Condensation in the Home
Myth buster: Air conditioning systems do not produce water in your home!
When an air conditioner is operating properly it will extract pre-existing moisture in your air as it cools the home through a process called condensation.
As the warmer air in your home travels back through your return it is first filtered then pushed across the evaporator coil located inside your air-handler or attached to your furnace. As this warm moist air crosses the cold coil, the air rapidly cools and releases moisture which is trapped in the coil drain and voided using the drains attached.
A great example of condensation would be that can of Pepsi we just set on the counter. When we take a Pepsi out of the refrigerator, it’s dry but when we set it on the counter for a few minutes a ring of water will appear. This water was already in the air, the cold can made it condense and form a ring.
During times of high humidity or long periods of extreme heat, a small percentage of homes will have conditions that may cause the refrigeration lines to condensate, ductwork to sweat, or in some cases, even have moisture form on the vent grills. When this occurs, the homeowner needs to consider several things such as:
- Low airflow because of dirty or high-performance air filters
- Low airflow due to crushed or inadequate duct systems
- Excessive humidity due to abnormal weather conditions.
- Excessive humidity in attic or garage areas due to broken bath fan vent lines
- Excessive humidity in attic or garage areas due to broken or split dryer vents
- Low airflow because of equipment failure.
- Supply vents being closed causing airflow restrictions.
- Improper attic ventilation.
- Partially blocked or “slow” drains.
During the cooling season, the humidity can get extremely high, and customers routinely have problems with drain lines or ductwork sweating. This may be due to environmental issues exceeding your home’s ability to protect you from the weather. The technician’s best solution may be to reduce symptoms as a temporary fix until the problem can be addressed correctly.