How to Fix A Dehumidifier That’s Freezing Up: 5 Steps
How can you fix your dehumidifier when it’s freezing up? The answer might lie in your room temperature. Here are 5 steps to address this issue.
Let me paint you a picture. It’s late at night, and you’re cozy in bed, enjoying the great benefits your dehumidifier has been providing you with since you bought it.
You’re just about to doze off, when you notice something’s wrong.
You’re not sure yet, but it looks like your dehumidifier is somehow freezing up. Patiently, and full of hope, you wait for the problem to resolve itself, but nothing happens.
Finally, sleepy and a little annoyed, you walk towards the appliance to get some answers, but you find none.
If this sounds familiar, you might want to cancel your streaming services. Apparently, your dehumidifier has been binge-watching “Frozen” again.
On a more serious note, though, I understand how having this happen to you can be very inconvenient and frustrating. Especially if you live in an extremely humid area. But don’t worry, I’m here to help you.
Below, I’ve prepared a list with the most common causes to this occurrence, and the simplest steps you can take to address each one of them. There’s no doubt in my mind that, if you follow them to a tee, you’ll be able to thaw out your dehumidifier faster than you can say “Let it Go!”.
Are you ready? Let’s dig in!
Make sure to stay above the minimum recommended operating temperatures
It might not seem like it, but your dehumidifier needs very specific conditions to be met in order to operate properly.
One of these is room temperature.
Most manufacturers advise against using this appliance in areas that are below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and there’s a very good reason for that. As you probably know, your unit has two coils. One runs hot, and one runs cold.
The latter condenses the air sucked into the unit, and removes the excessive moisture, while the former warms it up, and releases a drier current into your living spaces.
When the machine is used under the 60 °F temperature threshold, the cold coil can freeze up, and create a lot of problems.
Solution: Whenever possible, try to increase the temperature in your room prior to using your dehumidifier.
If the cold coil has already frozen up, wait for it to thaw out, and then gain comfortable access to it by carefully unplugging your appliance, and then removing the frontal plastic panel, the filter, and the protective screws behind them.
Once you have done that, use a clean rag to remove any dust or remaining ice, and try to repeat this process at least once every two months.
A faulty humidistat might be the reason behind this malfunction
Assuming that your room temperature is appropriate, we can safely move on to considering the possibility of a faulty humidistat.
In case you’re not familiar with what this component does, it’s fairly simple. Your humidistat is solely responsible for measuring the levels of humidity in a specific area, and regulating the machine’s processes accordingly.
When it works normally, it should accept and follow your every input, and give you no trouble. However, when it malfunctions, it could prompt the unit to work harder than it has to, thus contributing to excessive coil cooling, and eventual freezing.
If your dehumidifier keeps freezing up, there’s a very good chance that you have to replace this component immediately.
Solution: If you followed the steps from the previous point, and cleaned your coils, your internal components are already exposed.
Look closely and try to identify your humidistat. It should be located behind the water reservoir, although this may vary from model to model. Once you have found it, gain comfortable access to it and use a multimeter to test it for continuity.
Should you get null readings on the meter, you’ll have to buy a replacement, but don’t worry, you can easily get one either from your nearest hardware store, or by contacting your manufacturer.
A faulty fan motor can compromise airflow and make dehumidifying impossible
Your fan’s motor is essential to the dehumidification process.
When this part is working normally, it allows your fan to spin and pull in the air from the environment, while promoting adequate distribution of it throughout your unit’s components.
However, when it malfunctions, its ability to create proper airflow is severely compromised, which can result in iced-up coils, improper water collection, and even overheating.
This is similar to what happens when a water cooler’s compressor breaks, as the liquid is exposed to the refrigerant for too long, resulting in frozen water.
It is of the utmost importance that you check and replace the fan motor if you suspect it to be the source of your problem. Putting this off for too long can cause permanent damage to your machine.
Solution: Look through your internal components and locate your fan motor, it should be sitting right behind the fan blades, and the bearing. Test it for continuity and replace it if necessary.
Make sure to clean your filter regularly and replace it at least twice a year
You’d be surprised at how many times your air filter has saved your dehumidifier from a general malfunction or serious damage.
You see, this part is the only thing that stands between the outside world’s pollutants, and your machine’s internal components. Without it, any debris or harmful particles in the air could reach your unit’s guts, and wreak havoc.
Being the filter such an essential part of your appliance, it should come as no surprise that, when it becomes excessively dirty or obstructed, airflow is compromised, and the entire dehumidification process is seriously affected.
If your dehumidifier is freezing up, there’s a very good chance that not enough air is being pulled in through the filters, causing the coils to work harder than they should.
Solution: Carefully remove the filter, clean it with dish soap under running water, and let it dry completely.
Once you have done that, vacuum off any remaining debris or obstruction. This will only work for filters that are newer than 6 months, though. If yours is older than that, no amount of cleaning will make it work properly again, and you’ll have to replace it.
Dirty coils cannot maintain constant temperatures or operate normally
Lastly, let’s check your coils.
At this point, it should be very clear how important these two components are to your machine’s adequate functioning. Without them, humidity would be impossible to remove, and the expelled air would be cold.
Just as it happens with any other component inside your household appliances, making sure that your coils are sparkling clean at all times is the best way to guarantee they’ll function as they should.
When layers of dust gather around them, your coils can neither effectively cool or heat up the air, nor dispose of their extreme temperatures after the dehumidification process is done.
This can result in suboptimal operation, overheating, and, you guessed it… freezing.
Solution: Repeat the steps you followed to check the coils for ice, and use a clean rag to remove any dirt on them.
Making this a habit will ensure that your dehumidifier is always working optimally.
Is it time to part ways with your trusty unit?
The answer to this question will depend greatly on the status of your warranty, and whether the items on this list solved your problem.
If you’re still under coverage and don’t mind waiting a couple of days or weeks for your manufacturer to send a technician, by all means, give them a call. Unless specified otherwise, they should take care of the repairs for free.
Provided that your warranty has expired, you’ll have to weigh the cost of repairs vs the cost of buying a new appliance. Except for the fan motor, any replacement parts your dehumidifier might need will not be extremely expensive, but the cost of labor to have them installed and configured, can be.
As a general rule, paying for repairs equal to 50% or more of the price of a new appliance with similar features, is a bad investment.
To have a dehumidifier keep freezing up is… inconvenient to say the least. Not only are you stuck with an expensive doorstop, but also in the frustrating position of having to figure out what the problem is, and coming up with a solution for it.
Fortunately, as I hope you’ve learned in this piece, addressing most of the causes behind this issue is fairly simple and not very time-consuming.
In most cases, keeping your coils clean and replacing your air filter regularly, is all you need to do in order to keep your appliance working like it’s brand-new.
Thank you so much for reading. If you found this article useful, why not become an expert in the subject through our other incredible resources below?