If your outdoor HVAC unit is an eyesore or it interrupts the flow of your landscaping design, you may want to hide it. Concealing the unit with plants or structures may also prevent it from being observed by passing thieves looking for an opportunity to rip off homeowners for the scrap metal and copper in the units.
Hiding the Outdoor HVAC Unit
Some homeowners find their outdoor compressor/condenser downright unsightly as it sits awkwardly amid an otherwise carefully thought-out landscape. It would be expensive to move the unit, but landscaping around it or erecting a structure to hide it may be the answer.
- Plant ornamental grasses around the unit. Grasses are easily controlled. You can also plant shrubs, but keep them trimmed. In both cases, leave a clearance of at least 3 feet around the unit so there is good air flow and the A/C technician can gain access to it easily.
- Build a dedicated structure around the unit. An ornamental design is fine, but be sure airflow around the compressor is not impeded.
- A structural screen such as a wood or cast-iron trellis that holds up vines is a low-cost way to hide the unit. Once again, keep this at least 3 feet away from the unit.
Protect Your Unit
Theft is another reason to think of hiding the unit. Although thieves can only get a few hundred dollars for the scrap metal and copper from the coil in an A/C unit, it’s worth it to them to steal the units, dismantle them, and cash in. You, on the other hand, may have to spend thousands of dollars to replace the compressor/condenser. Carefully consider your design if you plan to make the unit less visible to passersby, though, as some types of landscaping or structures might invite theft by providing cover to thieves.
There are a number of ways homeowners can deter A/C unit thieves:
- Install security lights and cameras.
- Install a metal cage that bolts to the ground or a building.
- Build a fence around the unit and padlock it (observe zoning restrictions, if any, for putting up a fence).
- Install an alarm.
PLEASE NOTE: If you are going to secure a cage around the unit, be sure you are able to remove and/or unlock it before the A/C technician is called to work on the unit.
For more on hiding an outdoor HVAC unit, contact Amarillo Air Conditioning. We’ve served Amarillo homeowners for more than 50 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Amarillo, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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