When your dehumidifier freezes up and stops working, the room goes cold and clammy.
But why does it freeze up – and how do you stop it?
In this article we walk through the most common causes of a frozen dehumidifier and explain how to correct the problem
Why Does it Happen?
There are several possible causes.
However, understanding your specific environment will help you to zero in on the cause.
Among the most common causes of a dehumidifier freezing is the warmth of this room it’s in.
Most dehumidifiers are designed to work in rooms that are warmer than 65 degrees F.
When the air temperature is lower than that, you might see your dehumidifier ice up.
This is why it’s happening:
Humid air is drawn into the device via a port. As it moves over cold metallic coils, the moisture in the air condenses and falls right into a collection bucket or is pumped off using a hose. This works fine when air temperature is high enough. If it’s too cold, however, the water freezes on the coils instead of condensing – resulting in difficulties.
Another less common reason that might cause your dehumidifier to freeze up is restricted airflow through the system.
If the fan is not working properly or the condenser unit is clogged, the air coming into your system isn’t going through fast enough.
Regular maintenance should detect these issues, and cleaning or replacement parts will fix them.
Caution Is Advised
If your dehumidifier keeps freezing up, do not use it!
If you proceed to run your dehumidifier when the coils are frosted, you could hurt it further. The compressor or engine will work harder and may become overwhelmed or burn out.
So, if you suspect your dehumidifier is not working properly and you see the humidity isn’t dropping as it should, then disconnect it and check to find out if it requires maintenance.
What Can You Do to Stop It?
Check your room temperature and make sure it’s optimal for the unit’s operating guidelines. To determine if it’s the air temperature, even if it is not below 65 degrees, put the unit up higher where there’s the warmer atmosphere or temporarily move to another warmer area.
If that still doesn’t resolve the problem, make sure that the airflow is working perfectly. Is the dehumidifier too close to a ceiling or wall? This can clog the vents and keep air from getting in readily.
Check for Debris and Build-Up
Check the fan and filter for any clogs or blockages. Even if these are not moving air through easily, it may lead to dehumidifier icing up.
Based on the air quality in your home or the area in which the system places, you might have dust build up more usually than another person.
Clean the coils perfectly. They may not be functioning properly if they’re dirty, and this could lead to icing. There are some suggestions on what to do but keep in mind to disconnect the power before doing any maintenance.
There are also some simple maintenance tips if you find your dehumidifier is still not functioning properly once the temperature is increased and the coils are free of ice. Check the fan and filter for any clogs or blockages.
How to Fix a Dehumidifier When the Coils Ice Up
Just because your dehumidifying unit has iced up doesn’t mean it is the end of the line for this. We have some suggestions that could help you mend it. Now you know how your dehumidifier works and what may cause it to freeze up, it will be easier for you to comprehend the fixing process.
Fan Blade and Blower Wheel
The fan blade and blower wheel are responsible for managing the warmth and stopping your unit from freezing up.
We advise cleaning the filter as dirt and debris will build upon it. Carefully brush off all of the dirt off the filter. If you are still facing difficulties with airflow, even after cleaning the filter, we propose removing the fan cover and scrutinizing the coils.
Make sure to inspect the blower wheel and the fan blade. It would help if you also washed these within your maintenance routine. As soon as you’re done with cleaning your fan blade, we recommend moving it manually once.
This is to guarantee nothing can keep it from moving when you begin the dehumidifier. In the event of a damaged fan blade or blower wheel, you will most likely need to fix or replace the component.
Humidity Management System
Issues with the humidity control system, also called the humidistat, might also lead to your dehumidifier coil freezing. As stated before, the humidistat is very similar to a thermostat and keeps an eye on the humidity in the room. The electrical contacts of the humidistat are responsible for turning in your humidifier’s compressor.
In the case of humidistat malfunctioning, your compressor stays on as nothing is controlling it. This may help freeze the coils. Alternately, the electrical contacts of the humidistat may also get fused shut; creating the same issue.
If you need to fix this issue, start by disconnecting your dehumidifier from the power supply. Then attempt to turn the humidistat control. If you hear clicking noises, it’s an indication that the humidistat is working correctly.
Moreover, you can also check if your humidity controller is functioning properly with a multimeter. Also, remember while examining the humidistat, the electrical contact circuits should be open. You might have to replace the electrical contacts.
The fan motor is liable for the smooth flow of air on your dehumidifier. To check for issues associated with the fan motor, we propose paying closer attention to the enthusiast as it functions. Also, we advise caution when carrying out this task since you don’t need to hurt yourself or damage the fan motor.
To solve issues regarding the fan motor, we suggest looking at the grille to guarantee air is flowing smoothly and that there’s no blockage. In the event of congestion, eliminate the fan cover and wash away any debris or dirt you find.
If you hear a hum but the fan is not turning or is spinning at a slower rate, you might want to replace it. In situations when the fan is not humming or spinning, you might require the support of a professional.
Are There Products to Help?
Some dehumidifiers are built to withstand lower temperatures. Thus, if you know you’re going to place it in a room where it’ll be colder (such as an outbuilding or a basement), it might be well worth investing in a device that will deal with lower temperatures.
Kenmore and Frigidaire are two great brands that offer quality models which help. By going with a reliable brand, you can buy with a little bit of ease of mind and know that you have a reliable warranty to back it up if anything goes wrong. Do not cheap out when it comes to a device that’s known to do a big job.
If you only have a small space, you may like to decrease humidity. In such a case, a desiccant dehumidifier might work. These work by pulling dampness from the air using synthetic material such as silica gel.
They’re free of moving parts so that they won’t face the same issues as mechanical devices. These systems need replacing often and won’t be as strong as a permanent dehumidifier.
To sum up, there are a few important things to be aware of if your dehumidifier keeps icing up. See the temperature in the area to be sure it isn’t too cold.
While some models are built to operate in lower temperatures, most have to be over 65 degrees to operate properly. You can also move the unit into a greater place where the atmosphere is warmer.
If your room temperature is fine, and you are still having issues with your model; check that air can flow through it easily. Also see if there are no blockages in the air compressor, and the fan is turning as it should.
I’m a degreed ME (mechanical engineer) who is passionate about machines of all kinds. I created MachineWonders.com as a way to connect with others who love machines like me – or need help choosing one for their needs, application, or situation.