I agree with Dave - Figure the shroud may need to be removed some day and that lifts up as I recall. So, if you unit is 2' tall i would not build a deck unless you have at least 2' clearance from the top of the unit. Really - do what the manufacturer recommends for clearance.
Also - consider sound and air. the outside units are noisy, do you want that under your deck? They also blow warm air, that air will blow up people skirts.
Suppose you do build over the unit and discover the system is no longer cooling adequately. Now you've got twice the work to either move the unit or the deck. And I bet an HVAC guy looking at that job will quote you higher to accommodate all the bumps on his head.
New units are quiet............until you sit on top of one:huh: And, if they are working properly, they blow hot air....UP (yes, even those funny looking Tranes:whistling2: You really don't want that if you are going to spend any time all on your deck, during "being on the deck time of year".
When I moved in this house nine years ago (it was my girlfriend's) she had a deck built over the AC. It was one of those horizontal chrysler airtemp's. It was insanely loud, and the heat was unbearable. As soon as it died, which I think was hastened by the fact it was trapped under the deck, I moved it around the side of the house.
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