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How to hide my air conditioner?

13756 Views 9 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Gymschu
I'm looking for a way to hide my central air conditioner unit and muffle the noise it makes. It's right next to my patio, and though it's a newer unit and not louder than normal, I would love to be able to sit out back and not be constantly reminded that it's there. Also, in my opinion, it's an eyesore, especially since I have plans to make my patio awesome.

My idea is to build a wall around the unit...that would hide it, and muffle the noise. But how much clearance is needed between the unit and wall to allow proper air flow? And how effective would a wall actually be? What would be the best material to use? I live in Ohio so a permanent structure would have to be able to withstand all sorts of weather.

Or, should I be going a different route? How would you approach this problem?

The air conditioner is 26" square by 24" tall. There is a 14" and 17" clearance between the side and back of the unit to the fence, respectively. There are 24" between the concrete base and edge of the patio.

Thanks for reading!


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Have you considered relocating the unit to the side of the house.
josall said:
Have you considered relocating the unit to the side of the house.
I hadn't. I assumed that was a more costly option. Am I wrong? There is certainly room behind the fence on the side of the house, and it gets almost no light so nothing grows there anyway. How much do you expect it to cost to get someone to do that? Or can I do myself?
You would need to call a local AC company for a quote. If you think you might be in that house for many years it would be a good long term fix.
I'll bet moving that sucker eight feet would cost less than building a buffer wall that won't work anyway. Besides...what's the difference what it costs, you are going to have an awesome patio and awesome's don't come cheap.:)

I agree, call a local and get a quote for them to make the move and you not to have to touch anything.:)
2 choices, move it or

Paint it with invisable paint and wear ear muffs

blocking air conditioner

My central air conditioner gets the full sun on the west side of our home in the afternoon. Is it a good idea to box in two sides to keep the sun off, but still let it breathe, or does that make any difference or not to keep it from running constantly. Thank you so much for your advice.
Looking at the photo, you've created your own problem by putting the fence so close to the A/C unit. All the noise is not being disspated upwards, it's being bounced back off of the fencing materials. I'm afraid that in this situation the only recourse would be to get an estimate on moving this unit somewhere else. Around here the most popular "method" of hiding an A/C unit is a six foot chain link fence with barbed wire. Every day around here there is a report of someone's unit being stolen while they are asleep within the house. One of my neighbor's had this happen just last month. Just cut the freon lines, cut the electrical, have two men lift the unit up and into a waiting pick-up truck. They are even taking the package units and disconnecting the sheet metal ducting while people sleep right beside them in their bedrooms.
The AC installation instructions I've read want 12" clearance on one side and 3' on the other three sides.

Worker-no need to shade the unit in your climate. Places like AZ that get temps in the 115 degree range would see a little benefit
If you're outside on the patio, wouldn't it just be easy (and cheaper) to turn the unit off while you're outside?
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