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It’s Hot — Are Your Ducts Sweating Too?

Fall may not be too far into the future, but there’s no getting around the fact that the summer sun is still beating down in full force. Chances are that you’ve been spending just as much time indoors by your air conditioner as you have outside this summer, and if you’re like many other homeowners in the Cherry Hill, NJ area, you may have noticed that your ductwork has been sweating. It’s a common issue that many people don’t quite understand, but it almost always has to do with the relative humidity of your indoor air.

Have your air conditioner’s ducts been sweating? Here’s why, and what you need to do about it.

Reasons for the “Duct Sweats”

Most people are familiar with the concept of humidity. You go outside, start moving around and it feels as if you can drink the air surrounding you. When the air is this “thick” it tends to be at or near 100% relative humidity, which essentially is the maximum amount of moisture it can hold. As a general rule, the warmer the air happens to be, the more moisture it will be able to comfortably hold.

Imagine that the air within your home is at or near 100% humidity. As cool air from your AC moves through your home’s ductwork, it lowers the temperature of the ducts, which then lower the temperature of the air they make contact with. The result? Your indoor air reaches a point where it can no longer handle the moisture it holds—referred to as the “dew point,” and leads to a buildup of condensation.

Note that it’s not the conditioned air inside your ducts that cause moisture buildup, but rather the air that flows ambiently throughout the home.

The Solution? Insulate & Seal Your Ducts!

So, how exactly can you keep this from happening? In most cases, the problem is a result of ducts that have not been properly insulated and sealed. This is especially true when ducts are located close to one another, in which case rapid cooling can occur and moisture can proliferate quickly. By insulating your ductwork and adding a vapor barrier to ensure that the insulation itself doesn’t get wet, you can keep condensation from building up on your ducts.

You may also want to take a closer look at your air conditioner’s air filter. When an air filter gets dirty, the air it forces into your ducts can be cooler than usual, thus causing indoor air temperatures to drop more quickly. By cleaning or replacing your air filter, you can stop this problem in its tracks.

At Allied Energy Efficiency Experts, we deal with sweating ducts throughout the entire summer, helping our customers finally put a stop to the issue.

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