If you live in a city that experiences hot summers, you will definitely need an air conditioner to provide comfort from the heat since fans may not be enough to keep your living space cool and comfortable.
Many people take their home décor seriously and enjoy showcasing their interior to guests and friends, which is why they might decide to hide their air conditioner unit on the balcony.
Since all air conditioners have an exterior unit that is typically attached to the other side of the wall, it can become an eyesore that leads to people wondering whether they could potentially hide their AC on the balcony.
You’d be surprised at how many ways there are to hide air conditioning units, which means that many people have faced the same dilemma and come up with various solutions that maintain the beauty of their homes.
If you’re an artist or just enthusiastic about implementing your creative ideas in your living space, you will naturally be averse to big AC units ruining your indoor vibe and taking away some of the spaciousness of your home.
Let’s explore the different ways you can hide an air conditioner on your balcony and consider some of the things to keep in mind when placing your cooling unit on the balcony.
Things to Consider Before Concealing Your AC on The Balcony
If you get your AC installed, you should make sure that there is enough space on your balcony to allow for yearly maintenance, which is a necessity since many ACs eventually lose their gas and require extensive cleanup.
You may be tempted to cover up your external AC unit by placing several items on top of it, but make sure that these can be easily removed so that routine service doesn’t become difficult.
Air conditioners play an important role in cooling up your home and removing heat from your living spaces, making it important for you to prioritize their ventilation.
If you cover up your external unit with insulating covers, it could damage your AC beyond repair since it can easily suffocate and be forced to work much harder to compensate, which can reduce its lifespan.
Your HVAC unit ideally needs a lot of space around it to facilitate ventilation, so it doesn’t heat up too much and doesn’t work harder than it needs to.
A common tactic that people use to hide their HVAC systems on the balcony is by planting various shrubs nearby, which affects the air circulation and can cause the same problems as an insulating cover, leading to permanent damage.
Keeping this in mind, you should ensure that your shrubs or plants are not too close to the AC unit, allowing it to work normally without any problems.
All electronic devices are susceptible to wear and tear over time, and this is pretty common if you live in a hot area and receive a lot of sunlight, which may fall directly on the AC’s exterior and eventually lead to a breakdown.
A good measure you can take is to create a shady environment by planting shrubs nearby, which will provide shade by blocking sunlight and casting a cool shadow on your unit.
This is a pretty simple solution that can extend your AC unit’s life and help it work optimally to cool your house during the hotter seasons.
If you’re unsure about how much space to give your HVAC system on the balcony, you may want to consult the manufacturer’s manual, which typically comes with your AC and details many important factors about installation and maintenance.
As long as you keep these requirements in mind, it is unlikely that your AC will face any problems when you choose to conceal it on your balcony.
Research has shown that AC units work much better when protected by sunlight, and their efficiency improves by 10% if kept in a shady area.
You may also be surprised to know that your energy costs can go down by up to 50% if you protect your exterior unit from direct sunlight.
Although HVAC systems are fairly resistant to the effects of the weather and can work optimally for many years, depending on the brand you get, they will still experience some damage over time due to sunlight and moisture.
Let’s now look at how you can hide your air conditioner on the balcony.
Best Ways to Hide an Air Conditioner on Your Balcony
One of the simplest solutions that many people opt for is to create a wooden box that covers your HVAC system’s exterior unit completely while allowing ventilation through spaces between the wood.
You can hire a carpenter to get this done for you or make it a DIY project, which doesn’t have to be too complicated since you can simply use wooden planks to get the job done properly and maintain an aesthetic appeal by polishing the wood.
However, an important thing to keep in mind is to use a large box with enough space, so your AC doesn’t suffocate and work harder than it needs to.
If you don’t want to do it yourself because you don’t have time, you can find a carpenter in your area, and either have them come in to take a look or give them the design specifications such as size and style, allowing them to create the box at their workshop and have it delivered to your home based on your particular requirements.
Since most AC units are of a similar size, chances are that the carpenter already knows what to do and has had similar orders before, ensuring that they construct an appropriately sized wooden box for your AC.
You can even get creative with this venture and paint the wood or set up house plants next to it so that it looks like it belongs on the balcony.
Another option to take is to create an AC house, which is sort of like a kennel for your AC, allowing it to breathe and create a nice little space to hide your AC on the balcony.
You can choose a design with a shed or gable roof style, allowing you to get creative and come up with something unconventional and aesthetically appealing so that your AC unit does not look hideous on the balcony.
