So I purchased my house in 2015 at the age of 24. I was an idiot and did not take care of my new hvac system (replaced when they flipped this house before I bought and is an electric heat pump) like I should have during those days. Due to the air filter not being replaced as regular as it should have the A coil froze up one summer and from that point on I changed my air filter regularly. Well one thing I have noticed over the past few years is the air filter is always wet when I pull it out. I checked the drain pan and the pipes it flows to and no issues. There’s always a slight amount of water in the pan because theres a small lip where the water flows Out of the pan through the opening. But when I have checked and filled the pan with warm water it flows through perfectly so I don’t see any clog.

I had a 30+ year hvac tech come over recently who is a friend of my neighbor and he topped off the system which was a quarter pound low (he said it wasn’t much but figured he would do it while he was here) and he replaced the capacitor which he showed the voltages were off so it should be replaced. It was a 40/5 I believe and volts showed 37ish and 4ish so I said go ahead . I asked him about the water on the filter and he said it’s most likely because I need a dehumidifier. I believed him but when checking my humidity with a reader I’m only at 54 percent humidity and from what I can remember I did not always have a wet air filter. And even more interesting is my house is a split level with one side completely above ground and the other the basement only about halfway below ground. So it’s not even really your typical basement so the humidity isn’t bad.

So what could be the culprit? When the a coil froze could it have cracked the pan slightly? Or something else?

1 Answer 1


The most important thing an AC does to cool is remove the water from the air. With that in the cooling season you should not need a dehumidifier especially with the humidity levels you state. Technically you have a good one built in, the AC.

Look at the filter place in relation to the evaporator (cold) coil and see if they are close or touching. If the filter is below the coil/condensate pan a leak in the pan could cause this as you are suspecting. If the filter is close to the air outlet of the coil I can see water drops occasionally getting on it but not wet. Without seeing what you have it is possible the filter is getting cold for some reason and moisture is condensing on it.

  • Hey so I was wrong. It looks like my humidity is actually at 54 percent right now. I can get some pics of the unit inside with the cover off.
    – Qiuzman
    Commented Aug 7, 2023 at 13:03
  • 1
    54% is perfectly reasonable humidity inside a conditioned space.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Aug 7, 2023 at 13:14

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