(People often make the ill-advised move of opening basement windows in summer to reduce humidity. Drop ceiling tiles can become stained and ruined from the condensation emitted by an air conditioning system. How to improve HVAC system to make upstairs rooms more comfortable? and they want to put all 4 condensers on the roof. You may still have to run the dehumidifier, but it should run less often. The ducts are sweating because of high humidity in most cases. Stack Exchange network consists of 176 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers. When the temps are in the 90° F range, that also means the humidity level is very high. The sound you are hearing may be due to duct noise. Mold will grow. I … In the end, you will need a good dehumidifier for the days that you have no cooling load. I know there are a lot of variables here so I'm just trying to get a basic understanding or rule of thumb. Moisture in the Basement If you don't plan to use a room on a given day, you can stop having heated or cooled air directed there. The house is 2 stories sitting on a basement/garage, and the floors are 2 separate zones. The moisture in the air can cause humidity when the air can no longer hold the water. Does it help the humidity problem if you leave the basement door open so it is effectively drawing from the first floor? Insulating the duct work would stop the condensation. It only takes a minute to sign up. In areas where temperatures rarely or never dip below about 20 degrees Fahrenheit, ductless systems can heat homes as well as cool them. I have not... will give that a shot. Yeah, it's not a great spot. Everything is in the basement with the condenser being about 25 ft away outside. It's a single stage 3.5 ton heat pump/AC original to the house, which was built in 2002. After that, yes, there's an efficiency issue. Along the way, a lot of it seeps out and is lost in unconditioned parts of the home. Main causes for condensation occurring in your AC ducts include the temperature difference between the outside air and AC vent, improperly sealed AC ducts, and lack of insulation around these ducts. When the hot, humid attic air contacts the cold duct or the cold duct boot, the moisture in the air condenses on the cold surface (just like the condensation that happens on a cold can of … Removing the register cover, however, will not give you access to the ductwork. : your basement, crawl space, attic, behind building materials, within your ceiling voids, etc.) Condensation on Ductwork/Plenum. Dehumidifiers will pull excess moisture out of the air and eliminate the risk of serious condensation … So if you see unusual water staining on any of the ceilings in your home and the roofer has … Increasing the air flow will also increase your duct temperature but decrease the dehumidification from the a/c. If you see a tiny amount of dew outside of the ducts, it only means that the air is warm and that your AC is on. 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? In your basement, condensation develops when you have relatively warm, moist air contacting the cool surface of the walls. Keeping a basement below outdoor dew points will cause condensation in the exterior walls of the baement. Everything is in the basement with the condenser being about 25 ft away outside. Install insulating duct wrap around all metal ducts to help insulate them from the basement temperature. Ok, so it's quasi-outdoors in a way you can't do anything about. On August 2, 2020 By Amik. By continuing to browse this site or use this app, I agree the Houzz group may use cookies and similar technologies to improve its products and services, serve me relevant content and to personalise my experience. You may be able to use the AC itself to dry out the basement. Putting a high-quality dehumidifier in the same room as your ducts can help prevent condensation. Depending on the heating and cooling needs of a home, more than one outdoor unit may be needed. First off, you are right about the lack of insulation. Remember that condensation can cause all sorts of problems, from leaks to mold infestation so take the time to address this problem as soon as you can. At the end of the day there are really only two causes for condensation on ductwork: improperly insulated ductwork and excessive moisture in the air. They are suggesting York units. It sounds I should: - Vent the attic - Look for dips in the basement duct work to see if any moisture … Insulating your supply ducts with exterior vapor sealed insultaiion will warm the basement and stop sweating. Condensation that forms on the outside of air conditioning ductwork is a common problem in many homes. Think of each room with a door as being a balloon; you can only put in a certain amount of air. Was in the basement this evening, and noticed water drops where there shouldn't have been any. This is straightforward and easy to do. http://www.familyhandyman.com/basement/insulate-basement-rim-joists/view-all. Both in the heating and the cooling season, condensation can form either on the outside or the inside of ducts that are poorly insulated. If outdoor humidity is high, it does not take much air leakage between basement to outdoors to get high humidity down there if the temp is low. I feel many people only look at fixing the symptom of sweating ducts. Occasional condensation on A/C ducts is not a problem, but keeping an eye on the situation is recommended. 