Your air handler is essentially the indoor component of your central air conditioner. If condensation is forming on the air handler, it can cause some serious problems in your home. It can discolor the concrete upon which it is mounted or even destroy your crawlspace. Here are some excellent tips for stopping this condensation in its tracks.
Check the Duct Insulation
Any time warm, humid air comes into contact with a cold metal surface (such as the ductwork protruding from your air handler), there is going to be condensation. As such, your first and simplest step is to check that your ducts are all completely and properly insulated. Even an inch of exposed ductwork can create enough condensation to create a problem.
Seal the Crawlspace
If the air handler itself is mounted at the crawlspace, then it is important to ensure that the crawlspace is correctly sealed. Otherwise, in the summer months, the warm air that is under your home will rise up through the floors and cause your air handler to ‘sweat’. There are many different ways to seal this crawlspace including plastic sheeting, the application of foam insulation to the foundation walls on the inside of the crawlspace, and more.
Check Your Airflow
If you have blockages in your ducts or a dirty filter, this can also cause a significant condensation issue. What happens is that the temperature of the air dips below the dew point (or the point at which condensation can form on surfaces) allowing significant sweating to occur on the exposed parts of your air handler. To fix this, you may only need to change your filter or check the ducts in your air handler.
Remove Drain Blockages
There is a drainage system within your air handler that is designed to remove any condensation from the inside of the unit. However, if this drain becomes clogged for any reason, or even if your air handler is off-level, the cold water will remain inside of your unit for a longer period of time. This can also add to condensation since it cools the temperature of the entire air handler significantly. You may be able to simply clear the blockage and remedy the issue within minutes.
Check the Temperature Setting
Again, this has a lot to do with the dew point. Essentially, when there is relative humidity in the air, there is a temperature at which condensation will begin; this is known as the dew point. In some cases, solving the issue may be as simple as raising the temperature in the home by one or two degrees so that condensation can no longer form. In others, the installation of a dehumidifier may be necessary.
Install a Larger Unit
Finally, significant condensation can occur if the central air conditioner itself is simply not large enough to cool your home. The purpose of the unit is to remove the humidity from the air so that the air can be cooled, but if the unit is too small to properly do that, the level of humidity in the home will stay higher, your home will stay warmer, but the air handler itself will be very cold. This causes large amounts of condensation that can truly cause damage in the home.
If you are experiencing condensation on your air handler and you cannot find the cause with these tips and tricks, please give the friendly agents at A Superior Air Conditioning a call. We will be happy to schedule an appointment to stop the condensation in its tracks.