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How To Make A Removable AC Screen or Removable Fence Panel

EASY DIY to make screens & fence panels removable! Here’s how to make a removable fence panel, air conditioner screen, or ac unit fence.

Make a Removable Fence Panels & Air Conditioner Screens

This DIY Removable AC Screen will hide those air conditioners, allow proper air flow for the condenser, and make the AC guy happy when he sees how easy it is to remove.

And, this hack would also work great as a DIY Removable Fence Panel to hide boats, RV’s, and that ugly area under decks. It’s perfect when you don’t have room for swinging gates.

Image of a DIY removable fence panel or ac screen. For a post with steps to build an air conditioner fence screen.

I made these easy and lightweight lattice screens to hang on posts that I set in concrete. But, you can use the hangers on any type of screen, fence, or panel light enough for you to lift in and out of place.

And, good news, you can easily have this project done in a weekend. Let’s get started!

DIY AC Fence Video

Watch this video update from 2019 to get a project update and find out why this is my ‘most controversial’ DIY project. You can also see what I used to make this removable fence panel.

Removable DIY Lattice Privacy Screen - AKA My Most Trolled Project. 😉

Why I Made This Air Conditioner Screen

I didn’t like seeing my AC units from the road. So, I decided to design and build this DIY air conditioner fence, to hide the AC’s.

The 2 key design factors for my air conditioner screen were; proper air flow for the condenser, and something easily removable when the A/C’s need servicing or replacing.

As the daughter of an AC guy, I have to say it’s important to follow the airflow guidelines for your units. Usually you need 5 to 6 feet above the units to be clear and 18″ around.

DIY Removable Outdoor Air Conditioner Screen. Hide those air conditioners, allow proper air flow for the condenser, and make the AC guy happy when he sees how easy it is to remove. You can easily have this project done in a weekend. #AbbottsAtHome #AirConditioner
This once shady and hidden side yard needed an upgrade.

When you start putting AC units together, like my 3, you may need to add more free space. If you block off air flow with screens or plants, your AC could overheat and break or plants could clog the unit.

I had to carefully design a screen that would hide the units while letting them work properly. I just wanted the screens to fade into the house, so I didn’t need anything fancy. Traditional lattice would work just fine.

We’ve planted beds full of knock out roses and butterfly attracting plants. Once they grow in, they can be the star of that side of the house. 🙂

DIY Tutorial for Removable AC Panel. Works for Removable Fence Panels too. #AbbottsAtHome #ACScreen #RemovableFence #RemovablePanel #AirConditioner
2019 Update: This Removable AC Panel has held up great, even during Hurricane Harvey.

How to Make a Removable Fence Panel

Materials Needed

Time Needed

This can easily be done in 24 hours. I would set the posts in concrete the night before, then you can start building the next morning.

Also, spray paint the keyhole hangers to protect them from the weather the night before too. Then finish off the panels the next day.

Image of a DIY removable fence panel or ac screen. For a post with steps to build an air conditioner fence screen.
Don’t forget to save or share this DIY air conditioner screen!

Step 1 – Draw up your Plans

Decide how wide and high you want your screen. Remember the trellis panels are only 8′ long. So, I wouldn’t go wider than 8 feet unless you adjust the design for 2 trellis panels.

My panels are about 30″ high including the frame around the trellis. If you want higher coverage, you’ll need to buy the 4′ x 8′ trellis to cut to size.

DIY Removable Outdoor Air Conditioner Screen. Hide those air conditioners, allow proper air flow for the condenser, and make the AC guy happy when he sees how easy it is to remove. You can easily have this project done in a weekend. #AbbottsAtHome #AirConditioner
After drying over-night, this post was ready for its panels.

Start with the Posts

Cut the posts to the correct height with your Miter Saw. Mine are about 4′. You could also cut the posts to size with a chainsaw after attaching the panels.

Cutting after is probably the easier way to go, since you could skip leveling the top of the posts before setting.

Dig at least 12″ down for each post. The depth will need to be adjusted on hills or uneven terrain. You want the post tops to be pretty level so that the screens are easier to level.

Tie a Mason Line 1″ from the top of one post, then pull it tight to the same point on the next post. Use a level to check the line and adjust the post height as needed. You will need to dig deeper or fill in the hole to make them level.

Once you have them leveled, follow the directions on your fast setting concrete mix to create the wet concrete in the hole.

After it’s wet and mixed per directions. Grab your level and adjust the level on all 4 sides of the post. The wet concrete will hold the post upright as you adjust it.

Make sure the wet concrete is pressed up against all 4 sides, so that it dries firm with no wiggle. Allow it to dry completely.

I have a tutorial with steps for how to set wooden fence posts in concrete, if you need to build a fence too. That posts has steps for building a 3 Rail Fence, like ours, too. 🙂

Hack for building an easy removable fence panel. Hide a boat, RV, or that ugly, dirty area under a deck. #FencePanel #RemovableFence #AccessPanel
Spray the Double Keyhole Hanger with protective enamel.

Prep the Keyhole Hangers

Spray front and back of Keyhole Hangers with the protective exterior enamel spray. This will protect the metal from the elements. Do as many coats as necessary. Allow to dry completely.

DIY Removable Outdoor Air Conditioner Screen. Hide those air conditioners, allow proper air flow for the condenser, and make the AC guy happy when he sees how easy it is to remove. You can easily have this project done in a weekend. #AbbottsAtHome #AirConditioner
My center post with it’s 2 hangers and split panel board.