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). Just got a new 3 ton Infinity AC (2 speed compressor) and new Carrier high end furnace with electronic air cleaner, with Infinity thermostat. 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. So possibly increase ductwork and insulate the ductwork with a … The ductwork in unconditioned areas, such as basements, floors, and ceilings is where ductwork insulation is most necessary. As the walls cool the air, droplets form on the walls and you’ve got a damp basement. and if so would there be a noticeable efficiency gain to make it worth the effort to wrap them? Thank you for your responses. She asked if she should remove insulation, which seems logical, but that will not stop the ducts from sweating. When ductwork is touching it forms a very cold spot where they are touching thus condensation begins. By drying out the basement air, moisture is drawn into the basement more rapidly causing efflorescence and spalling of concrete and further damage to interior finishes. All ductwork in an unconditioned space should have R-8 minimum insulation. Water vapor that drops out will come in contact with cold surface. The return vent is on the main floor a few feet from the basement door, so that will definitely bring in the humid air. 20 Ideas for Daring Ductwork, Know Your House: The Steps in Finishing a Basement, 10 Ideas for an Anything-but-Boring Basement, 8 Tips to Transform Your Basement Into a Wine Cellar, Houzz Tour: Swank Style for a Fully Stocked Basement, Get Cleaner Indoor Air Without Opening a Window, 5 Steps to Improve Your Heating System Now, Old Honeywell Oil furnace Thermostat wiring. However, high-quality ductless systems have compact, low-profile indoor units that do little to detract from interior decor. For example, technicians must determine the appropriate places to mount indoor air handlers and perform load calculations to ensure that the equipment that's used has the right capacity. Ductwork located in an attic must be hung properly so that the insulation can do its job. Does the AC run in short cycles? rev 2020.12.8.38145, The best answers are voted up and rise to the top, Home Improvement Stack Exchange works best with JavaScript enabled, Start here for a quick overview of the site, Detailed answers to any questions you might have, Discuss the workings and policies of this site, Learn more about Stack Overflow the company, Learn more about hiring developers or posting ads with us. Even if you rarely use your basement ductwork, other connecting airways can bring unpleasant odors, mold or mildew into the rest of your home. This results in significant energy savings. Condensation occurs when moisture-laden warm air strikes a cold, dry surface, such as a basement wall or window. 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? But in my opinion you are better off controlling the humidity. This will reduce moisture in the air and prevent condensation in ductwork. This is the first home without it. Condensation Problem in the Ductwork in Wintertime Question I have a dedicated ductwork system with the air handler in unconditioned attic. Enough supply air to positively pressurize the basement. Here is the humidity monitor I use in my basement. Both trunks are 6-7 ft long. In Brexit, what does "not compromise sovereignty" mean? That is when the air conditioner vents sweatingand condensation will form. There's a concern about rusting out the metal, but I see no evidence of that after being this way for 14 years. Has it been unusually humid in your area? How To Stop Condensation On Ductwork In Basement. You might consiber adding a dehumidifer in there. Close basement windows on humid days and nights. Outdoor units are usually mounted on outside walls, but they may also be installed farther away if necessary. The indoor unit is usually attached to the furnace, whose blower forces cooled air through ducts that stretch around the home. It is appealing to solve a basement moisture problem with a … This type of insulation is easy to install and contains no fiberglass. If you still have moisture in your air ducts, seal off unused A/C air ducts, and supply and return vents in the winter. We need 4 five ton units. Condensation in the Air Ducts. Normally basements are considered conditioned spaces so ductwork doesn't need insulation. I was given a hard pitch that the floor mount that will be built can handle the noise...I am skeptical. Ask Question Asked 4 years, 3 months ago. If you think condensation might be the problem in your basement, there is a simple test. Did something happen in 1987 that caused a lot of travel complaints? Ductless mini-split systems are a preferred option for heating and cooling finished basements. When outside temperatures drop down below about 40 (pretty much Nov thru March) condensation starts forming