Can You Put A Deck Over An Outdoor AC Unit?

While air conditioners do a great job of keeping homes cozy and improving air quality, there is virtually nothing pretty about them.

They are noisy and ugly, which can take a toll on the beauty of your landscape.

If you have an outdoor air conditioner that you want to conceal, you might be thinking of building a functional deck above it.

But, Can You Put A Deck Over An Outdoor AC Unit?

Yes, you can build a deck over an air conditioner. They usually work by absorbing the heat inside your home and releasing it outside, often upwards. For the unit to work effectively, you must maintain the recommended uninterrupted clearance above it. Otherwise, the warm air will struggle to escape and recirculate back into your AC unit, reducing its efficiency.

Two Reasons Why Putting A Deck Over An A/C Unit Can Be Considered A Bad Idea

There are two key reasons why you should skip putting your deck over an outdoor AC unit.

Before you build a deck above an existing air conditioning unit, keep the following in mind:

1. The Deck Can Trap Hot Air From The AC Unit

An air conditioner basically pumps heat from inside your house. The heat must be consistently moved away to ensure ideal temperatures.

With a deck above the unit, the hot air can be tapped, causing the unit to perform less efficiently.

Moreover, because most air conditioners release the warm air upwards, your deck will absorb the heat, becoming uncomfortable for summer living when you need it most.

2. The Unit’s Noise Can Be Amplified

While putting a deck over an a/c unit keeps it from being an eyesore anymore, it can potentially amplify the noise the unit makes.

Your deck could serve as a surface for the AC sound to reverberate, turning the typical humming into bothersome noise.

This can also drown out casual conversation. This is the least you want when having fun with friends and guests.

What If Your Budget Doesn’t Allow You To Move The Unit?

Whether you are planning to disguise your ugly AC unit or want to build a structure over it, as with any electrical equipment, you should always start with the manufacturer’s instructions.

This is vitally important, considering that failing to adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations can void warranties.

When it comes to outdoor a/c clearance requirements, the specific recommendations vary depending on the manufacturer.

If you can’t find any specific information, give your a/c unit at least 60 inches of vertical clearance; otherwise, you risk straining it.

Failing to give your unit enough vertical clearance means that some hot air will recirculate back to it, causing it to work less efficiently.

In the long term, this will result in higher energy bills, premature repairs, and eventual breakdown.

More than just airflow, if you are installing a deck (or any structure) above your a/c unit, remember you will want enough clearance to have a technician access the unit.


If your AC unit is already installed where you want to build a deck and you don’t have a budget for moving the unit, you can still put the deck.

Just make sure to give your AC unit enough vertical clearance.

Building a deck over an a/c unit will conceal it, preserving the beauty of your backyard.

Additional AC Topics
Can You Use Both Air Conditioner and Ceiling Fan Together?
Do You Need Air Conditioning Or Fans If You Live In Alaska?
Can You Put An Air Conditioner In The Bathroom?
Can You Put A Deck Over An Outdoor AC Unit?
Are Mini-Splits Good for Mobile Homes?