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August 23, 2018
Sure, your air conditioning system may be keeping you from sweating this summer; but what about your ductwork? Have you noticed water droplets around the outside of your air ducts, making it look as though they are sweating?
Condensation on ductwork may seem harmless enough, but it actually harms the health of your home. Here’s what homeowners in Northern VA and DC need to know about sweating ductwork.
How Condensation Forms on Ductwork
Have you ever set an ice cold drink out and watched as water droplets formed around the outside of the glass? This happens because cold air cannot hold as much moisture as warm air. Warm, moisture filled air comes into contact with the cold glass, forcing moisture in the air to condense into water droplets on the surface of the glass.
The same concept applies when you have metal ductwork with conditioned air blowing through it. When hot, humid air comes into contact with cold metal ductwork, that air is not going to be able to hold as much water vapor as it once could. As a result, water vapor will condense and settle on your ductwork.
The Dangers of Condensation on Ductwork
Let’s say your ductwork is in your attic. Condensation will begin to drip onto your attic insulation, making it less effective at regulating temperatures inside your home. Dripping condensation may also lead to a ceiling leak, which not only looks bad but also rots drywall and can cause your ceiling to collapse over time. Then there is mold growth to consider, as mold thrives in wet, humid areas.
Long story short, sweaty ductwork is bad news for your home.
How to Put a Stop to Sweating Air Ducts
Resolving your ductwork woes starts with understanding the underlying cause of your sweating ductwork. There are two primary causes of sweating ductwork: poor duct insulation and excess indoor humidity.
Upgrade your duct insulation
If poorly insulated ductwork is the problem, be sure to schedule ductwork maintenance and repairs with Home Energy Medics. We’ll seal and insulate your air ducts to keep the surface from becoming overly cool, which in turn will prevent condensation from forming.
Reduce indoor humidity
If indoor humidity is the problem, have Home Energy Medics investigate and address the causes of excess indoor moisture. Solutions may include air sealing and insulation, ventilation, and/or dehumidification.