How to Camouflage a Mini Split

How to Camouflage a Mini Split Unit

While working on high-rise apartment buildings and multi-million-dollar townhouses in Manhattan, NYC, there was one thing that always came up. How do you hide a mini-split system so that it doesn’t look like an eyesore on the building’s facade?

Mini-split units are a great alternative to traditional air conditioning systems, but they can be a bit unsightly. Here we will show you some simple ways to camouflage your mini-split unit so you don’t have to sacrifice style for function.

Read on for tips and product recommendations that will have your unit blending in with its surroundings in no time!

Bottom line: As a homeowner, you may not like the look of your mini split unit. These units can be pretty large and unsightly, but there are ways to disguise them. The best option, in my opinion, is to tuck the unit into a recessed wall. This will give it a more streamlined, finished look and help it blend in with your home’s décor.

built in unit

How to Camouflage a Mini Split Unit

Air conditioners are a necessary evil in many parts of the country. They keep us cool in the summer, but they can also be an eyesore. If you have a mini-split unit, you may be wondering how to camouflage it. Here are a few tips:

Tuck It into a Recessed Wall

One solution is to tuck the indoor unit into a recessed wall cavity. This way, it will be hidden from view but still deliver cool air to the room. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Choose a location for the indoor unit. It should be close to an exterior wall where the outdoor unit will be installed. Keep in mind that you will need to run electrical wiring and refrigerant lines from the outdoor unit to the indoor unit, so make sure there is easy access to these areas.
  2. Cut a hole in the drywall for the indoor unit. The hole should be slightly larger than the unit itself.
  3. Install the indoor unit in the hole. Use screws or brackets to secure it in place.
  4. Cover the hole with a decorative grille. This will help blend the unit into its surroundings and keep dust and debris from entering the cavity.
  5. Turn on the system. Enjoy cool, comfortable air all summer long – without sacrificing your home’s style!

Pros

  • One benefit is that it allows for better airflow and circulation throughout the room. This can improve the overall efficiency of the unit and help to keep your home cooler during the summer months.
  • Additionally, installing the unit in a recessed wall space can help to reduce noise levels coming from the unit, which can be beneficial if you have young children or pets in your home.

Cons

  • One drawback is that it may be more difficult to access the unit for repairs or maintenance.
  • Additionally, if there is not enough ventilation in the recessed area, the unit may not work as efficiently and could overheat.

Therefore, it is important to consult with a professional before installing a mini split AC unit in a recessed wall space to ensure that it will be installed correctly and will work properly.

Solution: Probably a professional installation

I’m afraid unless you are very handy with DIY projects, the only option to achieve this strategy of hiding your mini-split system unit is by getting professional help.  This is not a project for amateurs!

You can, however, choose the grille that will be covering the unit. These options from Pacific Register Company are great because you can choose any design you want, ensuring that the grille will tie into your overall home aesthetic.

Laser Cut Aluminum Vent Covers

Build a Bookcase around It

Building a bookcase around your mini-split is a great way to camouflage the unit and make it blend in with your home’s décor. Plus, it provides extra storage space for books, knick-knacks, or whatever else you want to put in it. Here’s how to build a bookcase around your mini-split:

  1. Measure the dimensions of your mini-split outdoor unit. Cut pieces of wood accordingly. You’ll need four side pieces and one top piece.
  2. Assemble the frame of the bookcase using screws or nails. Make sure that the frame is sturdy and won’t collapse when you put weight on it.
  3. Cover the frame with plywood, particle board, or another type of wood paneling. Be sure to smooth out any rough edges before you continue.
  4. Paint or stain the bookcase to match your home’s décor. You can also add trim or other details to give it a more finished look.
  5. Place the bookcase around your mini-split outdoor unit and secure it. Now you can fill it with whatever you want!

Pros

  • Hiding your mini split unit behind a bookcase can help it blend in with your décor and make it less of an eyesore.
  • A well-constructed bookcase can protect your unit from dust and other debris, which can prolong its lifespan.
  • If you build the bookcase yourself, you can customize it to perfectly fit your space and needs.

Cons

  • Building a bookcase around your mini split unit may void its warranty.
  • The bookcase can make it more difficult to access the unit for maintenance and repairs.
  • If not properly constructed, a bookcase around your mini split unit could cause airflow issues and reduce the unit’s efficiency.

Solution: DIY project, professional installation, or pre-built bookcase

Again this could be a DIY project for the right person, but it would be worth consulting with a professional to make sure that the bookcase will be not only stable but also look good.

