Informational Guide

How To Hide A Window AC Unit Both Inside & Outside

Add a decorative flair to your home by learning how to hide your window AC both inside and outside.

by Josh M

When it comes to summer, your air conditioning unit (AC) is a crucial part of your home. However, it often disrupts the visual aesthetic of your interior design. Your AC might be a factor you want to hide while also adding a decorative flair. Here is a guide on how to creatively hide your AC unit both inside and outside of your home.

Even if your window AC is a crucial element to your home when it starts getting warm, it doesn’t mean it can’t have a more decorative flair. Sometimes your AC alone can be an eyesore, and it throws off your entire aesthetic. With this in mind, here are some options to choose from when considering decorating your window AC.

Use Wallpaper

This solution to decorating around your AC unit might be a daunting task. Putting wallpaper in your house is already a rather tedious process to complete. You would have to consider perfectly laying it out to prevent wrinkles, making it clean and edgy. It also shouldn’t have any folds in it whatsoever. If you go with this approach, we recommend either applying the same wallpaper to your room or having the wallpaper as a border, matching your overall interior design and layout.

Hide It Inside of a Bookcase

This solution is perfect if you don’t want your AC unit to be visible. However, something to keep in mind would be to keep it easily accessible when in use. Make sure that nothing is obstructing the blower from flowing cool air in the room. This only works if your AC unit is in the wall, placed in the window. You would also have to consider the distance between the floor and the placement of your air conditioner.

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The bookcase can either be storebought or custom-made. What matters is to take measures so that the AC unit can fit on the shelf. Another tip would be to install cabinet doors when it’s not in use. That way, it doesn’t disrupt the decor of the overall interior design.

Using Curtains to Hide your AC

This is one of the many popular solutions in hiding your AC since it requires minimal to no work. If you already have a curtain above your window, you are good to go! Fortunately, there isn’t a specific type of curtain you should use. However, you do have to make sure that the curtains do not obstruct the airflow of the AC, especially the blower, because the curtains will take in the moisture, causing it to mold.

Placing a Fabric or Metal Screen

Another creative idea is to cover your window AC unit with a sheer fabric and frame surrounding it. Make sure that the material is sheer enough so that the blower can let in the cool air into the room. Any funky, modern, vibrant fabric will do so long as it isn’t thick. Metal screens also draw the eye to their design, while camouflaging the AC unit behind them without blocking airflow.

Place a Decorative Wall Panel

You can customize your wall panel by using an assortment of designs and patterns. You can either put a decorative frame around your AC unit’s sides or cover it up entirely. However, we suggest making it accessible to remove when in use. Not only that, but you can hang wall art as well.

How To Hide The Window AC Outside (For Safety Ideas)

When trying to figure out how to hide your window AC unit, the inside is normally what most would focus on. However, there is no doubt that the AC might disrupt your patio or garden aesthetic. Fortunately, there are ways you can disguise and decorate your AC outside, in style!

Using Well-Ventilated Enclosures

You can use almost any object so long as it is well ventilated and not completely obstructing your AC unit. One enclosure you can consider would be either a wooden box or installing an iron case. Now for the wooden box, you can either buy storebought or make it yourself. Either way works well regardless! For the iron case, this is an ideal DIY solution disguising your AC. However, assembly is required, and it doesn’t completely hide it. You might have to cover it further with shrubbery or small plants.

Installing a Lattice Screen & Mini-Garden

Whether you have a zest for the greener things of life or just want to hide the offputting backside of your AC unit, placing a lattice screen and mini garden is a perfect solution in covering it. You can either buy one that is specifically fitted for your AC or build one at home. On top, you can place small plants on the wooden plank. Then, position the screen within the measured distance from the air conditioner.

Using a Shutter Screen

If you have an old set of shutter screens, you can also use these to hide your AC unit. A fun way of livening it up is to paint it and give it a new look. Options for this are to either do it in a rustic look or paint it in bold colors. It depends on the overall theme that your garden or patio has. If you are choosing to use a shutter screen to disguise your AC, please be sure that the slates are not blocking the airflow, and there is sufficient width between each slate of the screen.

Conceal it with Shrubbery or Large Plants

If you are a lover of all things nature, you can also hide away your AC unit by using various plants and shrubbery. Only the thickest shrubbery and tall plants will be able to work for this. Some plants to consider would be Caladium, Elephant Ears, and Blue Point Juniper.

Choose an AC Canvas Sleeve

If your AC is only used in the summer, consider acquiring a canvas sleeve to cover it up when not in use. This will prevent moisture buildup in winter and a layer of protection for your unit.

Important Reminders When Hiding Window Air Conditioners

Just like us, our AC units need to breathe. Be sure to avoid blocking the airflow around the unit. Blocking the AC Unit’s airflow will make functioning properly a challenge, which may result in inadequate cooling of your living space. Blocking the unit’s airflow may also lead to overheating and irreparable damage.

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Make sure you can easily access your unit to be able to get to the unit’s control panel to adjust the settings, and for routine cleaning. Routinely cleaning your AC unit’s filter and vents increases its overall energy efficiency, prevents mold and mildew, and will extend the life of the unit. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s recommended guidelines.

Placing items like curtains too close to your unit in order to conceal it may cause damage and may void your warranty if you have one. This is because items placed too close can get pulled into the units’ grille and cause cooling and other issues.

People Also Ask (FAQ)

Below are a few of the questions that pop out when talking about ways to hide window AC.

How much clearance do you need around an air conditioner?

In general, it is best practice to give your AC unit at least 12 inches of space on all sides. Be sure to read your unit’s instruction manual as some manufacturers require as many as 24 inches of space on each side.

Will the window AC cool the room if it’s covered?

Covering your AC unit while it is running will restrict the airflow that your unit needs to function properly. Restricted airflow will limit your unit’s ability to cool your space properly.

Should I cover my window air conditioner in the winter?

AC unit covers are optional; however, covering your AC unit during the winter months will provide protection from the elements like rain, snow, and ice, which may cause damage to the inner coils of the unit.

Are air conditioner covers safe?

Loose-fitting air conditioner covers that allow some airflow are safe. What you want to avoid are covers that restrict the airflow. These types of covers will lock in damage, cause moisture, and welcome small issues inside the unit, including nesting rodents!

Conclusion

The purpose of your AC is to make sure that it keeps you and your home cool. But sometimes, it throws off your decorative flow. That’s why it’s nice to give it a cosmetic makeover to maintain the beauty of your home. We hope this guide helps you with ideas on how to hide your AC in a creative way!

Related ArticleAlternatives to Window AC Units

Last Updated on July 8, 2022

Josh M

My name is Josh and I am obsessed with the HVAC industry. I created this website to help HVAC techs of all levels get the best out of their heating & cooling systems. I have spent thousands of hours studying air conditioners, heaters and home air products so you can learn & buy with confidence. Learn more about the team here.

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