What is Condensation Around Electrical Enclosures Costing You?


When warm, humid air comes into contact with a cooler surface, there is potential for condensation to form. This is a common occurrence with electrical enclosures because the heat produced by electrical equipment warms the air in the enclosure and allows it to hold more moisture. When the ambient temperature around the electrical enclosure drops, the humidity in the warmer air can condense on the surface. Some of the reasons the ambient temperature might change include:

  • Turning equipment off
  • Shifting from day to night
  • Seasonal weather conditions

Regardless of its cause, condensation around electrical enclosures can be a problem for multiple reasons. The first and most obvious is the risk of damaging sensitive equipment. However, this is not the only potential cost of condensation.

Condensation Increases Risk of Equipment Damage

Humidity and electrical equipment simply do not mix. Condensation around electrical enclosures can lead to problems such as:

  • Rust
  • Corrosion
  • Short circuits
  • Equipment breakdown

The potential costs related to equipment breakdown are impossible to predict. However, if you consider the time and expense related to equipment repair, loss of work, and other factors, it’s clear that a preventable problem such as condensation should be avoided.

Condensation Shortens Equipment Life

Rust or corrosion may not always present an immediate problem. In fact, you might not even be aware that it is happening.  However, these unseen issues can contribute to the shortening of equipment life. Protecting electrical enclosures from condensation is one of the best ways to ensure that you get the most from your investments.

Eliminating Condensation Decreases Risk and Costs

The best way to control condensation around electrical enclosures is by controlling the humidity and temperature in the unit. Avoiding rapid or significant temperature changes and maintaining a relative humidity below 60% will help reduce the incidence of condensation, thereby protecting your valuable equipment.

Selecting the right air conditioning unit can also help you save on energy costs. An air conditioner with a Thermal Edge condensate evaporation system operates more efficiently than one that uses drain lines and buckets or electric heaters because the refrigerant gas is pre-cooled as it passes through a condensate boil off pan. This reduces the load on the compressor and translates to lower energy costs for you.

Whether you need a heater or an air conditioner to keep enclosures closer to ambient temperatures, Thermal-Edge has a product that is right for your application. Our experienced specialists will work closely with you to determine which type of system best meets your needs so you can be confident that your valuable equipment is protected from condensation. Contact us today to learn more.

Have you ever experienced problems related to condensation around electrical enclosures? Share your story in the comments section.