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Why Is Mist Blowing From My AC Unit?

Why Is Mist Blowing From My Ac Unit

So you just turned on your air conditioner and saw it emitting a mist cloud from its vent. Is that normal?

While it’s not something that your air conditioner was designed to do, that mist doesn’t always point to potential damage or malfunction. So what causes an air conditioner to blow mist, and when should you be concerned? Here’s a quick explanation.

  • Mist can be normal, especially if you start your AC in a warm, humid room.
  • As cold air meets warm air, they produce water vapor that condenses into droplets, forming mist.
  • Sometimes, mist may be a sign of potential damage in your unit.
  • Pay attention to the signs to provide appropriate solutions in case the mist is abnormal.

Mist blowing out of your AC doesn’t always mean it’s damaged or malfunctioning. Sometimes, it just happens because of the conditions surrounding your unit.

Nevertheless, it helps to know when it’s important to take action.

Why Your Air Conditioner Is Producing Mist

Why Your Air Conditioner Is Producing Mist

You know when you step out during the winter, and your breath forms a cloud of mist every time you talk? The same principle applies to your air conditioner.

As the cool air from the AC meets the warm, humid air in your space, they produce water vapor that condensates to form very small water droplets. This then appears to you as a mist.

If anything, your air conditioner should stop producing mist within a few minutes after turning it on.

Then, as the temperature in your room cools down and the warm, humid air in the space is neutralized by your air conditioner’s performance, the mist should dissipate.

When Should You Be Concerned?

When Should You Be Concerned

Water vapor forming before your air conditioner’s vent is hardly a cause for concern. But there are instances when you should consider other, more serious reasons for your air conditioner’s mist. These include the following:

  1. The persistent mist doesn’t stop even after the room has cooled down.
  2. An accompanying smell of burning electrical components.
  3. Loud sounds indicate malfunction.

Sometimes, smoke can look like mist, especially if it starts from an electrical failure.

Electrical fires produce white to gray smoke, so if the flame has just ignited, the small amount of smoke can be mistaken for mist. This is an urgent situation that calls for quick thinking and fast action.

If there’s no smoke, but the mist won’t stop, or other signs like loud sounds accompany it, there might be some damage in your air conditioning unit. Don’t hesitate to call your HVAC specialist.


Mist shouldn’t always be a cause for alarm. Most of the time, it’s just your air conditioner’s cool gust mixing with your space’s warm, humid air. Nevertheless, it would be best if you never took risks.

If other signs of failure and malfunction accompany the mist, it pays to act on the situation immediately to prevent further damage and potential accidents.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Condensation Normal for Air Conditioners?

Yes, condensation is normal for air conditioners. Your unit even has condenser coils to regulate condensation and collect moisture.

As long as your unit is kept clean and properly maintained, it should be able to handle condensation efficiently.

Can Air Conditioners Start an Electrical Fire?

Yes, your air conditioner can be the starting point of an electrical fire. If the motor is overworked, there is faulty wiring inside, or the unit has too much dirt, it can easily spark a flame and start an electrical fire.

Watch out for white or gray smoke from the vent accompanied by a burning smell. Turn off all power, leave the space, and call for help in case of an electrical fire.

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