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Old 09-02-2012, 02:28 PM   #1
gahrajmahal
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Default Central Air Conditioning, Hide The Ugly Compressor

My wife wanted to camoflage the ugly compressor next to the house and found something online. Needless to say it was less than desired and made of plastic. (sorry no photo of that), but we did find out a tall cover would draw your eye to the compressor instead of minimize the appearance. After checking online I found few examples or pictures of how others covered their air conditioning compressor.



After checking the home centers without any inspiration I realized I should be immitating our privacy fence that borders two sides of our property.

I purchased two decorative 4 x 4 ballisters that matched the fence posts. I also bought 20 4" X 4" cedar pickets.Additionally I purchased 8, 2 x 2 fence posts.



The Finished cover.


You can see I had quite a bit of other stuff to avoid like the dryer vent, furnace vent and 220v fusebox.



The assembly was pretty straight forward. I used some Kreg pocket screws to attach the 2 x 2's to the upright posts. The cedar 4 x 4's were spaced using the 2 x 2 as a guide.



I didn't want the wood to be in contact with the ground, so to deter the termites I used these plastic feet they had.



The only fasteners holding the little enclosure near the compressor are 4 screws through the vertical 2 x 2's to the facia of the house. Those 2 x 2's do not come in contact with the ground.



The curve was cut using two screws driven partway into the cedar. I put a thin piece of wood trim between them and bent it in the middle to a pleasing curve. Then I traced it with my pencil and cut the curve with the jig saw.








I measured between the back uprights and cut the front cross braces to the same length. I put a couple of pocket holes in the cross pieces with my Kreg jig making it pretty easy to connect them between the 4 x 4 decorative posts.

I appreciate all the folks who post their projects as I often borrow all or part of the idea around my house. Maybe you can get an idea from mine.
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Old 09-02-2012, 03:42 PM   #2
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Default Re: Central Air Conditioning, Hide The Ugly Compressor

that looks nice,build your own if you cant find what you want,it better anyway.
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Old 09-02-2012, 04:31 PM   #3
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Default Re: Central Air Conditioning, Hide The Ugly Compressor

Neat idea but too close to the condenser IMO. For proper airflow you're suppose to leave something like 3' on the sides.

Reading thru I can't tell, can it be easily removed for servicing?
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Old 09-02-2012, 05:48 PM   #4
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Default Re: Central Air Conditioning, Hide The Ugly Compressor

Nice job. Not only serves to hide the compressor but adds a bit of visual interest to the house.
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Old 09-02-2012, 05:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: Central Air Conditioning, Hide The Ugly Compressor

That turned out very cool. Nice Job!
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Old 09-02-2012, 06:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: Central Air Conditioning, Hide The Ugly Compressor

I hate that this is my first post, but why are you embarassed of the machine that keeps you comfortable inside? I hope that you took the same consideration when hiding your trash cans. Honestly, I'm not trying to sound derogatory. Rich
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: Central Air Conditioning, Hide The Ugly Compressor

That looks great. I've got swimming pool equipment and A/C on the back of my place I'd like to hide. You've got me thinking...
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: Central Air Conditioning, Hide The Ugly Compressor

... looks very nice ...BUT did you read the Manufactuers recommendations .... need a minimum of 30" on the 3 sides for air flow ... those solid boards are going to burn out the compressor and condenser fan ... also how are you going to pressure wash and clean the coil every year ?

R
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:26 PM   #9
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Default Re: Central Air Conditioning, Hide The Ugly Compressor

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Originally Posted by Ron Lombardo View Post
... looks very nice ...BUT did you read the Manufactuers recommendations .... need a minimum of 30" on the 3 sides for air flow ... those solid boards are going to burn out the compressor and condenser fan ... also how are you going to pressure wash and clean the coil every year ?

R
With the gaps in between the boards, 30" may be overkill- but yeah, space em out a lil. 1 foot on each side wouldn't look too bad.
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:40 PM   #10
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Default Re: Central Air Conditioning, Hide The Ugly Compressor

Neat idea and it turned out nice. As mentioned, you might have a problem with airflow but with the gaps in the boards, you might be ok. You could also leave off the section furthest from the house if need be. The unit would still be hidden from the front and back. Do you plan on painting it the same color as the house? I kinda of like it the way it is. Good contrast.

On a side note, I would do what I could to deflect the dryer vent away for the unit as some lint will get sucked into the coils causing them to eventually clog.


