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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    5

    Ducts condensing in winter

    My neighbor asked me to look at his unit. He has an A/h in the attic and the one vent in his living room is dripping. We live in Pa it is about 30deg F outside. He heats his home with hot water base board. His house is eleven years old and this is the first winter he has had this issue. Any ideas on what i should look for?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    5

    ducts condensing in winter

    My neighbor asked me to look at his unit. He has an A/h in the attic and the one vent in his living room is dripping. We live in Pa it is about 30deg F outside. He heats his home with hot water base board. His house is eleven years old and this is the first winter he has had this issue. Any ideas on what i should look for?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northern VA 38 degrees N by 76 degrees W
    Posts
    5,062
    Quote Originally Posted by jrl491 View Post
    My neighbor asked me to look at his unit. He has an A/h in the attic and the one vent in his living room is dripping. We live in Pa it is about 30deg F outside. He heats his home with hot water base board. His house is eleven years old and this is the first winter he has had this issue. Any ideas on what i should look for?
    Look at the temperature and humidity of the space. The register is much colder and bellow the dew point of the room. Cold air from around the register boot is probably the culprit.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    5
    I just stopped there, the temp today was up to 50 degrees outside so nothing dripping today. The vent that was leaking has about 20 feet of 6" flex feeding it. It was kinked almost shut. I did check the space but since it was so warm it was 80 degrees in room, the rh 40, and dp 53. It is supposed to cool off again this weekend I will check numbers then. I will climb down and check the register then, his attic has blown in insulation and 2 levels so i cant even see it from the access. thanks for the advice! I have had that problem other places in summer but never in winter.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    2,198

    You can't shut the register off, tight enough, even if your tried

    So the warm, moist air is going into the duct, cooling off because the attic is cool, and the moist air is condensing and then draining back into the room.
    Best solution would be to install HW coil on unit and run it as part of your heating system.

    Is it clear that I have seen this same situation personally?
    You have got to learn from other people's mistakes! Because God knows you don't live long enough to make them all yourself !!!!!!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    2,198
    You seem to be double posting
    You have got to learn from other people's mistakes! Because God knows you don't live long enough to make them all yourself !!!!!!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Posts
    2,919
    Take the offending register out, put tight fitting styrofoam in the register boot, put the register back on. When cooling season arrives, take the styrofoam back out. Repeat next fall.


    Actually, best if you do all supply and return grilles with the foam board. Should fix the problem. But it is a PITA.
    Remember, Air Conditioning begins with AIR.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    North Huntingdon,Pa
    Posts
    358
    Shut the registers
    PA#9377
    Your Satisfaction...Our Goal.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    5
    shutting the registers was the first thing i tried. Do you think insulating the ducts better would help keep the air warmer in system?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Posts
    2,919
    You could try covering the registers with masking tape or clear packing tape. Careful with packing tape, it may be hard to get back off. The register dampers leak as much as 30% when closed. You need to seal the opening. Hence my suggestion of foam board. But try tape first as it is easier. If that works, switch to the foam board as it will look nicer.
    Remember, Air Conditioning begins with AIR.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    5
    I understand that i was hoping to find another solution. I know he will be calling me this spring asking me why his unit froze up.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,841
    Quote Originally Posted by jrl491 View Post
    I understand that i was hoping to find another solution. I know he will be calling me this spring asking me why his unit froze up.
    Well, he could always heat the attic, thus warming the ducts and putting them into the conditioned space. Otherwise, all you can do is to stop the warm, moist room air from migrating to anywhere that the air or surface temps are below the air dew point. Physics is Physics and yawl cain't change 'em.
    If YOU want change, YOU have to first change.

    If you are waiting for the 'other guy' to change first, just remember, you're the 'other guy's' other guy. To continue to expect real change when you keep acting the same way as always, is folly. Won't happen. Real change will only happen when a majority of the people change the way they vote!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    2,198

    It just MIGHT WORK But

    Quote Originally Posted by jrl491 View Post
    shutting the registers was the first thing i tried. Do you think insulating the ducts better would help keep the air warmer in system?
    Adapting your unit with a hot water coil would not only solve your problem, but would also be more economical for heat in the Spring and Fall when temps are chilly and not cold. The Partial load times are when hydronic often overheats the space.
    You have got to learn from other people's mistakes! Because God knows you don't live long enough to make them all yourself !!!!!!!!

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