Some pre-built bookcases would work great with this type of application, like this option from All Modern. This has plenty of storage space and features quite an open design, so it will give more options for customization when venting the air out from behind or above it!

stetson standard bookcase

Build a Cabinet around It

Similar to building a bookcase around the mini-split unit,  building a cabinet around the mini-split system unit can help to camouflage the system and make it more aesthetically pleasing in the home. This is an excellent option for those who want to maintain the sleek look of their home while still being able to reap the benefits of a mini-split system.

Building a cabinet around a mini-split system unit is not a difficult task, but there are a few things to keep in mind when doing so.

  • First, it is important to make sure that the cabinet is large enough to accommodate the mini-split system unit.
  • The cabinet should also be sturdy enough to support the weight of the unit.
  • The cabinet should have ventilation holes drilled into it so that the unit can properly circulate air.

To build a cabinet around a mini-split system unit:

  1. Start by measuring the unit and then cut the lumber for the cabinet accordingly.
  2. Next, assemble the frame of the cabinet using screws or nails.
  3. Once the frame is complete, add plywood to the inside of the frame to create walls.
  4. Finally, drill ventilation holes into the top and sides of the cabinet and then paint or stain the cabinet to match your home’s décor.

Building a cabinet around a mini-split system unit is a simple project that can be completed in a few hours.

Pros

  • Let’s face it; mini split units can be pretty ugly. Building a cabinet around it can help it blend in with your décor and make your space look neater.
  • Enclosing your mini split in a cabinet can help to keep it clean and free of dirt and debris.

Cons

  • Building a custom cabinet for your mini split can be expensive. If you’re on a tight budget, this may not be the best option for you.
  • Difficulty of installation: If you’re not handy, building a cabinet around your mini split unit can be challenging. It’s best to leave this project to someone with experience.
  • Reduced airflow: One downside of enclosing your mini split in a cabinet is that it can reduce airflow. This can make your unit less effective at cooling or heating your home.

If you’re considering building a cabinet around your mini split, weigh the pros and cons carefully to decide if it’s the right option for you.

Solution: DIY it or call a professional, your choice.

As mentioned above, this can be a relatively simple project to undertake if you are confident with tools. While there a very few pre-built solutions designed to hide interior mini-split units, the beauty of creating it yourself means that you can choose what materials to use.

Something like this oak TFL particle board can be an excellent option for those on a budget and can be ordered in multiple different finishes.

ELEGANCE ENDGRAIN OAK TFL PARTICLE BOARD

Hide It in the Ceiling

When it comes to hiding a mini-split system unit, the ceiling is often the best option. There are a few different ways that you can go about this, and each has its own set of pros and cons. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular methods for hiding a mini-split system in the ceiling so that you can make the best decision for your home.

One way to hide a mini-split system in the ceiling is to use false ceilings. False ceilings are basically just extra layers of drywall or plywood that are added to the existing ceiling. They’re usually hung from the rafters using wires, and they can be painted or covered with wallpaper just like regular ceilings. The big advantage of false ceilings is that they’re very easy to install. You can even do it yourself if you’re handy with tools.

Another popular method for hiding a mini-split system in the ceiling is to build a soffit. A soffit is basically just a box that’s built into the ceiling joists. It’s usually open on one side so that the mini-split system unit can be mounted inside of it. Soffits are great because they’re relatively easy to build, and they don’t require any extra support.

Pros

  • Mini split systems are often unsightly, so hiding them away in the ceiling can significantly improve the appearance of a room.
  • If the mini split system is located in the ceiling, it will be less likely to cause noise pollution.
  • Having the mini split system hidden in the ceiling can create a more evenly distributed temperature throughout the room.

Cons

  • In order for the mini split system to fit properly in the ceiling, the ceiling height may need to be raised, which can be costly.
  • If the mini split system is located in the ceiling, ductwork might be necessary to distribute heat or cool air throughout the room properly.
  • Since the mini split system would be hidden away in the ceiling, it may be more challenging to clean and perform maintenance on it.

Solution: Best left to the professionals.

While you could technically do this yourself, I would really not advise you to. These types of jobs must be accurately done to look right, not to mention to allow the proper access and functionality to the unit. This is a job for a professional.

camuflaged ac

Put It in a Corner (No Dirty Dancing References Please!)

Here are some things to consider when putting your mini-split system in the corner:

  1. Make sure there is enough clearance. The last thing you want is for your mini-split system to be obstructed by furniture or other objects.
  2. Consider the aesthetics. While you may not want your mini-split system to be visible, you also don’t want it to stick out like a sore thumb. Choose a corner that can be easily camouflaged.
  3. Make sure the corner is well-ventilated. Remember, your mini-split system will be producing heat and potentially condensation. Choose a corner that has good airflow to ensure proper ventilation.
  4. Consider the noise level. Some mini-split systems can be quite noisy. If you’re concerned about noise, choose a corner that is away from common areas or bedrooms.
  5. Don’t forget about maintenance. Even though your mini-split system will be out of sight, it will still need to be maintained regularly. Make sure you have easy access to the unit for cleaning and filter changes.

