A Rustic Hideaway for That Ugly Heating/Air Conditioning Unit!

3 Materials
1 Hour

We have a really pretty yard, thanks to lots of hard work from the previous owners. But there is one BIG eyesore they left: the heating/ air conditioning unit! I have seen folks build a few different things to help cover these up, but I am always concerned about doing a full enclosure, even if you leave "air holes". So we opted to create a trellis that just sets in front of the unit, and will not obstruct any air flow. Here's how we did it!

Measure your Unit

Ours is pretty big, and definitely an eyesore -- am I right?! Here is what it looked like "before". We took measurements, and got to work designing something out of materials that we already had on hand.

Find Your Materials

I had several of these old fence boards that I had taken from the house we rented after our fire (our home burned in 2015 in the CA Valley Fire). They were the perfect length! You could use any old wood, or purchase new wood if needed. We decided to use these boards to make a trellis that would sit inside a big watering trough that we already had on hand, and then plant it with a climbing plant. Thebig cost to this project is the watering trough, but you can often find one second hand on Marketplace or Craig's List.

Prepare the Wood

If you are using old wood, you may need to remove nails. We also cut all of our boards to the right length before we started.

Lay out your Wood

We layed out four vertical boards, and then our first horizontal board on top of those. The wood that we used is very rustic and a bit crooked, so we used a level to lay out the boards as best we could.

Attach Your First Board

Once we had the first board where we wanted it, we screwed it down with wood screws. We used the level to help make it as straight as possible.

Continue Attaching Boards

We kept working down the trellis, using the level as we went. We made sure that there was about one board width in between the boards - you will see why in the next step.

Notice that we left the bottom 2 feet free of boards - this was done because the watering trough would cover this section once attached, and also we did not have enough wood to keep going!

Flip Your Trellis Over & Attach Boards to the Other Side

We then flipped the trellis over and placed a board in each of the empty spaces, screwing it down.

That's it!

You will end up with something that looks like this.

Attach to Watering Trough

We used sheet metal screws to attach the trellis to the back of the trough. Then we planted it with a Jasmine. I think it is going to smell lovely when it is blooming and the unit is blowing air to spread the scent!

What do you think? Does it look better? I sure think it does. And it does not obstruct the air flow in any way (with at least 15" of space between the trellis and the unit).

If you make one, please share a photo in comments. I would love to see it. And if you liked this project, please give it a "like" and follow me here on Hometalk and also on Instagram and Facebook - @jagcagdesign. Your comments and enjoyment of my posts keep me coming back to share more ideas!

Happy DIYing....



Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

Easy DIY Ideas To Add Some FUN To Your Office Space
30 Great Ideas For Every Pet Owner!
15 Stencil Patterns You'll Wish You'd Seen Sooner
25 Adorable Ornament Ideas to Get You SUPER Excited for Christmas
31 Tricks To Help You Fix The Wood In Your Home:
Save Your Old Cans For These 31 Home Decor Ideas
Upgrade Your Backyard With These 30 Clever Ideas
14 Cool Ways To Upholster Chairs That You Can DIY
Do Your Kitchen Cabinets Need an Update?
3 Weird Step-by-Step Ways to Decorate Your Plain Tea Towels
13 Bird Feeders From Upcycled Items
30 Ways To Use Old Jeans For Brilliant Craft Ideas
15 Awesome Projects To Get You Ready For St. Patrick's Day
Browse Through These Dream Bedrooms & Find Your Favorite!
Spruce Up Your Plain Lamp With One Of These Great Ideas

To see more: https://www.instagram.com/jagcagdesign/?hl=en

Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Michele
    on Sep 1, 2020

    Can this be easily removed so a HVAC Tech can do any service or seasonal maintenance to the system?

  • KK
    on Sep 2, 2020

    Are you gonna stain it or decorate with greenery or anything? I think it would be a cool veggy garden space with that trough. Good job.

Join the conversation

2 of 26 comments
  • Linda Garretson
    on Sep 19, 2020

    This is just great and I an going to build one my self, I just wish there was something to do about the noise they make, mine is right next to the screened in room!!

  • Lovesunique
    on Sep 24, 2020

    Well, mine is on my roof so can't use your idea to hide it. But, your idea would work well in hiding electrical hookups or tankless water heaters. I do have one suggestion regarding Jasmine. Regular Jasmine gets very woody and hard to manage. Yes it smells wonderful. You can also use Pink Jasmine which also smells wonderful but it doesn't get out of control. I have regular Jasmine and it keeps climbing my trees and I keep cutting it back. I think Tarzan could use the trailers they are so tough! The Pink Jasmine is finer, more delicate.

Your comment...