Backyard Screen: Air Conditioner

2 Materials
3 Hours

Here's how I spent almost no money and just a few hours to conceal my air conditioning unit.

It took maybe three hours due to interference from rain, and having to recharge my drill. I used fence parts and other lumber, along with wood screws, all left over from other projects.

Here's where we started. I created a new gate so I could access the front yard without having to walk all the way around the house, and this made me take a good look at the A/C unit.

View from my office window; it's wearing its winter cover. Just enough distraction to be a bit annoying.

There were lots of pickets left over from the privacy fence. Found enough of them, cut to size

Aligning the tops and adding spacers for the backer nailing. There's a large electrical cable powering the unit, and one picket board was just the right length to fit over it.

Wood screws hold them in place. I used fall-off chunks as a spacing jig.

Dry fit of panel 1

The massive electrical cable is visible on the left side.

Both panels shown on my work area, a small side patio

Dry fitting in place

Final dry fit before adding the stakes, as seen from my office window

Back view.

If I start using the small patio behind me, I'll whip up another panel. No need to make a fourth panel, as it faces a fence, and beyond it is the neighbor's yard, with windows never utilized by them.

To make it a little taller, and hold it in place, I added stakes.

(Someone is going to suggest that I make something similar to disguise the white barrel. When I decided on the rain barrel's final resting place, I selected the solid wall just off the little patio. It's not visible from the sunroom, nor any other window.)

These stakes were left over from construction. I just cut them in half, and cut a chunk off the rectangular ones to make a sharp point. With our recent monsoons, the ground was soft enough that I just shoved them in the ground.

Final view

Now it looks like this from my desk.

Stained glass: about $100 from a ReStore. SCORE!!

Suggested materials:

  • Leftover fence pickets, wood screws   (Backyard stash, hardware store)
  • Saw, foot stool to cut on   (shed)

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?


Join the conversation

  • William William on Oct 13, 2021

    Nice solution. Looks good. I don't advise covering the AC unit completely. They are made to be outdoors. Rodents can make it their home and really damage it. Moisture buildup can corrode the fin tubes and rust the casing. Just covering the top for the winter snow won't do any harm. I've replaced many AC units that had corrosion and were rusted along the bottom due to covers.

  • Karen Dunnam Karen Dunnam on Oct 13, 2021

    It's hard to tell ... I adjusted the cover so it doesn't collect water or provide a hiding place for critters.

    I should just remove the dang thing. With ceiling fans, I didn't use it all summer, and this was a hot year.