Pros

  • The first pro of putting your mini split system in a corner is that it can help to hide the unit. If you have an unsightly mini-split unit, placing it in a corner can help to camouflage it. This can be especially helpful if you have guests over and do not want them to see the unit.
  • Another pro of putting your mini split system in a corner is that it can help to increase the efficiency of the unit. When mini split units are placed in a corner, they tend to get more airflow, which can help to improve the efficiency of the unit.
  • The final pro of putting your mini split system in a corner is that it can help to save space. If you have a small home or apartment, putting your mini split system in a corner can help to free up some much-needed space.

Cons

  • One con is that it can make it more difficult to access the unit for maintenance and repairs. If you have a hard time reaching your mini split unit, it can be frustrating.
  • Another con of putting your mini split system in a corner is that it can reduce the amount of airflow that the unit gets. This can lead to the unit working less efficiently.
  • The final con of putting your mini split system in a corner is that it can make your home look cluttered. If you have a lot of furniture in your home, placing your mini split system in a corner can add to the clutter.

Solution: Find something nice to hide it!

The trick here is to find something that is aesthetically pleasing to take the attention away from the unit itself. Sheer curtains, for example, can be hung over or beside the unit to provide a bit of privacy and help it blend in with the rest of the room.

This set from West Elm is sure to bring a bit of class to the room!

Sheer Crosshatch Curtain

Above an Armoire

When it comes to finding creative ways to camouflage a mini-split system, many homeowners are unaware that they can actually place the unit above an armoire. This is a great way to keep the unsightly AC unit out of sight and also save space in your home. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re considering this option:

  1. Choose an armoire that has doors that can be left open without affecting the function of the mini-split system.
  2. Make sure there is adequate ventilation around the armoire so that the mini-split system can operate properly.
  3. Place the armoire in a location where it will not be in the way of foot traffic or other furniture.
  4. If possible, place the armoire near an exterior wall so that the mini-split system can ventilate properly.

Pros

  • If you have high ceiling in your room and want to take advantage of the extra space, putting your mini split system above an armoire is a great option. By doing this, you can still have access to your ductless AC unit without it taking up valuable floor space.
  • Another pro is that it can help with air circulation. By having the mini split above the armoire, the cool air will be able to circulate better throughout the room and help keep things cooler.

Cons

  • One potential downside of putting your mini split system above an armoire is that it may be more difficult to access for maintenance or repairs. If you need to get to your ductless AC unit, you may need to move the armoire out of the way first.
  • Another potential issue is that the mini split may not work as effectively if it’s placed too high up. The cool air may have a harder time reaching the ground level, making it less effective at cooling your room.

If you have the space and don’t mind sacrificing some floor space, it can be a great option. Just be aware of the potential downsides and make sure to place the unit in an optimal spot for maximum efficiency.

above armoire

Paint Your Wall to Match Your Mini-Split

One of the best ways to camouflage your mini-split system is by painting your wall to match it. This will create a seamless look and make it less obvious that you have a mini-split system. Plus, it’s a quick and easy way to update your space.

If you’re not sure what color to paint your wall, start by matching the color of your mini-split system. You can find out what color your mini-split system is by looking at the manufacturer’s label or manual. Once you know the color, buy a gallon of paint in that shade.

If you want to be more creative, you can also choose a complementary color for your wall. For example, if your mini-split system is white, you could paint your wall a light blue or green. Or, if your mini-split system is black, you could paint your wall a dark gray or brown.

Painting your wall to match your mini-split system is an easy and affordable way to camouflage it. Plus, it’s a great way to update your space. So, if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to make your mini-split system less obvious, give the painting a try.

Pros

  • The main advantage of painting your wall to match your mini split unit is that it can help the unit blend in with your décor. If you have a stylish unit, this can be a great way to accent it. If you have an unsightly unit, painting the wall around it can help camouflage it.

Cons

  • One is that it can be difficult to find paint colors that perfectly match your unit. If you don’t take the time to find a good match, you may end up with a paint job that looks patchy or uneven.
  • Additionally, if you paint your wall to match your mini split unit and then decide to move the unit to a different location in your home, you may have to repaint the wall around the new location.

Solution: Paint of your choice, be creative!

painted ac

Plant Some Shrubs around It

When selecting shrubs for this purpose, it is important to choose varieties that are not too tall or too wide. You will also want to consider the shrub’s growth habit and whether it is an evergreen or deciduous variety.