This is an excellent solution since it also protects the unit from the sun, rain, and snow, acting as a weather-proof shield and increasing the lifespan and efficiency of your AC.
There is no limit to your creativity if you choose this option since you can paint the AC house and add decorative designs that enhance its visual appeal.
However, you should keep in mind that the AC structure shouldn’t prevent the maintenance workers from removing the unit and inspecting it, which is something to communicate with your carpenter.
Placing Plants and Shrubs Nearby
If your balcony is quite big and you’ve got a small garden vibe, you may want to cover up the exterior by placing plants and shrubs nearby, which can easily beautify your balcony and conceal the HVAC system.
This method also works with others to create a riveting effect that makes your AC look like it’s a part of your balcony decorations.
You have endless options to choose from since you can pick any plants and flowers you like, such as hydrangeas, roses, and clematis.
However, bear in mind that they should not be placed too close to the AC for the problems described above.
If you find that your plants have grown too much and are closing in on this space, you can easily prune some of the leaves and branches so that your AC stays protected from suffocation.
Since many of the ways to hide your AC on the balcony involve carpentry, you should also consider making a box with a door to conceal your HVAC system and keeping it completely out of sight on your balcony.
This is an interesting measure to take since the door can have complex patterns, and the wood may be of superior quality and finish, adding to the aesthetics of your balcony and keeping your AC out of sight.
Since the door can be opened for routine maintenance, it will not be a problem in the slightest and will keep your AC functioning optimally for many years to come.
Similarly, if you’re into the garden vibe, you can also opt for planter boxes, which can be placed around your AC unit, allowing you to keep it out of sight and plant beautiful flowers on the top, so your balcony retains its beauty.
Colorful pots are commonly used for this purpose when people are looking to achieve beautification of their balconies and conceal their HVAC units entirely.
You may also place decorative ornaments close to your AC unit to create a certain vibe while hiding your air conditioner on the balcony.
Some options to choose from include garden gnomes and large vases with artificial plants, which can easily improve your balcony’s look and keep the AC out of sight.
How to Hide Air Conditioners on Balcony? [8 ideas]
Hiding an air conditioner on your balcony can enhance your outdoor aesthetics while ensuring the unit continues to function efficiently.
Apart from the above options, Here are Eight ideas for how you can hide or camouflage your air conditioner:
- Lattice Screen: A lattice screen (Such as this) or trellis can provide a stylish and straightforward way to conceal your air conditioner. You can even grow climbing plants like ivy or roses on the lattice for a more natural look.
- Outdoor Plants: Large potted plants or a vertical garden can be arranged around the unit to help hide it. Ensure you choose plants that can thrive in your balcony’s light and weather conditions.
- Decorative Panels: Outdoor-rated decorative panels are available in various designs and materials, providing an attractive and functional way to hide your air conditioner.
- Fencing: You can build or buy a small fence or privacy screen to enclose the air conditioner. Just ensure there’s enough space for air to circulate.
- Storage Bench: Construct or purchase an outdoor storage bench with a removable top or doors on one side. This can be a dual-purpose solution, hiding your AC unit while providing extra seating or storage.
- Air Conditioner Cover: There are covers designed specifically for air conditioning units (Such as this). These can blend the unit into your balcony’s aesthetics better.
- Rolling Privacy Screen: A movable privacy screen can be a flexible solution, allowing you to hide the air conditioner when needed, then move it aside for maintenance or to maximize space when the unit isn’t in use.
- Custom-Built Cabinet: A custom-built wooden or metal cabinet can be a stylish and effective solution. Be sure to incorporate sufficient ventilation to allow the air conditioner to function properly.
Remember, any solution you choose should provide sufficient ventilation for your air conditioner.
Blocking airflow can cause the unit to overheat or malfunction, leading to costly repairs. Always ensure there’s easy access to the unit for maintenance and repairs.
Many people take their home décor seriously and do not want their AC units visible to prying eyes since they take away from the beauty of their balconies.
The most important things to keep in mind are that your AC can easily suffocate when covered and not given enough space to breathe and drop in performance when exposed to 12 hours of sunlight each day.
There are so many more ways to conceal your AC unit on the balcony, and many of them are creative carpentry solutions that can be looked up on the Internet for inspiration.
However, if you’re looking for a minimalist solution, then you can easily create a planked wooden box at home and set it up around your AC while keeping the spacing requirements in mind.