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Condensation Nation

condensation nation
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Why am I getting a musty smell in my house? Why are my vents forming condensation? Why do I have water stains on my ceiling and yet I don’t have a roof leak?

Sound familiar? You are not alone, and today I want to dive (pun intended) into what causes ductwork to leak, creating water damage and biological growth issues in so many of our South Florida homes.

First, let’s start with a very basic air conditioning lesson. If the air conditioning unit in your home is functioning correctly, the air leaving the supply side of the unit should be +/- twenty degrees colder than the air coming into the return side. So, if you have your thermostat set at 72 degrees, the air off the supply side is going to be around 52 degrees. The air warms as it travels through the duct system, so in order to get to your desired set point on the thermostat the air needs to be really cold when it leaves home.

Second, most duct systems in the typical single family home are found primarily in the attic of the structure. On a hot summer day the typical attic temperatures can easily top one hundred and fifty degrees, yes — I said 150 degrees!! The easiest way I can make you understand what is happening with the ducts in the attic is a glass of ice water analogy. Think about it, if you pour yourself a nice ice cold beverage and go out on the patio to enjoy it, what happens to the glass within minutes of you going outside? Correct, the entire glass becomes covered in condensation. This is exactly what is happening to the duct connections in your attic if they are not properly sealed and insulated. Any cold air that is escaping into the attic is mixing with the Sahara Desert heat up there and in essence, creating a little mini thunderstorm in the attic. I suggest running if you hear thunder by the way.

In homes built in the late 1970’s thru the mid 1980’s this can be an even bigger problem as many of the homes built in this time frame have metal ductwork throughout. A metal duct system that is thirty to forty years old and has had no maintenance will give you massive water damage in a very short period of time if left unattended to. So once again my friends, we come to the proverbial what should we do question.

I know… I harp on maintenance constantly in my blog ramblings and the ducts in your home are no different. Unlike machines, ductwork is something that only needs attending to every few years, and with one of the repair methods we use for repairing your duct system, you may never have to touch the ductwork again.

As always, if you have concerns over what is happening in the attic of your home give us a call at 1-800-475-1504, or shoot me an email at and let the magic begin.

Stay thirsty my friends!

Until next week, House Whisperer out!!


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