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Ask Flipped: How Can I Disguise My Window AC Unit Without Hurting Its Feelings?

My air conditioner is ugly, but I don't want to tell it that

Welcome back to Ask Flipped, where we answer very real questions from readers who are having problems with home decor, design, or anything else. Do you have a question? Write it on a post-it note and throw it into a strong gust of wind. If it was meant to be, we will find the post-it and answer the question.

Dear Flipped,

Winter seems to have drawn to a close (finally!) and the weather is steadily getting warmer, and we all know what that means: time to drag the old window air conditioning unit down from the attic. I hate the heat and love my trusty AC unit, but the one thing that I do not love is how it looks. It's big and bulky and juts out and seems like it clashes with everything! I swore to myself that this year, I would not let the AC be a blight on my bedroom anymore. The only problem is, I'm afraid that if I cover it with something I'm going to hurt the AC's feelings and then it will be less motivated to do its job.

What should I do?

Not Chill in Chatanooga

***

Dear NCC,

You are very right to be worried. I once draped a curtain over my window air conditioner (this was in my younger days, before I lived in a mansion with central air) and it was so upset that it started spewing hot air! Air conditioning units are a notoriously sensitive bunch, and you can't be too careful around them. Here's what you do.

  1. Start dropping some hints about how your AC unit looks very chilly. Say things like, "Wow, your plastic must get so cold having to cool and emit refrigerated air all the time. It's okay for me because I'm on the other side of the room, but you're right there in it, constantly. That must be really uncomfortable."
  2. Tell the AC that it's doing a great job. Such a great job, in fact, that your bedroom is now too cold. Say, "I would turn you down, but there's something really comforting about curling up in a blanket."
  3. Spend the next three days curled up in your blanket, remarking about how nice and toasty you are, and how you wish the AC could experience the pure joy of being wrapped up in a blanket like a cold human.
  4. Surprise the AC with a gift: a Roman shade that you just happened to come across. Explain that Roman shades are just like blankets for AC units.

Voila. Now your unsightly air conditioning unit is hidden away, and none the wiser as to the reason. Is it wrong to mislead a household appliance like this? Some would say that it is, but I say: what's the crime? Sometimes it's better to spare a friend's feelings than it is to be brutally honest, and as always, the same principles apply to air conditioners that apply to friendships.

Hope that helps,

Flipped

Asked Flipped [Curbed]