This morning’s Warranty Inspection had a situation I have not encountered before and I would like some input on it.
The weather this morning was low 80s with scattered rain. It has been a particularly wet and humid summer here.
When I walked in I noticed that it was pretty cold in the house. My wife likes to keep it pretty cool at home so I am used to 74 or so temps. This was uncomfortably COLD to me. When I got to the thermostat it was holding steady at 65.
When I got to the attic to look at the unit, I noticed a lot of moisture on the decking all along the primary condensate trap and line. Then I saw a pool of water on the top of the furnace housing. Looking further there was water in the secondary/emergency drain pan. Then I noticed moisture at the supply plenum. There was moisture on the top at some of the duct connections (they were pretty well installed with mastic) and some moisture on the decking under the plenum. As I bent down to look closer under the plenum I noticed that the bottom panel of the plenum was bowed out. I touched it and my finger went straight through and a stream of water flowed out. The material was completely saturated.
I brought the homeowner up to the attic and explained the moisture problems to him and put a bucket under the plenum. I asked if they always kept the thermostat set at 65. The answer was yes.
I would love some input on this problem/situation. I told him that due to the low temperature they are maintaining, they are creating excessive condensation, as well as apparently creating condensation inside the plenum and perhaps even the ductwork. That he should have everything checked by a licensed HVAC guy and discuss with him whether there are any modifications they can add or incorporate that will allow them to cool the house that much, without these problems developing. I also suggested that he have a mold sampling done. As it seems that this is a perfect environment and has been present for months.
Are there any methods that can be incorporated to remove moisture and allow them to run the system that low? It seems to me that even if you get the moisture out of the conditioned air, you cant do anything about the 140 degree high humidity air of the attic surrounding all the ductwork and plenum’s.
I have attached some pictures, but it is hard to see the moisture and problems.