Occasionally, HVAC consultants will receive calls from homeowners regarding what to do about a wet air filter. It’s important to get help as soon as this condition is detected, as a wet air filter can lead to air quality problems. It may also be the harbinger of water leaking from the HVAC system and into the home.
Most Common Cause of a Wet Air Filter
During HVAC operation, return air passes through an air filter before it is conditioned and dispersed throughout the home. The filter’s main purpose is to catch dirt and other particles before they get into the system’s moving parts. During the summer, the air conditioner is pulling warm, moist air through the filter before it ends up in the evaporator coil to be cooled. During that process, condensation forms on the coils, then drips into a condensation pan and drains away.
Sometimes drain pans or condensate lines get clogged, usually from mold or sludgy buildup when they haven’t been cleaned. That can cause moisture to overflow, and can result in a wet filter. An undetected wet air filter is a haven for mold, so it should be changed, and the condition leading to the moisture should be remedied as soon as possible. You can clean your condensate drain by using a wet/dry vacuum, but you’ll be ahead of the game by having your drain pan and line examined and cleaned during annual HVAC maintenance calls.
Wrong Fit, Poor Installation
Another reason a wet filter can occur is because the HVAC system is the wrong size. When a system is sized too large, it doesn’t do an adequate job of removing humidity. Excess condensation can form inside the system and cause leaking or even a wet filter. Poor installation or design of the system may also cause condensation to drip onto the filter.
For more on how to deal with a wet air filter, contact Cool Power LLC. We’ve served our HVAC customers’ needs on Long Island since 1975.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hauppauge, New York and the Long Island area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air filters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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