How to Prevent Condensation on Air Conditioning Ducts

Melissa Bradford

How to Prevent Condensation on Air Conditioning Ducts

Air conditioners are essential for keeping our homes comfortable, especially during hot summer days. However, they can encounter problems, one of which is non-standard condensation.

Air conditioning condensation is a normal phenomenon because every cooling air conditioner forms condensation inside the indoor unit, but it can cause damage to your air conditioner, reduce its efficiency, and even cause health problems.

When hot air meets the cool surface of the AC ducts, it turns vapour into moisture. This moisture can even cause mould to spread throughout your home.

If you don’t want to encounter such problems or want to find a solution to existing ones, keep reading about how to prevent condensation and maintain your air conditioning ducts.

Assess Duct Insulation

Before you proceed to resolve your duct issues, you’ll need to understand the cause of the sweating ductwork. To do so, you’ll need to get assess the duct insulation.

Even the most expensive and efficient AC units create a bit of condensation. The HVAC unit pushes cool air through the ducts and causes them to get cold. And when the cold surface reaches the warm air, condensation occurs.

Of course, if your air conditioner works efficiently, there shouldn’t be much condensation. But if you notice more water on the ducts, this could be a sign of an issue.

The appearance of condensation could be because of dirty air filters, damaged duct insulation, clogged ducts, airflow restriction, too much moisture in the air, poorly sealed AC ducts, or missing insulation around them.

On average, 25% of the circulating air is lost with improperly sealed ducts.

If they are not well isolated or connected correctly, you may notice the following:

  • Higher than average electricity bills;
  • Excessive amounts of dust, despite regular cleaning;
  • Rooms that are difficult to cool in summer and warm in winter.

Check for Air Leaks

Checking for air leaks is a very important step because leaky ducts can cause issues with the efficiency and performance of your AC. Leaky ducts also lead to condensation on the system’s ducts.

The ductwork of your AC features pipes connected and sealed together. Over time, these seals wear out and cause air leaks.

In order to detect a leaking duct, you can use a pressure gauge or simply place your hand near the duct to feel if there’s any air escaping. Many people prefer using the services of a reliable plumber for this job.

Improve Ventilation and Airflow

Proper ventilation can help prevent condensation. Ensure your air conditioner is not blocked by furniture or other items and that there is a suitable airflow.

Covering openings with large furniture (sofas, cabinets, carpets, curtains) means that the air in your home cannot circulate effectively, and the air lingers in the spaces between the opening and the object, which increases energy losses.

It is advisable to have at least 30 cm between air conditioning openings and all large objects to avoid any problems, this is also applicable to air conditioners mounted on a wall where high furniture can have the same impact on the outlet air.

Control Indoor Humidity Levels

Home humidity levels have long been known to impact home comfort, regardless of climate and location. In addition, humidity levels can not only affect your comfort and sleep but also affect your appliances.

Therefore, managing the humidity levels in the home should be a priority for every homeowner and should be taken care of exactly as we care about the levels of home temperature.

The home’s most comfortable humidity range is between 30% and 60% because every percentage of less than 30 would be too dry, and everything over 60 would be too moist.

The best method of maintaining the perfect home humidity in your household is the use of air humidifiers (essential oil diffusers) and moisture absorbers. Sometimes these appliances come 2 in 1, but they are sold as separate appliances for greater effect.

Inspect and Maintain the HVAC System

Preventing condensation from air conditioning is much easier than repairing and cleaning, which may subsequently encounter the occupants.

There are several ways for proper HVAC system maintenance so that the condensation system works seamlessly. The HVAC filter should be changed once every 30 days.

When it is time to change the filter, it is a good idea to take a few minutes to visually inspect the condensing water pipe to check for moisture gathered in it or other damage.

If there is moisture, problems with the flow of condensation or the slope of the pipe may occur. Cleaning or replacing air filters, checking refrigerant levels, and checking the AC module for damage can help prevent condensation.

Add Condensate Drain Pans and Insulation

The classic split system generally includes an external and an indoor unit, which connect to each other through copper pipes that circulate the refrigerant and drainage pipes, through which the condensation is channelled. It is best if the condensation is led to a drainpipe, gutter, or otherwise that does not disturb the peace of the residents and does not interfere with the operation of the air conditioner.

In this regard, when using air conditioning in winter heating mode, placing a condensate drain pan with a heater that prevents ice formation in the outdoor unit and saves a lot of care is advisable.

Address Specific Ductwork Issues

A leaky duct can lead to multiple problems. Closing leaky ducts reduces the risk of contamination that may harm your health. The sealed ducts also contribute to more efficient household heating and reduce cooling costs.

When the ducts are sealed correctly, unnecessary electricity loss is reduced. When the ducts lose air-conditioned air, the air outside is sucked and replaced.

This causes your climate unit for heating or cooling to work harder than necessary to maintain a comfortable room temperature.

Regular Maintenance and Inspection

The main function of ventilation and air conditioning systems is to provide clean air and maintain a healthy and comfortable climate. There are several factors for their normal operation, including the regular maintenance and inspection of all components in the system.

Regular inspection of the ducts includes whether they are properly sealed.

The ducts are responsible for carrying heated or cooled air to your home, and if not well sealed, they can allow warm or cool air to come out, which can cause the air conditioner to operate more intensely than necessary.

Planning regular maintenance and inspections for your air conditioner provides maximum efficiency and reduces the risk of expensive repairs and problems.


Air conditioning condensation in cooling mode is a normal phenomenon, but if improperly directed or held, it can cause damage to your air conditioner, reduce its efficiency and even cause health problems.

High levels of humidity, poor ventilation, clogged air filters, and refrigerant leaks are the main causes of condensation. Regular maintenance, appropriate ventilation, moisture absorbers, and professional inspections are some of the solutions to prevent condensation.

Taking care of your air conditioner is essential to ensure it works properly and lasts many years. Following these tips can prevent non-standard air conditioning condensation and enjoy a comfortable home.

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