How Does Water Get Inside Home Air Ducts?


One common problem that pops up in homes with central air conditioning is water seemingly finding its way into your home air ducts. The truth is, water in your home air ducts isn’t always a big deal and sometimes the fix is quick and easy.

You’ll still want to make sure you take a closer look, however, to prevent potential mold growth from causing harmful and expensive-to-repair problems further down the line.

How does water get inside home air ducts? Let’s take a look.

What Are Some Ways Water Can Get Into Home Air Ducts?

There are a few different ways for water to find its way on or into home air ducts, including:

1. Condensation Buildup Due to Temperature Changes

As the air heats up and your air conditioning is hard at work keeping your home cool and comfortable, the outside of your ductwork may come into contact with much warmer, far more humid outdoor air. In homes without good ventilation in the attic or crawl space, this is especially common.

That warm air cools down below its dew point when it hits the cold air duct, causing moisture that beads up on the outside. The usual fix for this problem involves simply improving the ventilation in the space around the ductwork. 

 2. Improperly Sealed Openings

Many homeowners believe that this only happens in older homes, but we have found improper sealing even in new construction. If pipes venting to an attic are not properly sealed, it lets in warmer air, causing that condensation to build up.

Fixing this problem usually involves sealing areas where exterior air is finding its way into the spot where your main AC system is housed. You’ll want to utilize a high-quality sealant or you’ll just find yourself having to do it all over again within a few months or a year.

3. Does Your HVAC Lack Proper Insulation?

Insulation becomes less and less effective as it ages, especially when exposed to outdoor air. Over time, you may discover condensation is beginning to build up due to your insulation simply not performing the job it’s designed for as efficiently as it used to.

Your local HVAC repair company should be able to easily replace aged or ineffective insulation.

4. Clogged Condensate Drain

If you are seeing serious water buildup inside your air vent, you may be dealing with a clogged condensate drain line. You can find out whether this is the problem by taking a look at your outdoor condenser unit. Check the drip pan to see whether it’s overflowing or very full. If so, a clogged condensate drain line is likely causing your water buildup in your air ducts.

You may also notice rust buildup on your furnace. If you see rust on your furnace, you are at risk of serious failure and your home safety could be at risk. Call your home heating and cooling repair company immediately to schedule a repair.

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