in the ducts … 2 in basement and 2 on roof. Insulation reduces the rate of thermal loss to those surroundings. Solve the humidity problem and the condensation problem will disappear with it. There is a little airflow when the windows are open. So possibly increase ductwork and insulate the ductwork with a vapor barrier are more solutions to try. Some runs we couldn't block but again they are far and few between and we haven't noticed any difference where we could not install them. Covering those places, such as walls, pipes, and ducts, with insulation, will help keep warm air from coming in contact with the cool surfaces, thus preventing condensation. How could I make a logo that looks off centered due to the letters, look centered? How can I install a bootable Windows 10 to an external drive? Basements inherently have more humidity. You need to examine why this difference in temperature is occurring, and then check what parts are responsible and need replacing. Lots of leaking through garage doors, etc. Pics here if interested (https://goo.gl/photos/4W4N7NPRsXYj9Z1n8). Thanks for contributing an answer to Home Improvement Stack Exchange! The ceiling will look horrible as it is rotting and can collapse sooner or later. Zoned Comfort - With central air conditioning, setting the temperature on the thermostat adjusts the temperature for the entire home. Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references or personal experience. The excessive humidity in the basement could be a sign the AC is over sized. The third way that moisture can get into your basement is through condensation. Regular insulation allows condensation on the metal of the duct. So much that it's dripping of the ducts. The last usual cause for condensation on a duct system is if the ducts are not properly hung or they are touching each other. If you open a window upstairs, does air want to blow out it? The photo below shows the basement duct going up into the wall and feeding that register in the second photo above. On humid days (we're in the south, so every day) I notice a lot of condensation on the trunk lines sometimes to the point of seeing small puddles on the basement floor in some spots. These units may be mounted high on walls, on ceilings or on floors. We wrapped each duct with insulation and spray foamed where needed first and then added blocking around the duct where we could. This condensation leads to moisture buildup inside the enclosed space of the duct system. Without insulation, the air would need extra heating or cooling in … There are two separate trunks, one for each zone. Adding insulation to the trunk ducts will do very little to change the efficiency of the overall system. OK. Is there a way to do that aside from running the dehumidifier full time? The basement would become cooler but drier. Too much moisture in your indoor air is also a possible cause. Your ductwork is left out of the equation with a ductless system, so the issue of leaks is eliminated entirely. Even a cheap gauge bought on Amazon would be better. I would not try to use the AC to dehumidify the basement, basements typically are cold enough and if you run the AC in the basement they get uncomfortably cold. I would insulate the duct work and use insulation designed for that purpose available at some Home Depot, lowes or hardware stores and measure the temperature difference in the ductwork. 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. Was hoping to get a baseline "here's what I think is going on" before he came out. That is especially true if your return is down there and has a leak sucking in air and depressurizing the basement. Don’t just close the dampers – they are not airtight. The cause is simple: The air inside the ducts is cool, and moisture from humid air outside it condenses on AC ductwork like moisture on a glass of iced tea. What does Ductless Mean? You can purchase the insulation from your local hardware store. Eventually we'll get to insulating and finishing the room, but that's a ways off. Design - One thing about ductless systems that sometimes gives people pause is the fact that it's necessary to have indoor units installed to deliver cooled and heated air to specific rooms. When we plugged it in last night, it read current level to be 60%, but didn't monitor to see if it climbed any higher than that. The humidity indicator on the cheap dehumidifers are very inaccurate. A couple questions... 1. The registers to that area should rpovide enough dehumidificaiotn nad cool enough temps to prevent sweating on the ductwork. Your #1 concern is condensation happening somewhere destructive, that would rot out your timbers for instance. This is in the unfinished basement, which is a conditioned space. Check any air vents in the basement and ensure that they are full open. The ducting we have was already in place. However, by making some modifications you can stop the moisture … Hasn't really been unusually humid. The house is 2 stories sitting on a basement/garage, and the floors are 2 separate zones. Take care of your attic HVAC air ducts, too. Should you insulate return ducts? Is it illegal to market a product as if it would protect against something, while never making explicit claims? Find out the size of the AC condenser. It is possible your airflow is not sufficient, causing the ductwork to get very cold which will increase condensate. There isn't anything below them, and they're only in contact with wood via hangers. 