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Old 08-16-2007, 07:37 PM   #1
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Condensation/Dripping from AC Vents?


I just bought our first house and we noticed water trailing down from a few different AC vents. When I look closer at the vents I see some condensation collecting. This is not just one vent, or one room, but several vents in different rooms (but not all vents). Is this a humidity issue? What can I do to assess the situation before spending a zillion dollars contacting an HVAC contractor?

Many thanks!

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Old 08-16-2007, 08:43 PM   #2
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Condensation/Dripping from AC Vents?


Check the drain pan under the air handler which is probably in the attic. It is normally drained by a pipe exiting to the outside of the house somewhere and may be clogged. If its condensation versus a major amount of water, it may point to leaky ductwork picking up outside humid air.

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Old 08-16-2007, 09:17 PM   #3
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We had dripping. Turned out the pan was too small. Fixed.

Nope, still had dripping. Turns out that the pipe was at an incline. Fixed.

Nope, still more dripping. Coils were leaky (didn't quite figure out where the water came from). Fixed.

Nope, still MORE dripping. This was condensation from the DUCTS!

Solution:

Don't run the A/C so that it is like a meat locker in the house!

(Oh, and that was the last fix)
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Old 08-17-2007, 04:53 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info. Just to share how this all got resolved: I ended up calling an HVAC guy to assess the problem (we had freshly painted walls, so the water dripping was causing me some urgent concerns). For $119 dollars I learned that the problem was that we had wire filters that were permanent (i.e., you don't have to replace them, but can clean and replace) and they severely restricted airflow into the system. To make the problem worse, apparently these filters had not been cleaned in some time and were quite gucked up. He cleaned the filters checked out the rest of the system and said everything looked good. I must admit that I had some concern with this answer (as it seemed to easy), but I have to say that the vents are no longer leaking or showing any condensation. Good news.

He also recommended that i ditch these wire filters (he thinks they are too restrictive on air flow) and go with the normal disposable types. I'll probably take that advice.

Thanks again for the responses!
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Old 08-17-2007, 05:11 PM   #5
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Condensation/Dripping from AC Vents?


Ah, had that one many years ago (forgot about it). Yeah, turned the unit into a block of ice. Niiiice. And yes, our problem was non-disposable air filters (got the same lecture ).

Moral of the story: some things are disposable for a reason.
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Old 08-17-2007, 05:15 PM   #6
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Condensation/Dripping from AC Vents?


Quote:
Originally Posted by viking1974 View Post
Thanks for the info. Just to share how this all got resolved: I ended up calling an HVAC guy to assess the problem (we had freshly painted walls, so the water dripping was causing me some urgent concerns). For $119 dollars I learned that the problem was that we had wire filters that were permanent (i.e., you don't have to replace them, but can clean and replace) and they severely restricted airflow into the system. To make the problem worse, apparently these filters had not been cleaned in some time and were quite gucked up. He cleaned the filters checked out the rest of the system and said everything looked good. I must admit that I had some concern with this answer (as it seemed to easy), but I have to say that the vents are no longer leaking or showing any condensation. Good news.

He also recommended that i ditch these wire filters (he thinks they are too restrictive on air flow) and go with the normal disposable types. I'll probably take that advice.

Thanks again for the responses!
My first guess would have been the size of the A/C unit. If the unit is too big (tonnage) it won't run enough to keep the humidity down in your home.

I wouldn't have guessed it was the filter, because usually your house won't cool down at all, and the A/C just keeps on running with a blocked filter. The lack of airflow through the filter causes the A-Coil to ice up and not 'exchange' temperature properly.

Anyway...don't feel bad, this as to be the most common of A/C problems. BTW, the HVAC guy is right, use a cheap pleated filter and check it regularly. I'm glad you got good honest service from this guy.
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Old 08-19-2007, 03:12 PM   #7
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Condensation/Dripping from AC Vents?


Quote:
Originally Posted by viking1974 View Post
Thanks for the info. Just to share how this all got resolved: I ended up calling an HVAC guy to assess the problem (we had freshly painted walls, so the water dripping was causing me some urgent concerns). For $119 dollars I learned that the problem was that we had wire filters that were permanent (i.e., you don't have to replace them, but can clean and replace) and they severely restricted airflow into the system. To make the problem worse, apparently these filters had not been cleaned in some time and were quite gucked up. He cleaned the filters checked out the rest of the system and said everything looked good. I must admit that I had some concern with this answer (as it seemed to easy), but I have to say that the vents are no longer leaking or showing any condensation. Good news.

He also recommended that i ditch these wire filters (he thinks they are too restrictive on air flow) and go with the normal disposable types. I'll probably take that advice.

Thanks again for the responses!
The plain filters are referred to as rock stoppers in the trade as in that is the size of what they will stop. You want better air filtration than that but it comes at the price that you have to clean them often. If you use plain filters the dust that gets by will eventually clog the face of your coils and end in a larger expence in having the hvac guy back out to open the duct work to clean the coils off. Stay with a better filter but, keep them clean.
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Old 08-19-2007, 05:04 PM   #8
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Condensation/Dripping from AC Vents?


Great advice. Many thanks.
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Old 08-20-2007, 07:59 AM   #9
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Condensation/Dripping from AC Vents?


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Great advice. Many thanks.

If your filter is one of those contractor's choice filters, I would get rid of it and use a good pleated filter instead. Those contractor choice washable filters are extremely restrictive and cause a lot of problems.

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