Eyesore Galore:

How to Properly Disguise Your AC Unit

It’s no secret that your air conditioning unit isn’t the most attractive appliance around, and what’s worse is that is has to be outside in plain sight. That doesn’t mean it has to be an eyesore on your property, though. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to make sure your unit looks good and functions properly.

First, it’s important that you put your AC unit in an inconspicuous place. If you put your unit right in front of your house, of course people are going to see it. Keep it on the side or back of the house so it’s less likely to be noticed. If it’s too close to a high-traffic area, like your back deck, people will not only see it, but hear it as well, so make sure it’s tucked away properly.

If you’re still not happy with the visibility of the unit, you can try to block it from sight with bushes or a fence. What’s most important with this option is placement and spacing: you must leave 18–24 inches around all sides of your AC unit. If you put your fence or shrubs too close, it will restrict airflow, which makes the air conditioner work harder and less efficiently. If the unit isn’t able to reject heat from the house, your utility bills will increase and the life of your AC can shorten by up to 10 years.

When the cooler weather starts, many people think they can just cover up their AC entirely, but that’s a big mistake. Some places will sell you an AC cover, or tell you to wrap it in plastic, saying it will protect the unit from weather. What it really does, though, is hold in moisture and create rust, which is another way to damage your unit.

In order to make sure your air conditioning is in top working order each summer, you should get the coils cleaned every year. While spraying it off with a hose yourself helps to some extent, it’s much more effective to have it professionally cleaned with non-acidic coil cleaner. This is a specially developed formula that ensures all the dirt and dust is removed from the coils, and doesn’t damage either the aluminum or copper components of the unit.

No matter what season it is, there’s always something that you can do (or not do) to make sure your air conditioning unit is looking good and working well. Make sure you keep it clean and leave enough space around it to allow proper airflow. Never put anything directly on the unit and get the coils cleaned annually.