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pallen123's avatar

How best to hide air conditioner condenser outside?

Asked by pallen123 (1514points) August 29th, 2010

Anyone have creative ideas for hiding home air conditioner condenser unit outside? It’s just 5 inches from a patio so I don’t have a lot of room on the side facing the patio. More room on the sides. I was thinking of surrounding it with bamboo screening material but I’m not thinking that will blend so well with the white painted brick wall behind it. Ideas?

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10 Answers

actuallery's avatar

Don’t they need at least two feet of free space around them to ensure proper circulation?

Perhaps you should consider having it moved to the side of the house or put on the roof. A screening would be good as long as the enclosure does not “suffocate” the unit.

john65pennington's avatar

I would not do this. your unit needs plenty of air to keep itself cool. blocking off the wind is not a good idea. could do damage to your unit.

AstroChuck's avatar

A trellis screening might be best. You don’t want to block air getting to the unit.

BarnacleBill's avatar

You could use lattice and paint it white. But you still have the noise.

Do you have space on the side of the house that you could move it to? I believe it has to be at least 5 feet away from the property line in most communities. It would be worth the expense.

Scooby's avatar

Paint it to match your exterior paint. It’s not exactly hidden, but at least it won’t jump out at you when you’re admiring your rose bushes. :-/

marinelife's avatar

You could box it with lattice

Ben_Dover's avatar

Cover it in chocolate!

Aster's avatar

Ours has a red brick wall , matching the house, that’s about 4 feet high, concealing it from the street. God Forbid someone should see it! LOL

alamo's avatar

If putting it on the roof is an option, don’t. The increased temperature reduces the total cooling capacity and probably the cost and hassle makes it a very bad idea.
Each manufacturer has different clear air requirements for the top and sides.Unobstructed air flow is critical for the ability of the condenser to move the heat out of your house. Find the model and manufacturer on the unit. Then try to find their clearances for that unit. Sometimes that info is online. You might even call a local hvac supply house and ask the city counter person. That tells you how close you can build a screen, fence, wall etc.The manufacturers tech support might have some info also. You might even find that the patio is to close.
Decreased air flow will decrease the capacity of your system.Your system is designed to move BTU’s of heat.A lowered capacity will move fewer BTU’s At some point of lowered air flow, you start increasing the operating temperature of the compressor. You can even decrease the life span of your system.
PS The latest/weirdest thing i found in a condenser was a snake. The resident had let the bushes grow over and fully around the unit and the snake found nice little home until the fan came on. Pinched him in the fan blades. I imagine him saying“Ouch, thissssss hurtssssss”

Marktlv's avatar

A rule of thumb in design is this—if there’s an element that you want to ‘go away’, emphasize it. For example, if I’m working with a column in the middle of room, it’s an obvious distraction as just a column and stands out terribly. But if I give that column purpose by making it a major element in the room, it goes away because now it’s purposeful—it’s supposed to be there. The idea of creating a vertical screen in the narrow area between the unit and the patio is a good one, but there are several ways to do this—certainly the bamboo shoots is one. The overall design of the home should be taken into account—you mention white brick. Perhaps you could do some stacked stone with potted plants in front. I would suggest getting out and really looking at al the different material combinations—not just one, that could be blended to create a purposeful screen. Be aware of a couple of things though—you need room around the unit so it can properly function, and you also need to be able to easilly get to the unit for servicing.

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