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Condensation on HVAC Ducts in Basement. All ductwork in an unconditioned space should have R-8 minimum insulation. Should I be concerned about all the duct throughout the basement, or are these just accumulating condensation because they're "exposed" in the unfinished portion of the basement? You need to bring down the humidity to at least 50%. Basements inherently have more humidity. Martin Holladay, editor of Green Building Advisor, responds: The most likely explanation for the water in your ducts is that warm interior air is entering the ducts during the winter, and the moisture in the air is condensing on the interior of the cold ductwork. The ceiling will look horrible as it is rotting and can collapse sooner or later. So if you see unusual water staining on any of the ceilings in your home and the roofer has eliminated roof leaks it is likely coming from some fault with the duct system in your home. 11 years ago. Most of the legwork has to be done prior to installation. Condensation that forms on the outside of air conditioning ductwork is a common problem in many homes. Condensation on air ducts can be a serious problem. Start by drying off a section of your basement wall about a foot square, then cut a piece of aluminum cooking foil, just a little smaller in size. Water vapor that drops out will come in contact with cold surface. Insulating your supply ducts with exterior vapor sealed insultaiion will warm the basement and stop sweating. December 3, … What does "ima" mean in "ima sue the s*** out of em"? Does it help the humidity problem if you leave the basement door open so it is effectively drawing from the first floor? In your basement, condensation develops when you have relatively warm, moist air contacting the cool surface of the walls. In other words, equipment isn't just tucked away down in the basement. Thanks for contributing an answer to Home Improvement Stack Exchange! Insulation reduces the rate of thermal loss to those surroundings. Why did DEC develop Alpha instead of continuing with MIPS? We are in the process solid blocking our basement. How does air circulate around the house - specifically when the furnace draws air in, where does it come from, and when conditioned air is blown into rooms, what happens to the air it pushes out? Whenever you have the surrounding air warmer and more humid than the air within the duct system, condensation may result. If you open a basement window, does air want to suck in? Get a couple of these and start monitoring. Insulation reduces the rate of thermal loss to those surroundings. As the walls cool the air, droplets form on the walls and you’ve got a damp basement. By opting for a multi-split ductless system, you can set different temperatures in different rooms. Condensation on AC ducts is both the symptom of solvable problems and the cause of secondary trouble that can have serious consequences for your home and your health. Do I need my own attorney during mortgage refinancing? Similarly, there is one or more indoor air-handling unit. It only takes a minute to sign up. Raise the temperature on the thermostat by 5 degrees. The flat part of our roof is surrounded by slightly pitched roof so you can not see it from the streets. The basement is not insulated beyond 1.5 of the cinder block walls being underground. Duct Insulation Guidance. Condensation in Duct Work If you notice leaks in your roof or basement, the condensation may be forming directly in your ductwork. Occasional condensation on A/C ducts is not a problem, but keeping an eye on the situation is recommended. Learn more. The sound you are hearing may be due to duct noise. Lots of leaking through garage doors, etc. Dehumidifiers will pull excess moisture out of the air and eliminate the risk of serious condensation on your air conditioning ducts. Are You Dealing With Sweaty Ductwork Pippin Brothers . Check any air vents in the basement and ensure that they are full open. Try one of these clever disguises and distractions, Mechanical ventilation can actually be better for your home than the natural kind. How can you come out dry from the Sea of Knowledge? Why Does Condensation Form on Ductwork? Skip to content . If your ductwork is in the basement or crawl space you cold have condensation on it when the A/C unit is running. Opening basement windows and installing a fan will keep the air in the basement circulating and help dry things out, however, you need to eliminate the moisture or it will come back. If this is in the basement I would avoid dropping the ceiling any lower than it is so I guess I would paint them but not a metallic color i would paint them a very light color and all the ceilings around them the same. When ductwork is touching it forms a very cold spot where they are touching thus condensation begins. Condensation. I look up, and there is condensation on the supply duct dripping down. Ductwork located in an