One of the most frequent difficulties that your HVAC system faces is moisture concerns. We did the research for you, so if you see condensation on your air handler and wonder how to stop it. Here are some important conclusions we came to.
Finding the proper condensation source is the first step. You can take the following actions once the reason for the condensation on the air handler has been determined:
- If a portion of the air handling unit ducts comes into contact with outdoor, unconditioned air, ensure that the ducts are adequately insulated.
- By keeping out humid outside air and/or ground moisture, effectively sealing the space will help you reduce or even eliminate the sweating problem if your home’s air handler unit is situated in the crawl space.
- If the air handler is in your crawl area, you can also put a dehumidifier there.
- Think about conducting an air handler duct cleaning or filter change.
- The risk of perspiring at the AHU will decrease as the air conditioning temperature is increased since the return air temperature will increase along with it.
- If your drain pan has a crack or other damage, fix it.
To learn what makes your air handler perspire, keep reading. We’ll also discuss the consequences of this issue and the importance of finding a quick solution.
Why Does Your Air Handler Unit Condensate?
The following causes of perspiration in your air handler include:
- Air Movement and Humidity. If an air handler is placed in a crawlspace, attic, garage, or closet, there may be less ventilation and more humidity surrounding it. When hot, humid air is combined with the air handler’s internal cold air and cool metal, condensation is the outcome.
- Blockage of the Air Handler Drain Pipe. If the drain pipe for the air handler becomes blocked or the air handler is not angled properly, the chilled water within will remain inside for a longer time and cause the outside air to condense on the surface of the unit.
- There is a Leak on the Ducts. If the ducts are leaking cold air, condensation is more likely to occur.
- Ice on the Evaporator Coil. A local reduction in temperature at the air handler unit brought on by the icing of the evaporator coils may cause perspiration.
- Inadequate or Incorrect Insulation. In certain cases, the air handlers are simply insufficiently insulated. It is common to see moisture or microbial growth at the air handler joints and connections to the ductwork and plenum.
- Wrong Thermostat Setting. If the home gets too chilly relative to the outside air, it might not be able to adequately insulate the unit to stop the condensation.
- Drain Pan is Cracked or Broken. If the drain pan cracks, the system is no longer protected from moisture, which could damage the unit.
- Low Level of Refrigerant. Low system pressure and insufficient cooling from the unit are consequences of low refrigerant levels. Additionally, the evaporator coil will freeze before melting and filling the pan to the brim.
Why Is It Important To Deal With Condensation On Your Air Handler Right Away?
Condensation is usual for air conditioning systems that are operating properly.
Excessive condensation indicates a problem with your unit and that your HVAC system needs immediate repair, as evidenced by sweating ducts and drips from the outside of the unit cabinet.
Without prompt action, excessive condensation could overflow your unit’s drainage system, causing harm to your house.
This injury can manifest as stains, structural damage from drainage water that forms puddles, and/or overly humid conditions that encourage the growth of mold and mildew.
What Issues Could Too Much Condensation On Your Air Handler Cause?
Inadequate air handling unit condensation can result in the following issues:
Water Damage To Your Property
Condensation overflow could result in water damage to your property. Your home may experience considerable water damage before you realize there is a problem because the indoor component of your unit is commonly the site of this damage and is typically not one that you frequently visit.
Growth Of Mold And Mildew
The water leak will cause the humidity levels in your home to increase, which may hurt and encourage the development of mold and mildew.
The air quality in your home may suffer as a result of their presence and any existing damage may get worse.
Damage To Your Device
You most likely want your unit to continue operating, therefore you don’t want excessive condensation to prevent it from doing its job. If there is too much water in the condensation pan, an overflow switch will shut off your air handler.
Your unit can refuse to come on if there is too much moisture in the system in which case you will need to call a professional to service it.
Condensation Prevention Tips For Your Air Handling Unit
The following precautions can help prevent excessive condensation on your air handling unit:
- To improve the circulation around the air handler, add vents. In the event that the unit is in a garage or closet, keep the doors open or put in a fan.
- Maintain regular checks for HVAC system leakage. Because they are concealed inside walls and in places with low traffic, leaks in certain units’ condensation lines frequently go unnoticed.
- You should replace the air filter every 30-90 days, depending on if you have pets or smokers in the home. Then you might have to do it more frequently.
- Additionally, check to see if the registers and vents are free of obstacles.
- Keep your drain lines clean.
What Kind Of Insulation Should Be Used For Air Handlers?
The majority of air handler units have fiberglass added as insulation material to the interior surfaces to aid in thermal insulation, noise reduction, and sound absorption.
However, in rare circumstances, the high fluctuations in temperature, humidity, and air turbulence may cause the fiberglass insulation’s integrity to weaken and delaminate.
For this reason, if the insulation in the air handler needs to be replaced, it is advised to switch out the fiberglass insulation for closed-cell foam insulation. Closed-cell foam insulation provides various benefits over fiberglass insulation, including the following:
- a more refined result;
- enhanced robustness; and
- resistance against the development of dirt and moisture.
How Frequently Should You Clean the Ductwork in Your Air Handler?
Your air ducts should be cleaned every three to five years, according to the experts. Because they are built within your walls, it is challenging to access and completely inspect your ducts.
Cleaning your air ducts is not necessary, according to the EPA, unless there are signs of mildew, vermin, standing water, or an excessive amount of dust and debris.
If someone in your home suffers from allergies or respiratory problems, think about having a professional inspect your ducts, especially if their symptoms appear to be growing worse.
How To Check For Duct Leaks
Here are some methods you can use to find air duct leaks:
- Wherever your ducting is, go up into the attic or down into the basement to have a visual inspection. Use a flashlight to look for obvious cracks and gaps.
- Check the insulation around the ducts for any deterioration, such as mold or wet spots.
- Corrosion of the conduits suggests a leak as well.
- Since most leaks are typically discovered there, check the duct joint. Leakage is present if you can feel air escaping from a hole around the joints with your hand. When the rupture is severe, air may occasionally be seen gushing out of the joint due to the force of the rupture.
- If visual inspection or feeling for air flowing out of a hole are not able to find air leaks, try doing a smoke test. To find ductwork leaks, you must utilize a smoke-emitting tool, such as a smoke pencil or an incense stick. Move your tool slowly over the entire ductwork.
- If the smoke seems to be blowing off or moving about, there most certainly is a leak there.
- When checking your ducts, if you come across an old piece of duct tape, it most likely functioned to mask a leak. Duct tape can stop leaks momentarily, but it won’t work in the long run.
- Finding air leaks in ductwork can be challenging. The high settings on your HVAC system could be able to help. When the air is fleeing at maximum speed, any tears, holes, or gaps are simpler to see.
- You may also let fresh air in by opening the windows and turning on the HVAC fan at full power. If you see outside air pouring in, duct leakage is most likely to blame.
Your air handler condensation is typical. However, if you notice that it is getting out of hand, you should act right once to put a stop to it.
Insulation can be added to or changed in the space surrounding your air handler unit, including where it is situated. To reduce the humidity around your air handler, you can also use a dehumidifier or just swap out the filter on the appliance. Additionally, look for any cracks or rust in your drain pan and fix it.
Call your reliable HVAC expert for assistance if all of these steps fail to resolve the issue.