How to Hide Your Air Conditioning Behind Brick

Air conditioning repair guy David Lewis finds what he considers a novel installation of the AC condenser units found on the ground outside most Houston homes. The site (above and at left) is a 6,500-sq.-ft. doctors’ office converted from a house built in 1940, about a mile away from Rice University. Here, the condensers have their own vented add-on room tucked behind an added exterior stair — where they’re protected from the elements, thieves, and offended eyeballs. The expensive setup also means there’s a little more work for repairs: “You must have the area well ventilated hence the brown vents and weird hoods on the units. The greatest downside is that those hoods prevent service to the unit. If the condenser fan motor decides to quit then the hood must first be removed to allow access for replacement.”

Photos: David Lewis

7 Comment

  • My home A/C is surrounded by a cedar fence, which is covered in vines. A totally DIY affair, and the guys doing routine A/C inspections have made no remarks amount ease of access, ventilation, etc. It’s a fun project to do. Note: put away your post-hole digger and rent an auger.

  • I wonder what it does to the efficiency of the unit, an enclosure even vented one still slows down the flow of heat. Sometime it’s better just to hide those units on the roof behind a parapet wall.

  • Note: Texas811. Call before you dig!

  • The positives listed here are certainly valid, but their are some significant minuses.

    My relative bought a townhouse with the a/c compressor in a vented closet,and had several issues. In spite of the venting, the temperatures in the closet were always higher than outdoors (no air flow, no breeze), compromising efficiency. The other problem was that the unit never got washed off by rain, requiring that the unit needed biweekly washing with a water hose (while trying to avoid wetting down the sheetrock).

  • Wow, thats super clever. Looks fantastic. What about when they need it serviced, though? Seems like a good way to have a grumpy a/c guy on your hands, lol.

  • As far as hiding an air conditioning unit, that’s a pretty clever way to do it! I took a close look at the images, and the room they’re in seems easily accessible, even if the units themselves may need a little more work to get to for repairs and diagnostics. Still, like I said, it’s clever!