How to Fix A Humidifier That’s Freezing Up: 6 Steps

How to Fix A Humidifier That's Freezing Up

Are you stuck with a humidifier that’s freezing over?

Typically airflow and temperature issues are the 2 most common culprits behind a freezing humidifier. However, there are many other potential causes.

Luckily, you came to the right place for answers. Below, you’ll find an article with 6 easy steps to prevent freezing in your humidifer.

Ready? Let’s dive in!

6 Easy Steps to Fix a Freezing Humidifier

Usually, when I see a humidifier that’s freezing up, I always recommend looking at the issue from all angles. In most cases, addressing the freezing issue should take no more than a couple of minutes and a few adjustments to your daily habits.

#1 Check the Temperature

Humidifiers are simple appliances; they work by using a fan that blows water into a damp filter, which causes the water to evaporate. The water vapor is then blown into the air to increase an area’s humidity.

From what I’ve seen over the years, if the temperature in a room is colder than 65°F, the water vapor will not evaporate fully, and excess moisture can collect in the damp filter, which could freeze up on a cold day or if it’s next to an air conditioner.

Having your damp filter and humidifier freeze up can not only damage the appliance over time but also make it quite inefficient, costing more than it should to run.

If you’re running your A/C, it could contribute to the freezing up of your humidifier by lowering your room’s temperature too much. I recommend always keeping an eye on your room’s temperatures and checking for ice buildup in your humidifier often.

#2 Check the Airflow

Airflow can also explain why your humidifier keeps freezing up. Airflow can be affected by damage to the humidifier fan, fins, or build-up of dust and dirt internally.

If airflow doesn’t happen as designed within your humidifier, air will essentially collect in spots where it normally wouldn’t. Similar to water collecting to form a puddle, the air’s moisture will condense and freeze rather than drain as it should.

If excess condensation is happening, and your room temperature is relatively warm, my usual recommendation is to investigate to see if something is restricting airflow and leading to ice build-up.

Make sure the humidifier has enough room around it and is well-ventilated. Please don’t put the humidifier beside a wall or pile laundry all over it. Make sure the air circulation around the humidifier is adequate.

Withe Humidifier Throwing Steam Next To Some Plants
Remember not to place your humidifier too close to a wall and also to avoid high temperatures in your room.

#3  Remove Dust and Dirt

Dust and dirt could also explain why your humidifier is freezing up. Inspect the humidifier vents and clean them often, as the vents are the first area dust and dirt will start to collect. Also, check for other debris that may have gotten sucked into the vent, like pieces of paper or random candy wrappers.

Once you’ve cleaned the vents, go ahead and inspect and clean the fan. If you’ve got a standing or ceiling fan, dust, and dirt love collecting on their surfaces. Add some moisture into the mix, and you’ve got a great recipe for grime build-up.

If you’re satisfied with the fan, move on to coils. Ensure the coil and the fins are free of dust, dirt, and debris. You can use an air vacuum or air duster for cleaning.

Besides ensuring enough open air around the humidifier, keeping it clean is one of the best ways to ensure proper airflow through the unit.

#4  Check Fan Operation

Another thing to check to ensure your humidifier is moving air properly is the operation of the fan. Look for any loose or damaged wires or any other sign of failure.

Typically, when the fan in your dehumidifier is not working properly, you’ll either see it working strangely or not at all, which could easily result in poor airflow and freezing.

#5  Clean the Filter

A dirty filter could also explain why your humidifier is freezing up, as any excess dust or debris stuck to it can get in the way of proper airflow. And the same applies to the coils inside the humidifier.

Replacing Filter From Dehumidifier
A filthy air filter will not necessarily cause icing, but it will restrict airflow if it is blocked with dirt.

#6 Check the Humidistat

The last thing to check besides room temperature and other things that can impact airflow is your humidifier’s humidistat. The humidistat is basically the control module that turns your humidifier’s compressor on or off based on relative humidity.

The humidistat acts like a thermostat, but instead of operating based on temperature readings, it runs based on the humidity measurement in the room the humidifier is in.

If the humidistat is not working properly, it may not shut the compressor off even when the desired humidity is reached, leading to excessive cooling and moisture build-up, frost, and eventually icing.

A humidistat that isn’t working properly can result from loose wiring, fault, or damage.

When to Call for Help

If you’ve addressed the room temperature, airflow, and humidistat for your humidifier, along with all of the recommendations that come with them, and your humidifier is still freezing up, it’s time to call a technician or get a replacement.

If you choose to get a new humidifier, look for one recommended more for your climate. In other words, if you live in a cold and humid climate, you may want to research models better suited for such areas.

Another thing you can consider if you want to avoid a freezing humidifier altogether is to look at desiccant humidifiers. Desiccant humidifiers do, in essence, the same work, only without a compressor or cooling coil, and work well in colder temperatures.


A humidifier that raises the humidity of a room while also cooling it is a great thing to have. However, if the humidifier is not working properly and you end up with it freezing internally, that’s not so great.

Thankfully, there are some easy fixes to keep your humidifier from freezing up. Remember, it usually boils down to normal room temperatures and good airflow for the appliance.

If the freezing results from a faulty humidistat or something else internally, like damage to a component, then you may have some extra work to do to get the humidifier running the right way.

That being said, if freezing continues to be a problem, you need to consider either getting your humidifier professionally serviced or a replacement that better serves your living situation.

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Have a great week!


I've been helping homeowners with appliance repair since 2016. Starting out as an enthusiastic amateur, I've since worked with many Appliance, HVAC, and DIY experts over the last 7+ years. My mission is to help fix your appliances and prevent future issues - saving you stress, time, and money. Visit my author page to learn more! Read more