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What Causes Condensation in My Air Ducts?

Sometimes the reason for an air duct starting to sweat is simple. In the warm season when the air conditioning is on, ducts become cool as they transport the air throughout your home. When the warmer air outside the ducts comes into contact with the cooler material, the humidity in the air condenses, turning from vapor to a liquid. Though condensation is more of a problem with metal, flexible ductwork is not immune to it, especially if it has leaks.

Condensation can also be caused by problems with other components in the HVAC system that cause it to not work as well as it should. If your air conditioner gives off a bad smell or strange noises, or if its airflow is weak or not cool enough, reach out to us at Payne’s Heating and Air.

Poor or faulty insulation is another reason for air duct condensation. Insulation should protect the ductwork from the warmer air around it. However, sometimes damaged insulation is worse than no insulation at all. Torn insulation can absorb condensation that impairs its effectiveness.

Overall high humidity in your house can also cause ductwork condensation. High humidity can occur because there’s a leak somewhere in your plumbing, your basement is damp, or the ventilation of your house is poor. Other causes are ducts that are blocked and air filters that have been allowed to become really clogged with dirt. If you have ductwork in your attic, hot air in the attic can also cause condensation in and on the ducts. The good news is that if the air duct condensation is caught early, it’s easy to fix.

Effects of Air Duct Condensation

A small amount of condensation usually isn’t much of a problem. It becomes an issue when the condensation grows excessive. One problem is an increase in the overall humidity of the house, which can not only make the rooms uncomfortable but also cause wooden floors to warp and wallpaper and paint to peel. High humidity may also contribute to bad smells. In addition, sweating ducts can wreak havoc on any insulation near them. Other problems caused by air duct condensation include:

  • Mold
  • Mildew
  • Stains on the ceilings
  • Water damage to wooden structures

Some of these issues can be expensive to fix, so it’s best to deal with air duct condensation as soon as practicable.

Rely on Local Expertise

As Florida’s state capital, Tallahassee is a wonderful place to live, but the heat and humidity in the summer do cause us problems. We’ve been assisting area residents with HVAC issues since 1994. Since AC is a must, condensation in the air ducts is a risk. If you suspect that your ducts are “sweating” too much, give us a call at Payne’s Heating and Air to discuss our AC service and HVAC maintenance plans.