5 Decorating Tips for Exposed, Conspicuous HVAC System

Unless you live in a tropical country, HVAC systems are a necessity so they are going to exist in a typical household. Unfortunately, these necessary installations can become an eyesore. They can affect the way you do interior design and decorating for your home. So what can you do with them? Consider the following ideas.

  • Camouflage or Conceal

What do you do to an eyesore? It’s either you remove it or just conceal it. If you want to hide your unappealing air conditioning units and utility meters, you can use short sections of fencing along with ornamental plants. With your HVAC vents, what you can do is to make it somewhat disappear from sight by painting it with the same color or pattern you have on your wall and ceiling. Simply painting it may not immediately lead to concealment so you may have to be a little creative in trying different strategies to conceal the conspicuous parts, especially the ducts.

toonsteb via Freedigitalphotos.net

  • Disguise

If camouflaging does not work, consider disguising. You can make parts of your HVAC system look like something else more presentable. For example, using doormats and some spray paint, you can create a decorative vent box or an electrical box cover. You can use a bookshelf to hide your air conditioning wall unit. If you think your thermostat is being an eyesore with your home design, you can cover it with a painting (while keeping the controls exposed, of course). There are many things you can do. You just have to be creative and resourceful. Also, don’t hesitate to get ideas from the web. You should be able to find something interesting others have already tried.

  • Color Blending

You also have the option of simply creating an appealing combination of colors. Instead of trying to hide them, you can make them a part of a pleasant burst of colors. Of course this idea is not applicable for all but it’s something worth doing for those who want to try something new and bold. Before doing this, though, you may have to go online to search for some attractive color palettes. You can’t just randomly paint things around without having a good color combination in mind. You have to match the colors of your walls, ceilings, floors, and furniture. Otherwise, you will end up creating a visual mess that worsens the aesthetic problem you were trying to address.

  • Highlight

It’s not just all about hiding and disguising. Sometimes, instead of concealing your HVAC system, the ducts and vents in particular, it may be a good idea highlighting them. They can be the center of the design or decoration you mway want to create. You can do designs not to hide them but to accentuate their presence. You can use them to create a contrast, wherein your room looks rustic and cozy but your ceiling, with the ductwork on it, shows an industrial futuristic look. If you have a limited space, you may want to create some depth by having a jet-black duct system matched with dark-colored furniture and white or pastel colored walls. For those who have prominently wooden homes, it can be a good idea coloring ductwork with a shimmer of chrome as this breaks up the monotony of the wood from side to side or corner to corner.

  • Replace
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Sometimes it’s simply just too difficult to find a way to design and decorate around an HVAC system that has been thoughtlessly installed. In such cases, you may need the assistance of an HVAC professional to have it removed and reinstalled, especially if it’s just months or a few years away from getting compulsorily replaced. Don’t be too stingy! Spend money on a competent HVAC professional to get things done properly. It shouldn’t be difficult finding one who can give you a quick quote, especially someone who uses an HVAC service software to make sure service hours are accurately measured and billed.


HVAC installations can affect interior design and decorating, especially if they have been installed earlier without good planning and consideration for aesthetic value. Your decorating will have to adjust to them instead of making them suit the design you want to implement. Nevertheless, it’s not really a major interior design and decorating issue. You can easily have them concealed, disguised, or even made more conspicuous depending on the design you want to have. If you can’t really work with the current ductwork or HVAC system in place, it’s not difficult to have everything strippled off and replaced.

You just have to bear in mind, though, that your decorating should not adversely affect the operation of your HVAC system, the ductwork in particular. You can’t force certain design decisions that may damage or reduce the efficiency of your HVAC system. It’s better to have design and decorating issues than to have performance issues with your heating ventilating and air conditioning system.

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