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A tall, aesthetically-pleasing white fence conceals an outdoor HVAC unit.

How to Hide an Ugly HVAC Unit

Clever ways to disguise an HVAC unit that’s ugly or in the way.

May 21, 2018

Not all HVAC systems can be as good looking or unstoppable as a Trane. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and disguise an ugly unit or hide nice, new equipment that’s simply in the way. Fortunately, there are great products and tips available to help make the job easy. Just make sure they are placed far enough away from your unit that they don’t compromise the airflow and efficiency of your HVAC system. Now, check out these clever disguises!

Faux greenery

Here’s a smart way to hide your HVAC unit. Pretend it’s a bush. This faux ivy leaf netting mimics a tall hedge, so no one will guess what’s behind it and they’ll think you’re a great landscaper. It’s also easy to clean and maintain — just spray it with your hose. Keep in mind that you will need a fence to attach it to. If you prefer the real thing, here are some tips for doing your own landscaping around your HVAC unit.

suncast screen

This charming wicker screen will give your backyard a cottage garden feel and keep your HVAC unit tucked out of sight. It’s made from steel and resin so it’s extra durable. It’s also powder-coated to resist rust, mildew and fading. One of the best features is that it’s flexible and can be arranged in multiple ways to suit your needs. You will need to assemble it, but it’s freestanding so you don’t need to attach it to another structure.

lattice bonanza

If you’re looking for a simple and straightforward covering, this low lattice-style screen might be right for you. It’s easy to assemble and the hinged design makes it flexible to configure. One of the wins for this enclosure is that it comes in 4 colors — brown, natural, white and grey wash.

redcedar ebay

If you’re the handy type who likes a little extra help, these pre-assembled panels are perfect. The red cedar blends well into natural settings, but you can easily paint it if that’s your style. The design isn’t your traditional lattice look, which will make your screen stand out — in a good way. Because these are sold as individual panels, you have the flexibility to order as many as you need and build the screen of your dreams.

striped screening

A geometric design like this is right at home in a modern outdoor area. You can choose from green and white stripes or brown and white stripes. The only snag is that you’ll need a fence or wooden structure to hang the plastic mesh screen on. It may work best as a decorative element on top of one of the other wooden screen options.


This screen has an Asian flair and an interesting bamboo design that would look great in a Japanese garden or tropical backyard retreat. The 4-panel design is a nice feature because it will be big enough to conceal any size HVAC unit you want to hide. The folding panels also make it flexible to configure.

critterguard gardenfencing

Technically, this is a garden fence designed to keep animals from eating your vegetables and plants. But the creative homeowner with a green thumb may want to try putting this around their HVAC unit as a screen. Then you can grow flowering vines on the fence for a one-of-a-kind disguise.

Need help? If you’re not sure about the safest way to conceal your HVAC unit, your local Trane Comfort Specialists can advise on best practices and perform a seasonal check-up to make sure your system is running great behind-the-scenes (and screens!)

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