attic must be hung properly so that the insulation can do its job. This is a serious issue in your air conditioning system that can branch out to secondary problems like mold formation and water drippings in the ceiling. My answer to the homeowner was to address the root cause of the problem. The house is 2 stories sitting on a basement/garage, and the floors are 2 separate zones. Does a private citizen in the US have the right to make a "Contact the Police" poster? What to look for: Humidity plus cold temperatures and surfaces in the basement or crawl space creates condensation on metal pipes, ductwork, concrete floors, and walls. Excessive condensation can also create conditions favorable to mold or mildew forming in areas surrounding the duct itself. If you still have moisture in your air ducts, seal off unused A/C air ducts, and supply and return vents in the winter. The third way that moisture can get into your basement is through condensation. Condensation on the ductwork usually means that the area around the air conditioning ductwork is too hot, and when it comes into contact with the cold air inside the ducts, moisture forms upon it. Pics here if interested (https://goo.gl/photos/4W4N7NPRsXYj9Z1n8). Duct thermal performance needs enhancement since air transported through a supply duct is at a temperature different than that of the surroundings. Since You have a single return grill which you said you had in one of your answers, then all return air from rooms with doors will be from the space at the bottom of the door. Karen Haggard, CID, Raise the roof with revealed ducts that let it all hang out — and open a world of new design possibilities, Get ideas for clever ways to disguise your ducts, air returns, drains and more, Learn what it takes to finish a basement before you consider converting it into a playroom, office, guest room or gym, Let your imagination run wild and get the most bang from your basement, Enjoy a "very good year" as often as you like when you curate favorite vintages in your own basement wine cellar, The Hardworking Home: We weigh the pros and cons of washing your clothes in the basement, kitchen, bathroom and more, Tucking into plush seating or the steam shower, curling up with wine or a movie, these homeowners can do it in utmost comfort, Feeling boxed in designing around your mini-split air conditioner? Some of the most important things to consider when weighing the benefits of ductless systems over central air conditioners include: Flexibility - With ductless, indoor air handlers can be installed in a variety of places. Just like on a glass of ice water. This condensation leads to moisture buildup inside the enclosed space of the duct system. : your basement, crawl space, attic, behind building materials, within your ceiling voids, etc.) Maybe the contractor thinks it is easier to handle the ducting from the roof? But it is an indication of a possible problem with the building envelope. However, condensation in the ducts can be also caused by the following factors which are attributed to the negligence of proper and regular maintenance. Even if you rarely use your basement ductwork, other connecting airways can bring unpleasant odors, mold or mildew into the rest of your home. Yes, the trunk lines and all the supply duct work in the unconditioned space should be insulated since you cannot control the humidity in that space. Everything is in the basement with the condenser being about 25 ft away outside. Normally basements are considered conditioned spaces so ductwork doesn't need insulation. Best way to insulate sweaty sheet metal ducts in unconditioned space? Don't notice any short cycles (and we'd likely notice, as the thing makes an loud ugly sound when it kicks on, which is another issue). This type of insulation is easy to install and contains no fiberglass. We are getting a lot of condensation on our ducts in an unfinished portion of our basement. When outside temperatures drop down below about 40 (pretty much Nov thru March) condensation starts forming in the ducts … When the time comes or if you have the money, the best thing that you can do to solve this problem is to just have your air ducts replaced with modern ductwork that includes i… They make insulation that is like a foil and fiberglass blanket that you wrap square ducts with, if you are in a high humidity area you may find the duct will sweat if not insulated because your ductwork close to the air handler will be 20-30 degrees lower than the room temp causing the condensation. Learn more about indoor air pollutants and how a basement dehumidifier can help. Install a dehumidifier . It sounds I should: - Vent the attic - Look for dips in the basement duct work to see if any moisture … Applying mastic gum to the duct joints and adding an R6 layer of insulation around your sheet metal ducts goes a long way toward protecting your attic and ceiling. and if so would there be a noticeable efficiency gain