Covering an AC Condenser: Is a Fence Worth the Expense?

We hardly think of HVAC units are obstructive and unappealing, for what we see is only the thermostats and air vents or registers. However, there is one outlier: the air conditioner’s outdoor condenser.

Although it usually sits at the backyard, this large, loud piece of machinery hardly feels at home with the landscape. Without barricading it with aluminum fence panels or any other covering, it can stick out like a sore thumb.

If you tolerate such an eyesore, it may leave your guests unimpressed. The same can be said about potential homebuyers when you try to sell your house down the road.

There is a lot of merit in covering your AC’s condenser. Yes, a beautiful, durable fence can cost good money, but it is worth the trouble.

Deterrence of Animal Interference

One of the most essential things building a barrier around this outdoor HVAC unit does is to keep critters at bay. If you have pets, especially dogs, you will no longer have to worry about them vandalizing your air conditioner.

It is not uncommon for a pawed friend to urinate its surroundings to mark its territory. Unfortunately, your pet may want to stake its claim to your condenser.

First of all, it can be dangerous for any animal to come into contact with it because it is connected to electricity. Second, urine can accelerate the deterioration of your AC’s material. Before you know it, the affected areas have already worn out.

You might consider this kind of fence construction project a waste of money, but it could be a good investment. It can save you a ton of cash on HVAC maintenance and help prevent sudden breakdowns.

home with a wooden fence

Noise Abatement

Air conditioners, in general, are not quiet. Some models these days can operate without making too much noise, but a neighbor closest to your condenser’s location might hate it whenever you cool your house.

As a responsible member of the neighborhood, you ought to quiet your loud HVAC equipment. One way to do that is by adding a sound blanket that can muffle the annoying sounds your condenser may produce.

Furthermore, you can plant shrubbery near your HVAC unit. Plants have fantastic noise reduction properties, giving you another reason to start a garden.

Curb Appeal

Did you know that curb appeal accounts for up to 5% of your house? It may not seem a lot, but try to convert this number into a dollar amount to gain some perspective. If your house is worth $200,000, its 5% is $10,000.

Curb appeal is a big deal when selling your house. More often than not, an enhanced house exterior can magnetize potential buyers and keep your phone ringing. Increased curb appeal may even render your property more expensive than its actual value.

But even if you plan to stay put, curb appeal still matters. Again, you would rather receive praise from your friends and relatives about your fenced condenser than get unsolicited suggestions to block it from view somehow.

Barricading a condenser unit can’t be done with abandon. As long as you allow three and six feet of open horizontal and vertical clearance, respectively, your outdoor HVAC unit can remain properly ventilated and stay functional for as long as possible.

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