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The exterior ductwork leading to the AC condenser is collecting water and beginning to rust. The obvious solution is to replace the duct work, but I am having problems finding someone to do that work. Is there another solution that I am not thinking of? I thought of creating some type of cover for that area but not sure if that would work. Looking for some creative solutions that could be done in a day or two.

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It's probably too late to preserve this duct. It looks like the metal is corroded to a substantial depth. Once the zinc coating (galvanization) is compromised it'll continue to rust. You could try a spray or brush-on coating, but you're unlikely to cover all vulnerable surfaces well enough to stop the inevitable.

This should be a simple connector duct with no mechanical hardware inside. I would replace it with aluminum or stainless, or simply replace it with new galvanized.

  • Disable the unit.
  • Remove the sheet metal screws.
  • Move the unit slightly to allow clearance, and lift out the plenum.
  • Temporarily cover the opening to stop pests.
  • Take it to an HVAC shop and ask them to reproduce it.
  • Reinstall.

Once you do that, and depending on what material you choose, it may make sense to construct a simple cover. It's difficult to keep things dry outside and near the ground, though, so I'm not sure it's worth the effort.

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"Rust Converter." If you haven't rusted right through yet, that stuff converts rust to not-rust, and then you can get back to trying to keep the water from collecting there.

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