A ductwork system is the backbone of a home heating and cooling system, carrying the heated and cooled air from a central unit to the living spaces of the home. Out of sight, home ductwork is often forgotten by many homeowners. Issues relating to ductwork can, however, have a major impact on home performance and efficiency.
Although it may sound harmless, condensation on ductwork can create water damage on ceilings and mold problems in the home. Unfortunately, many homeowners are unaware there is condensation on their ductwork and do not take steps to address it. That’s where we come in.
Why Does Condensation Form on Ductwork?
Air can only hold a certain amount of water, and warmer air is able to hold more than cooler air. As moist air cools, it is likely to form condensation as the water in the air turns into a liquid form. This commonly happens as warm, humid air comes in contact with cold summer ductwork because your air conditioning ductwork is much cooler than the ambient temperature.
Why is Condensation on Ductwork Problematic?
Water dripping from the ductwork can degrade home insulation, making it less effective and decreasing its R-value, or thermal resistance. This makes homes less energy efficient over time and increases energy bills.
Dripping water can also cause the drywall in the ceiling below to rot, creating mold and mildew issues in the home. In addition to causing property damage and being unsightly, mold can also degrade indoor air quality, creating health issues for occupants.
How Do I Prevent Condensation on Ductwork?
Insulation is very effective at not transferring heat. With proper duct insulation, moist warm air will not come into contact with the cool air conditioning ductwork. This sidesteps the issue, as it prevents condensation from forming and therefore prevents the associated home issues. The Fifth Fuel insulates ductwork in uninsulated spaces to boost energy efficiency and prevent ductwork condensation.
Excessive moisture also helps contribute to duct condensation issues. The greater the humidity level, the more likely you are to have condensation issues. This is why many homes in Northern Virginia and Metro Maryland have condensation on their ductwork in the summer, while homes in Arizona typically do not. Increasing attic ventilation with vents can help prevent the accumulation of excess moisture in the air.