a fresh coat of paint to the shutters and secure them around the unit.
This is a great way to express your creativity, so don’t be afraid to have fun with it!
Use a Bamboo Screen
If you’re interested in adding something unique to your yard to stand out from your neighbors but also conceal your AC, consider using bamboo. Because of its durability, bamboo is being used more and more for making residential outdoor structures – such as an AC enclosure.
Invest In a Small Storage Shed or Pool Pump Cover
Small storage sheds have a lot of different uses. They’re tough, durable, relatively inexpensive, and easy to install. It’s possible to repurpose a small shed into an AC enclosure; just make sure the shed is large enough to provide proper ventilation and airflow.
Most mini split condensers are about the same size as a pool pump, so a pool pump cover might also work for hiding the unit as long as it’s large enough for air to flow through.
Safety is the priority when hiding a mini split’s outdoor condenser. No matter how you choose to hide it, make sure the unit is getting enough airflow and that you’re not placing obstructions too close to the condenser.
How to Hide Your Mini-Split AC’s Line
The steps to hide the mini split line (the line that connects the indoor unit to the outdoor condenser) are fairly easy, thanks to the many line set covers kits available on the market.
You can find a kit to camouflage your AC line on Amazon or in your local home hardware store that is specifically designed to hide the unit’s refrigerant lines, and it won’t cost you much. Just make sure to purchase a cover that’s compatible with the diameter of your specific unit’s AC line.
People Also Ask (FAQ)
Can you wrap a mini split condenser?
No, a condenser should never be wrapped; this can cause damage to the condenser, therefore rendering the entire unit useless.
According to Mitsubishi Comfort, “wrapping a condenser in plastic or any other material does not make it airtight. Moisture will always seep in from underneath, and wrapping impedes evaporation and promotes rust and other structural degradation.”
However, it can be covered using materials like bricks and plywood.
Should I cover my mini split just for winter?
Preparing your mini split’s outdoor condenser for winter is an important step for keeping the unit running smoothly when the weather gets cold and snowy. While it doesn’t absolutely have to be covered, covering it with plywood weighted down by bricks can help keep it protected.
Can you put a mini split above a TV?
It’s not recommended. Mini splits are heavy, so if yours were to ever fall, the TV would suffer some serious damage. Plus, if your mini split started leaking for one reason or another, that obviously wouldn’t be good news for the television.
How far can a mini split be from the condenser?
This depends on the size of the unit, which is measured in BTUs, and the included set of lines that comes with the AC. While one unit might only allow for 75 feet, another might be able to have 300 feet between the mini split and its condenser.
This guide on how to hide a mini split unit has covered some great ideas for hiding your AC, both within the interior and exterior of your home.
Before you start working on hiding the unit, make sure to choose a high quality mini split that’s up to the task of cooling down (and warming up) your space from respected brands like Mitsubishi or Pioneer.