Why Do I Have Water Dripping from My Air Conditioning Vents and Ducts?

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Have you ever noticed droplets of water beading on your pipes? In the heat of summer, especially during the humid monsoon season, it’s not unusual to observe pipes sweating. This phenomenon can also occur with your air conditioning ducts. Many Arizona homes were designed and built with the air conditioning unit installed on the roof. This means extensive ductwork running through the attic. If you have exposed, uninsulated AC ducts pushing cold air into the house below and humidity hanging in the hot attic air, condensation will occur which can result in leakage from your ducts and water damage to your home.

There are also other reasons for water showing up in unusual places. Occasionally, homeowners will notice water leaking from a ceiling vent or running down the wall. Water stains may appear in the drywall surrounding AC vents and ductwork or on the ceiling below your roof-mounted air conditioning unit. The water inside your ducts or leaking onto drywall, rafters, and insulation in your attic can create a host of problems. Here are the top reasons for AC-water related issues:

  • Uninsulated or inadequately insulated ductwork –
    Improper insulation of ducts is a common problem, especially with older HVAC systems. Humid air hitting cold ducts results in condensation. This can be remedied by properly insulating exposed ducts or replacing poorly installed ductwork.

  • Blocked or clogged AC drain line –
    Your air conditioner has a water or drip pan. The drain line can become clogged with debris which causes the pan to overflow and water to back up into your ducts and vents. Standing water produces mold which often goes unnoticed for months or even years. A full HVAC inspection will reveal any problems you may have with water leakage.

  • AC unit freezing up due to low refrigerant –
    Low refrigerant is the usual cause of evaporator coils freezing up. This creates ice on your unit and when the ice melts, the water can leak and cause water damage.

  • Air leaks around vents –
    Cold air leaking from breaks in your duct system or around your improperly installed vents will cause condensation on the walls and water where you don’t want it. As houses get older, the foundation can settle, putting vents and ductwork out of alignment. A full system evaluation by an experienced professional will uncover any water-related issues.

A Little Water Can Cause a Lot of Damage

Water from condensation may not seem like a serious problem. But over time, water leaking in your attic may cause significant damage and may also lead to mold or even structural damage. For peace of mind and the health and comfort of your family, call the experienced HVAC professionals at Chandler Air.