How do you like that Kreg setup? I just ordered a set after eyeing them for several months. First project will be some cabinets.
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:58 PM   #11
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Default Re: Central Air Conditioning, Hide The Ugly Compressor

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Originally Posted by furnacewhisperer View Post
I hate that this is my first post, but why are you embarassed of the machine that keeps you comfortable inside? I hope that you took the same consideration when hiding your trash cans. Honestly, I'm not trying to sound derogatory. Rich
Obviously you have not checked out my " what is the best trash can" posting I did last year. I do care how those cans look. Still looking for those new cans by the way.

In the fall I vacuum the leaves, spiderwebs and mouse nests out from the inside. I then lubricate the motor shaft and other sprayable surfaces with WD 40 or similar. Then it gets a heavy vinyl cover. It's about 15 years old now.

Green Bubbly, you are going to LOVE your Kreg setup. I only have the basic set. I bought it for a custom cabinet project and it really made the job easier and better. It is super strong when combined with normal glue up. Be sure and post up your project. I will keep an eye out for it.

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Originally Posted by er3456df View Post
With the gaps in between the boards, 30" may be overkill- but yeah, space em out a lil. 1 foot on each side wouldn't look too bad.
Yes I know looking at it it does seem a bit close. But I have to tell you it is more open than the one we purchased initially. I may add a spacer to the house thereby bringing the front out a bit. It will make it intrude into the path a bit more.
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Last edited by gahrajmahal; 09-02-2012 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:05 PM   #12
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Default Re: Central Air Conditioning, Hide The Ugly Compressor

Nice job, the Mrs has been after me to do something similar and you gave me some ideas.
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:04 AM   #13
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Default Re: Central Air Conditioning, Hide The Ugly Compressor

Looks nice and thanks for taking the time to post.
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:26 AM   #14
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Default Re: Central Air Conditioning, Hide The Ugly Compressor

great looking I hope my wife doesn't see it
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:23 AM   #15
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Default Re: Central Air Conditioning, Hide The Ugly Compressor

It looks like a very neat job, for sure. Nice choice of materials and careful attention to aesthetics.

I am also concerned about the airflow; the spaces between the boards aren't going to make up for the lack of openness.

Please also consider how the unit will be serviced, as mentioned above. If a tech has to come to your house and fit his own body, plus his manifold set, plus some tools, and find room to bend/kneel/work, even a 30" space begins to feel very constrictive.

The companies that sell the covers don't need to fix the problems that they create, so I wouldn't use their design as a model for what should be done in terms of not harming the unit.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:31 AM   #16
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Default Re: Central Air Conditioning, Hide The Ugly Compressor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Lombardo View Post
... looks very nice ...BUT did you read the Manufactuers recommendations .... need a minimum of 30" on the 3 sides for air flow ... those solid boards are going to burn out the compressor and condenser fan ... also how are you going to pressure wash and clean the coil every year ?

R
Don't use a pressure washer


Too close. Don't care if you don't think it is restrictive, it is being that close.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:45 AM   #17
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Default Re: Central Air Conditioning, Hide The Ugly Compressor

Yeah, it's too close and too solid. I'd make it bigger, move the sides about a foot away from the unit, and make it removable. It's a real drag trying to wind yourself into some hole to work on a unit that's in a tight spot.
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:14 AM   #18
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Default Re: Central Air Conditioning, Hide The Ugly Compressor

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Originally Posted by Lugnut64052 View Post
Yeah, it's too close and too solid. I'd make it bigger, move the sides about a foot away from the unit, and make it removable. It's a real drag trying to wind yourself into some hole to work on a unit that's in a tight spot.
This....and put something down to keep the weeds and grass from growing up around the enclosure. Those units don't take well to deviations from normal. They also work better in shade.
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Old 09-03-2012, 12:56 PM   #19
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Default Re: Central Air Conditioning, Hide The Ugly Compressor

This isn't cheap, but hammacher schlemmer sells a fake bush that covers the whole A/C compressor. Price is very steep at $549.95, looks to be the same material as a fake X-mas tree though.

http://www.hammacher.com/Product/Default.aspx?sku=82556
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Old 09-03-2012, 03:24 PM   #20
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Default Re: Central Air Conditioning, Hide The Ugly Compressor

just paint it the same color as house and forget about it, some people got too much time on their hands
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