As a homeowner, you most likely want your home to be clean, valuable, and stylish. Through proper cleaning and maintenance, decorating, and landscaping, you can protect your large investment. However, when it comes to your home's heating and cooling system, creating style and appeal can be challenging. Although surprising to hear, decorating your home's AC system is possible. If you want to enhance the look of your outdoor unit and interior parts and accessories, consider these unique decorating ideas.
Landscaping and Screening
Your outdoor unit is imperative for properly heating and cooling your home. Unfortunately, this unit is rather bulky and unattractive, but hiding it is not an option. Using the following options, you can make your system's outdoor unit less of an eyesore and more of a part of your home's design:
- Landscaping – In most cases, the outdoor unit is on one side of your home, which is the perfect place to create a flowerbed or natural area. Using landscaping, you can block the street view of your outdoor unit, without completely hiding it. Use a power tiller to loosen dirt and soil around your unit. Consider digging into the ground to create a semi-circle edging. Install a shrub in front of and behind the unit. Be sure to leave at least 3-feet of distance between any landscaping and your unit. Fill in the area with mulch. Every few weeks, inspect your new shrubs. If overgrown, trim back so they do not affect your unit.
While shading with shrubs conserves energy up to 6 percent, plants that are too close to your units can decrease airflow. This results in a 15 percent increase of energy usage.
- Screening – Visit your local home improvement store and purchase a lattice privacy screen. These are pre-built, folding screens that you can wrap around your outdoor unit. Fold the screen around your unit, leaving 3-5 feet of distance. Choose a wood lattice screen for a natural look or a PVC/vinyl lattice in white for a traditional look.
Over time, rain, sleet, snow, and the harsher temperatures of the summer may rust and discolor your outdoor units. While this weathering does not affect your system's function, it can cause the unit to look old and unattractive. Using the following steps to paint your outdoor unit, you can improve the appearance of your outdoor unit:
- Set your indoor thermostat to turn off your system. Since disassembly is not necessary, you do not need to disconnect the power.
- Clean the exterior of your unit with a damp rag. For stubborn dirt, debris, or bird droppings, use a scrub brush and liquid dish soap. Allow the unit to dry completely.
- Use painter's tape and plastic sheeting to cover the unit's electronic components, fan, and hoses. To protect your home from paint, tape a plastic sheet behind your unit on exterior siding.
- Coat your unit with appliance spray paint in your preferred color. Use light strokes to prevent paint from dripping down or into your unit.
- Allow the first coat to dry for one hour. Then, apply a second coat and let dry overnight.
Located on popular areas of your walls and floors, thermostats and vents can be unappealing nuisances for your homeowners. Of course, they are necessary for circulating heated and cooled air into your house. To update the look of these imperative accessories, consider the following projects:
- Thermostats – Purchase 4x6 or 5x7 picture frames and remove the glass front and cardboard backings. Paint in a favorite color or leave in its existing style. Mount the frame over the thermostat on your wall. The frame is a fun accent to your thermostat and home's design, but still allows complete access for controlling temperatures.
- Register Vents – In many homes, register vents are not easy to hide. However, by using a rubber doormat, you can make these large, white vents a bit more attractive. Use a traditional black mat or spray paint in a different color. Place two-way tape on the back corners of the mat and front corners of your vent cover. Be sure to open your vents completely before placing the mat directly on top. The two-sided tape allows you to remove the mat if necessary.
Your air conditioning system is a valuable part of your family's comfort. While proper maintenance and use is key to the system's function, enhancing the unit and indoor accessories helps your home look more stylish and unique.