water pooling / staining

I live in Maine - I recently have developed water stains around several HVAC vents in my ceiling. When I reach up into the duct there are small pools of water which are getting trapped in the flexible ductwork which in turn drips down onto my vent cover and causes the stains around my ceiling vent.

I do not know how to stop this condensation from occuring - I have NOT run my unit (central air / heat pump) for nearly one month because it is freezing here.

My home is warm - the attic (where all the duct work is located) is cold

There must be some way to prevent this condensation issue - anyone more educated on this topic?

Are you heating your home with a wood stove in the colder weather to save costs?

With no warmed house air circulating through the ducts, warm moist house air is rising by natural convection into the idle cold ducts where it condenses. The solution is to run the forced air system fan on low to prevent the house air from entering the ducts and to keep the ducts somewhat warmer. If you are heating with a wood stove, this will help keep a more even temperature around the house.

the home is primarily heated via radiant heat in the winter - late fall / early winter we may use the outside heat pump (forced air system), but we try to conserve electric by not using the HVAC system. I haven’t started up the wood boiler yet - may wait until next year.

How often, how long do you think I would have to run the forced heat system to prevent this from occuring?

I know that attic space is VERY cold despite a ton of blown insulation and isulated duct work. Do you think I should insulate the metal box / frame that the duct work seats into at the vent area - could this metal box (which is exposed in the attic) be a culprit?

You must become very serious about it and hire good roof treatment company or expert. they do have methods and solutions to treat this otherwise it could cause serious damage

your plenum box in the attic is not insulated? That would be a good place to start.