properly covering outdoor AC unit

Tips for Properly Covering or Hiding Outdoor AC Unit, Part 1

While most of your home’s important HVAC components are found inside the structure, a notable exception is your outdoor AC unit. And whether seasonally or year-round, many homeowners take steps to hide and/or protect this outdoor unit, both from potential theft and potential damage risks.

At Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric, we’re happy to assist with a variety of AC services, from air conditioning replacement to repair, maintenance and numerous areas of upkeep. We’ve helped many clients with protection or covering for their outdoor AC unit in ways that don’t impact the practical operations of the unit or other components, and we’ll do the same for you. This two-part blog on the subject will begin by going over a few of the general themes you should be keeping in mind while considering such coverage, then dig into some specific hiding or coverage ideas many homeowners look to.

Take Careful Measurements

The first major step here will be taking careful, detailed measurements of your outdoor AC unit and the space it takes up. You should be measuring height, length and width of your unit to get an idea of exactly the area it covers – if the AC has a base it sits on, measure the base as well.

This sets a simple baseline for you to move forward with unit coverage. The last thing you want is to purchase fencing or some other barrier, only to find you’ve bought the wrong materials based on AC dimensions.

Surrounding Area

While you’re performing your measurements and basic planning areas, keep the surrounding area and features in mind. Many homes, for instance, may have a fence already in place where at least one side is near the AC unit – you might be able to use this or another existing structure to assist with your coverage.

Proper Air Flow

As you’re making the final decision on how to cover your unit, it’s vital to keep air flow in mind. Outdoor AC condensers need at least a bit of space to allow them proper air access, ensuring normal operation and preventing overheating risks – if you place a fence or another barrier too close to them, however, they won’t have this space and won’t operate properly.

Accessibility Factors

And no matter how you choose to cover or hide your AC unit, it’s important to ensure you or HVAC technicians can still access the unit easily. There needs to be a clear pathway arranged, for one, and if you’re using a specific cover of any kind, it needs to be removable so the unit can be accessed for repairs or upkeep needs.

For more on protecting your outdoor AC unit, or to learn about any of our plumbing or HVAC services, speak to the staff at Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric today.