Faux Shrub Covers: The Clever Way to Hide Ugly Utility Boxes

Is your home’s curb appeal suffering from the eyesore of a blocky air conditioner or rusted utility meter on the side of your house? Do you wish you could make these unsightly boxes disappear without undertaking a major landscaping project or relocating the utilities?

Faux shrub covers offer a clever, affordable way to conceal these outdoor fixtures while complementing your yard. These artificial shrubs look surprisingly realistic, with hundreds of plastic leaves, textured branches, and carefully designed proportions to mimic shapes and sizes of real botanicals. Strategically placing faux shrubs over utility boxes is an easy upgrade that can instantly improve your home’s aesthetic.

Reasons Homeowners Use Faux Shrub Covers

Improve Curb Appeal

A boxy air conditioner condenser or plain utility meter positioned prominently on the exterior wall can detract from an otherwise attractive facade. The uncompromising shapes and metal materials rarely blend into organic, nature-inspired landscapes.

Faux shrub covers disguise these fixtures behind convincing greenery. The fake shrubs look so realistic that passersby won’t notice the utility boxes nestled within. The shrub covers come in varieties like boxwoods, azaleas, hollies, and more, allowing you to match existing landscaping. Your home’s curb appeal is instantly improved by concealing the eyesores with seamless faux greenery.

Protect Equipment from Weather and Pests

Exposed electrical boxes and air conditioning units endure blazing sun, lashing wind and rain, snow buildup, and other outdoor elements. The constant exposure can lead to corrosion, weathering, damage to components, and reduced lifespan of the equipment. Unprotected utility boxes also attract pests like spiders, bees, rodents, and birds looking for nesting spots.

faux shrub utility cover

Faux shrub covers form a barrier against both severe weather and nuisance pests. The covers prevent heavy snow accumulation from crushing condenser coils. They stop rain and debris from clogging exterior AC components. Their foliage obscures electrical boxes and meters from view, deterring nesting insects and animals. The equipment lasts longer when shielded by fake shrubs.

Reduce Noise from AC Units and Machinery

Air conditioning units generate a persistent hum and whir as their motors, fans, and condensers run. Transformers, generators, pumps, and other exterior equipment also produce noise. This disrupts the peacefulness of your yard.

Faux shrub covers muffle machinery noise through their foliage. The plastic leaves baffle sound waves rather than reflecting them. Placing a barrier of fake shrubs around annoyances like AC condensers can make your yard feel nearly 10 decibels quieter. That translates to cutting the noise in half for a more enjoyable outdoor living space.

Increase Energy Efficiency

Letting your air conditioner bake in the sun’s heat all day will cause the AC to run constantly to cool your home. Air conditioners work significantly harder when they are hot themselves.

Faux shrubs create cooling shade around the exterior AC unit. Stopping sun exposure keeps the condenser and coils cooler, reducing heat absorption. The AC doesn’t have to run as much to maintain the interior temperature. The faux shrub cover improves your AC’s efficiency and cuts electricity costs on hot summer days.

What To Look For When Buying a Faux Shrub Cover

Size and Dimensions

An appropriately sized faux shrub cover is critical for both concealment and proper operation. Measure the height, width, and depth of the unit you want to hide. Factor in any valves, protruding pipes, or additional clearance needed around it. Order a cover that fits the equipment with enough space for airflow.

Also consider future AC upgrades or equipment replacements that may require a larger enclosure. A cover with extra capacity allows room to grow.

High-Quality, Durable Materials

For the fake shrub to maintain its convincing disguise over years outdoors, it must be constructed from weather-resistant materials:

  • PVC foliage resists fading and deterioration from sunlight, rain, and snow.
  • Dense polyethylene branches and frames won’t warp or corrode.
  • Rust-proof aluminum or stainless steel structural supports provide sturdiness.

Also inspect foliage density. More individual leaves or needles will create a lush, full shrub that conceals completely. Sparse branches with just a few leaves will look obviously fake.

Design Customization Options

Many faux shrub covers offer customization so you can match your existing landscaping. Choose species from boxwoods and azaleas for traditional gardens to exotic hibiscus and orchids in tropical yards. Opt for flowering varieties that change with the seasons. Evergreen types maintain their privacy all year. You can also find covers designed to mimic forestation like fir and pine trees.

Look for options to select foliage shape, density, and cover proportions. The goal is to emulate live shrubs realistically. This both provides disguisement and complements your landscape design.

Easy Installation Process

A faux shrub cover should install without difficult digging, planting, or heavy equipment. Most versions feature detachable or hinged panels that allow you to position the cover around the utility box then secure it into the ground. Stabilizing rods, spikes, or a stake system hold it in place.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to allow optimal airflow around the equipment. This prevents overheating. Strategically placing your new fake shrub is a simple weekend project with transformative curb appeal payoff.

Decorating With Faux Shrubs Beyond Hiding Utilities

The hyper-realistic faux shrubs used in utility covers make excellent landscaping accents too. Consider these ideas:

  • Edge garden beds and borders for an ornate, polished look.
  • Install around patio foundations or property lines for added natural privacy.
  • Flank pathway entrances or line driveway borders to enhance the arrival experience.
  • Place boxwood-style shrubs in planters on your porch or patio for elegant greenery.

Artificial shrubs provide privacy and beauty wherever you need lush greenery but don’t want the maintenance of living plants. Use them as freestanding additions or to complement existing landscaping.

Alternatives for Concealing Outdoor Utilities

If matching faux shrubs to your existing landscape seems challenging, consider these alternate ways to mask unsightly utility boxes:

  • Faux boulders – Manufactured hollow rocks cover small meters or boxes.
  • Real shrubs and trees – Plant items like hemlocks, vines, bamboo or crape myrtles to obscure over time.
  • Fences or trellises – Simple lattice panels or slatted fencing disguises clutter.
  • Vinyl wraps – Custom printed adhesive films blend boxes into surroundings.

Just remember plantings take time to mature. Shorter solutions like faux rocks or vinyl coverings may be your best bet for quick upgrades.

Installing faux shrubs to conceal air conditioning units, electrical boxes, utility meters, and other outdoor fixtures is an instant, affordable way to improve your home’s aesthetics without remodeling. The artificial covers also protect equipment, dampen noise, and can boost energy efficiency. Their realistic leaves and proportions disguise utilities in plain sight for seamless curb appeal.

Look for weather-resistant construction, dense foliage, and customizable options when selecting covers. Properly sized, high-quality fake shrubs install quickly to merge seamlessly into your yard’s greenery. With just a weekend and basic tools, you can hide unsightly utilities and enjoy a more beautiful landscape.

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