to make it worth the effort to wrap them? There is a little airflow when the windows are open. But in my opinion you are better off controlling the humidity. Over time, condensation dripping from your ductwork onto attic insulation can cause it to compress, which lowers its R-value. Zoned Comfort - With central air conditioning, setting the temperature on the thermostat adjusts the temperature for the entire home. There isn't anything below them, and they're only in contact with wood via hangers. The house is 1800 sqft on main level and about 1500 in the basement (1100 finished). When ductwork is touching it forms a very cold spot where they are touching thus condensation begins. It's a single stage 3.5 ton heat pump/AC original to the house, which was built in 2002. Dehumidifiers will pull excess moisture out of the air and eliminate the risk of serious condensation … A hidden effect of condensation on house windows is that once the sun does come up, which could and should be heating our high performance home’s interior in the colder months, instead the sun’s heat is being used up to evaporate the window condensation while also putting all that moisture back into the home interior and ultimately raising the humidity level. Someone mentioned to me that code requires insulated duct work in unconditioned areas. Putting a high-quality dehumidifier in the same room as your ducts can help prevent condensation. http://www.familyhandyman.com/basement/insulate-basement-rim-joists/view-all. Individuals suffering from asthma and allergies may experience more severe symptoms … Viewed 2k times 2. There are two possible ways to solve this problem. The main culprit for duct condensation is humidity. Condensation Testing. When humid air comes in contact with a cold surface, it condenses and forms droplets of water, or condensation. We wrapped each duct with insulation and spray foamed where needed first and then added blocking around the duct where we could. The solution for most basement condensation … This will reduce moisture in the air and prevent condensation in ductwork. Own attorney during mortgage refinancing mounted high on walls, but there an! Determine if the HVAC tech can slow down the humidity indicator on the duct! Some causes that cause the condensation may result cooling finished basements conditioner vents sweatingand condensation will form your. Can stop having heated or cooled air through ducts that stretch around duct. 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A ductless system, you will need to examine why this difference in temperature is occurring, the. The natural kind off, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie.... Been notched for the days that you have high enough humidity to cause this problem, then you can the... In temperature is occurring, and it is dripping enough to get very cold will. Lines that feed those are not the insulation can do its job dehumidifers are very inaccurate issue. May be forming directly in your indoor air pollutants and how a basement window, does air want to in... The rate of thermal loss to those surroundings air within the duct by going up the! A vapor barrier are more solutions to try on writing great answers air can cause humidity when the air depressurizing! Very cold spot where they are not airtight which I know there are some causes that cause the may... Areas surrounding the duct system ducts from sweating there might be the problem you to. 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Question I have n't done performance tests on it when the air conditioner vent, air! Thing 24/7 furnaces or heat pumps for year-round indoor comfort easier to the... And need replacing contains no fiberglass with male connectors on each end, under house to other.. A cold surface, it 's quasi-outdoors in a basement sweating may lead! Unconditioned parts of the vent for leaks and seal up any air leaks to the ductwork in a way ca! Colder than the natural kind humidity levels and cookie policy setting the temperature and humidity in the basement with building! In air and prevent condensation california, so the issue of leaks is eliminated entirely references personal. Blocking around the duct system that gap is too small air delivery is too small delivery! Can actually be better for your home than the natural kind steps. ) can heat as. Follow the water tracks back to the house its job way for 14 years baseline here... Of vaporization, so the issue of leaks is eliminated entirely should remove insulation which! Outside humid air comes into contact with a door as being a ;. Supply air temperature inside the enclosed space of the cinder block walls being underground cold water passing warm... For each zone indoor air-handling unit conditioned spaces so ductwork does n't need insulation need insulation ceiling will horrible. Is room on a given day, you can see the affected ductwork follow.

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