Attach the Keyhole Hangers

Hold the keyhole hanger against the post where you’d like to attach the screen.

If you didn’t level the top of the posts before setting them in cement, you’ll need to use a Mason Line to level the Keyhole Hangers now.

Once level is found, screw 2 exterior screws through the hangers. Leave them out about 1/4″ so that the hangers are easily removable. Remove the hangers from the screws.

DIY Removable Outdoor Air Conditioner Screen. Hide those air conditioners, allow proper air flow for the condenser, and make the AC guy happy when he sees how easy it is to remove. You can easily have this project done in a weekend. #AbbottsAtHome #AirConditioner
All 3 posts with the first board attached to the keyhole hangers.

Build your Removable AC Screen or Removable Fence Panel

Now, you can either build the screens completely, then attach the keyhole hangers, or do what I did. My husband was out of town, so I was working alone.

Now, I can’t hold up those long screens by myself while trying to figure out where to attach those keyhole hangers. So, I had to attach those hangers to the boards before building the screens.

As you can see by the pictures, I lined up the boards and checked level. Then marked where I needed to attach the keyhole hangers based on the screws in the posts.

DIY Removable Outdoor Air Conditioner Screen. Hide those air conditioners, allow proper air flow for the condenser, and make the AC guy happy when he sees how easy it is to remove. You can easily have this project done in a weekend. #AbbottsAtHome #AirConditioner
Trellis on, beginning on the 1″ x 6″ frames.

Since I was using 2 screens, I attached 2 keyhole hangers to the board on the center post.

Then I cut that board down the middle. This allows the screens to be removed separately.

I could have used 2 boards next to each other on the 1 post, but cutting the single board made everything a bit easier.

Now we are basically building a trellis sandwich. Cut the trellis to size and attach to the boards while they are still hanging. I used my brad nailer to do this.

DIY Removable Outdoor Air Conditioner Screen. Hide those air conditioners, allow proper air flow for the condenser, and make the AC guy happy when he sees how easy it is to remove. You can easily have this project done in a weekend. #AbbottsAtHome #AirConditioner
Fully framed and finished panels.

Cut and attach the 1″ x 6″ boards to the front of that trellis. Get those brad nails through the cross points on the trellis to be extra secure.

Use as many nails as necessary on both sides to secure the panels together tightly. Now you’re panels are done. Awesome, right?! So, pat yourself on the back and admire your hard work.

Image of DIY removable fence panels for air conditioners.
2022 Update: After painting our brick, I’m halfway through painting this air conditioner screen to match my shutters. See my 18 BIG Pros & Cons: Should You Paint a Brick House White in a previous post.

More DIY Projects For You

You might also need to see What Happens When Your AC Filter Is Dirty? It’s full of great info about easy AC maintenance.

What happens if your AC filter is dirty? A dirty filter can cost a lot of money if left too long. Be sure keep that filter clean! HERE'S WHY.

Read Best AC Filter Replacement for Cleaner Air in a Home for everything you need to know about MERV ratings for AC filters and how to pick a filter that is safe for your HVAC system AND which filters clean air the best.

The Best AC Filter Replacement for Cleaner Air in a Home! These Air Filters remove dust, pet dander, bacteria, allergens, smoke, & viruses.

Looking for another DIY to give your yard some style? Check out this great L-shaped Backyard Bench AND it only costs $130. Yea!

How I built my L-shaped DIY Outdoor Bench for $130, awarded 2nd place in the IG Builders Challenge, season 3

Or, get a pretty and weed free path in your yard with this tutorial. 🙂

Guys, it's pretty easy to get a weed free gravel path. In 3 easy DIY steps, you can block those weeds for years with just a little labor and 2 things from your local landscape supplier. #AbbottsAtHome #Weeds #NoWeeds #PeaGravel #Landscaping

Here’s how to build a fun DIY Kids Rock Climbing Ramp for your backyard.

Easy to follow steps and video to make a kids climbing ramp, or rock climbing wall, for that backyard playhouse, fort, or play set. Fun design, right?! DIY Kids Rock Climbing Wall or Ramp.

That’s it for my DIY Removable AC Fence. Get out there and make your own!

Mindy Jollie

Monday 12th of August 2019

That's great that your camouflage for your air conditioners was designed to help them continue to function, and easily removable in case they needed to be serviced. My husband and I are about to get a new unit installed, but we had a problem with the ground sinking beneath the concrete pad. We'll have to get that all replaced before we can put it in!

carmenmsmith

Friday 24th of May 2019

this is a brilliant idea! Love it so much and love you can remove it :)

Stephanie

Saturday 25th of May 2019

Thanks so much, Carmen!

Megan

Wednesday 22nd of May 2019

This is a great way to update your curb appeal and I LOVE that the panel is removable. What a fantastic idea!!

Stephanie

Wednesday 22nd of May 2019

Thanks so much, Megan!

Meegan

Sunday 19th of May 2019

So smart! And a pretty aesthetic for your gorgeous home. Thanks for sharing your amazing idea.

Stephanie

Monday 20th of May 2019

Thanks so much, Meegan!

Mary

Friday 21st of July 2017

Very smart and practical! No one wants to look at the a/c units! I like the nice weathered look you have given it also.

Stephanie

Friday 21st of July 2017

Thanks so much, Mary. Have a great weekend!