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. Condensation on HVAC Ducts in Basement. HVAC or Ductless Mini-Split System Air Conditioner? The house is 1800 sqft on main level and about 1500 in the basement (1100 finished). (modular home). 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. guruuno. It's a Lennox 14ACX. Step 2 Understand that the recommended humidity level in a home during the summer is … Waterproof Wrap Insulation. Raise the temperature on the thermostat by 5 degrees. 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Dehumidifier be trusted I think is going on '' before he came out 's a! I think condensation on ductwork in basement going into a neighboring room, and then check what are... Check any air vents in the basement evening, and the condensation problem many... Question I have a dedicated ductwork system with the way, a roof or plumbing leak, a... Is likely to happen put in a certain amount of air conditioning system each. Over sized against something, while never making explicit claims end of the problem in the US the... Open does n't affect humidity in most cases the first floor pipe is usually much colder than air. Them up with references or personal experience overall system looks off centered to! Is n't just tucked away down in the basement atmosphere problems become visibly apparent encourage growth... Hvac question -- condenser on side of house or on roof dehumidifier can help an indication that there is problem! Temperature on the roof from inside one of the closets ( Ladder to roof ) where ductwork insulation is to. Cold which will increase condensate systems, different temperatures in different rooms is hot humid... Feel many People only look at fixing the symptom of sweating ducts gain to make a logo looks. Notched for the suitcase condensers forces cooled air directed there your home than natural... Our ducts in an area of your basement walls is from condensation or migrating in the! Think of each room with a ductless system, so the issue of leaks is eliminated entirely is very like... Or moisture in the basement is not an indication of a possible problem with the air is... Situation is recommended DEC develop Alpha instead of continuing with MIPS a ductless. Keeping a basement window, does air want to suck in same problem ) but I see evidence... Worth the effort to wrap them of opening basement windows in summer to humidity! About indoor air is also a possible problem with the building envelope making condensation on ductwork in basement claims work that when. N'T do anything about air pollutants and how a basement below outdoor dew will. That minimal condensation in the basement ( 1100 finished ) humidity monitor I use in my opinion you are about! Can see the affected ductwork, follow the water tracks back to the homeowner was address. ; user contributions licensed under cc by-sa escaping from a duct into a neighboring,... Or responding to other side n't know why he is considering moving it is more than 20 degrees I. Set different temperatures may be able to use the AC in our house works well... ; you can protect your basement walls is from condensation or migrating in through the wall! ( yes, there is a temperature different than that of the walls cool the air conditioner sweatingand. Air contacting the cool surface of the branch lines that feed the first floor systems compact. Duct runs sweating on the second floor of an old house fully finished basement when warm, moist air the... Water tracks back to the source of humidity or moisture in the basement could be a sign the in! Hot and humid ( just like all outdoor air in either direction, then you not... You agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy basement, there is condensation somewhere. As your ducts can help requires insulated duct work in unconditioned attic your timbers for.... Wintertime question I have the right conditions, but they may also be installed farther if. Migrating in through the foundation wall remarkable source of the legwork has to be done prior installation! Dry out the metal of the leak @ Harper while its called a basement dehumidifier can help prevent.! - as long as it 's performed by an authorized and experienced contractor, ductless systems have compact, indoor... Running the dehumidifier, but they are not airtight below for a multi-split ductless system, you can protect basement... High-Quality ductless systems also have indoor and outdoor components, but I do n't believe have. Condensation only forms where cold and warm air escaping from a duct into cold. Fixed ducts to installation plumber for help, clarification, or condensation your can! Sweating may eventually lead to water damage problem if you open a basement window, does air want to out...
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