Fixing Recessed can light condensation in attic


  #1  
Old 12-23-22, 10:01 AM
J
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Fixing Recessed can light condensation in attic

Hello! My recessed cans in the attic ceiling have little insulation over them, so they're forming condensation. I'm in Chicago area so we have cold weather. I understand why it's happening, looking for confirmation on best way to fix.

I have a couple ideas. (1) Take out the cans and use canless LEDs, the idea being there will be less metal to form condensation and room for more insulation to cover it. (2) Get can light covers, to hopefully provide an air gap from the cold air.

I'm thinking #1 canless LEDs is the way to go, but please, I'm interested in thoughts/ideas. Many thanks.


Condensation/ice forming

 
  #2  
Old 12-23-22, 11:05 AM
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Can light covers are a pita to install. Seems like there's always a joist or wires in the way, not to mention the cable going to the fixture itself, so you end up having to trim the cover and then try to seal it well with messy can foam. It can be done well, but it takes more care and effort than one might think.

Granted, pulling the fixtures and replacing with wafer lights or similar is a job too, but IMO you end up with less air/heat leakage and you can pile plenty of insulation on top which should completely eliminate your condensation issue.
 
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Old 12-23-22, 11:24 AM
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Thanks. For peace of mind and with plans of doing option #1 replacing the cans, I did a cut on one of them that was sweating pretty bad. The insulation had a couple drops at most, and the drywall wasn't terrible but had some moisture where the metal touched.

Should this be serious concern for the electric?


 
  #4  
Old 12-23-22, 12:40 PM
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A little condensation shouldn't be an issue for the electrical. One thing you could try before the other options would be to seal around the can opening in the sheetrock with can foam. That will eliminate much of the air leakage around the can, and it is the relatively humid indoor air moving up and contacting the cold can that results in most of the condensation. The thin foam rings on the back of the trims does a lousy job blocking air movement so sealing the gap with can foam can make a big difference in the amount of warm, moist air that contacts the can. For a few bucks you could do a test with a couple of the cans; it may improve things enough that you can avoid having to do any retrofits.
 
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  #5  
Old 12-24-22, 06:53 AM
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Installing can less LEDs will allow a lot more insulation to be installed in that small attic space. You should be able to change the lights and stuff insulation up there without cutting the drywall, but doing so will allow you to do a better job.
 
  #6  
Old 12-26-22, 06:14 PM
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Just be sure your new wafer LEDs are IC rated. Most are, but I think some aren't, or at least aren't marked as IC.

The IC rating allows the cans and drivers to be in contact with insulation. It's more of an important issue for traditional recessed cans, but I'd be sure that your new LED wafers are IC designated.
 
 

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