Some good choices for camouflaging mini-split systems include:

  • Dwarf Alberta Spruce – This slow-growing evergreen has a dense, compact form that makes it ideal for covering up unsightly mini-split units. It grows to a height of 3-4 feet and a width of 4-5 feet.
  • Boxwood – Another good evergreen choice for hiding mini-split systems, boxwoods come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Look for dwarf or medium varieties that will reach a height of 3-4 feet and a width of 2-3 feet.
  • Hinoki Cypress – This dwarf evergreen has a dense, pyramidal form that is perfect for concealing mini-split units. It grows to a height of 3-4 feet and a width of 2-3 feet.

Pros

  • If you’re not a fan of the way mini-split units look, then planting shrubs around them is a great way to hide them. This can be especially helpful if your unit is located in an area that’s visible from the street or your home’s front porch.
  • Another benefit of planting shrubs around your mini split unit is that it can help protect the unit from the elements.
  • Last but not least, planting shrubs around your mini split unit can add to your home’s curb appeal. This is especially true if you choose plants that are known for their beauty, like hydrangeas or roses.

Cons

  • One of the downsides of planting shrubs around your mini split unit is that it takes time and effort to do it right.
  • Another potential drawback is that planting shrubs around your mini split unit can be expensive. Depending on the type of shrubs you choose, you could end up spending a lot of money on this project.
  • In addition to being time-consuming and expensive, planting shrubs around your mini split unit also requires regular maintenance. This includes trimming and pruning the shrubs on a regular basis.

Solution: Boxwoods are great, but it’s your home. Choose what you like!

As mentioned above, plants are a lovely way to take attention away from your mechanical AC units. Something like this Boxwood from Wayfair is fantastic because it is low-maintenance and will stay green year-round. Plus, at 16 inches tall, it’s the perfect height to help obscure your indoor mini-split.

2 Preserved Boxwood Topiary in Pot Set

Use a Screen to Cover It

If you have a mini-split system in your home, chances are you’re not too thrilled about the idea of an ugly, industrial-looking unit spoiling the aesthetic of your décor. Thankfully, there is a simple and attractive solution to this problem – using a screen to cover your mini-split system.

There are a variety of different screens on the market that are specifically designed to be used with mini-split systems, so finding one that fits your style should be easy. These screens can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, metal, or even fabric, so you can find one that perfectly matches the look of your home.

Installing a screen is also relatively simple and can usually be done in just a few minutes. Most screens come with all the necessary hardware and instructions, so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting it set up.

Once your screen is in place, it will effectively camouflage your mini-split system and help it blend in with your décor. Not only will this improve the look of your home, but it can also help to reduce noise emanating from the unit.

Pros

  • It can help to keep your unit clean.
  • It can help to prevent debris from clogging up your unit.
  • It can give your unit a more finished look.

Cons

  • It can be difficult to find a screen that fits your unit perfectly.
  • If you live in an area with high winds, the screen can blow away.
  • The screen can block airflow to your unit, which can impact its efficiency.

Solution

This screen from Wayfair is perfect for hiding your outdoor mini-split system unit.  It’s made from weather-resistant wood, so it will withstand the elements, and it features a natural wood finish that will blend in with your landscaping. The screen has four panels that can be adjusted to fit around your unit, and it’s easy to assemble.

Cedar Outdoor Air Conditioning Cover Privacy Screen

Once it’s in place, you can add plants or other decor to further camouflage your mini-split system. This is an excellent solution if you want to keep your unit out of sight but still want to take advantage of its cooling or heating capabilities.

FAQs

Question: What is a mini-split unit?

Answer: A mini split unit is an air conditioner that doesn’t require a duct system. They are most commonly used in homes or buildings where it’s not possible to install ductwork, such as in a historic home.

Question: How does a mini split unit work?

Answer: A mini split unit consists of an outdoor compressor/condenser and one or more indoor air handlers. The outdoor unit pumps refrigerant to the indoor units, which then distribute cooled or heated air to the rooms of your home.

Question: Where are mini split units installed?

Answer: Mini split units can be installed in a variety of locations, including on an exterior wall, in the attic, or the crawl space. The location will be determined by the size of the unit and the specific needs of your home.

Question: Are there any special considerations for installing a mini split unit?

Answer: Yes, some special considerations need to be made when installing a mini-split unit. These include making sure that the unit is properly grounded and that the electrical circuit is rated correctly. We recommend that you consult with a certified HVAC technician to ensure that your installation is done correctly.

So, there you have it! Nine ways to camouflage your mini-split unit. Some are easier than others, and some will require a bit more work, but all of them will get the job done. Let us know in the comments below which one of these methods worked best for you or if you have any other tips and tricks up your sleeve. And be sure to share this article with your friends and family who might also need to hide their mini-split!

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