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dehumidifier keeps freezing

Why Your Dehumidifier Is Freezing Up – and How to Fix it

Nothing can be annoying than your dehumidifier freezing and refusing to work. But why does your system keep freezing up, and how do you stop it? Excess humidity in your house can damage furnishings, cause dampness and mold, also, to have an impact on individuals with health conditions or little children. That is why it's so important to get a fully functioning dehumidifier that's working at the ideal times to keep your home free of excessive moisture.

Why Does It Happen?

There are so many unique factors that come into play. But narrowing it down and assessing your specific environment can allow you to zero in on the situation.

Room Temperature

dehumidifier keeps freezing

One of the most frequent causes of your dehumidifier freezing is quite simply the warmth of this room it's in. Most dehumidifiers work well at 65 degrees or over. However, when the air temperature is any lower than that, you can see your dehumidifier icing up, which will stop it from working. The air is brought into the device via a port, and as it travels over cold metallic coils, the water in the air condenses and falls right into a collection bucket or is pumped off with a hose. This works fine while the temperature is high enough, but if it's too cold, the water freezes on the coils rather than condensing -- leading to problems.


dehumidifier keeps freezing

Another less common reason that could cause your dehumidifier to maintain freezing is the system's airflow. If the fan is not turning out well or the condenser unit is blocked, this may signify the air on your machine isn't going through fast enough. Routine maintenance should recognize these issues, and cleaning or replacing components will fix them.

A Warning

If your dehumidifier keeps icing up, do not use it! If you keep running your dehumidifier while the coils are frozen, you could damage it further. The engine or compressor will be made to work harder and may get overwhelmed or even burn out. So, if you suspect your dehumidifier is not working correctly -- you see the humidity isn't falling as it should, or the device is louder than usual -- disconnect it and check to find out if it needs maintenance.

What Can You Do To Stop It?

You can do a few easy things to defrost your dehumidifier and prevent it from freezing up.

Check Temperature

Firstly, assess your room temperature and be sure it's optimal for the unit's operating instructions. To check if it's the air temperature, even if it is not below 65 degrees, set the unit up higher where there's warmer air or temporarily move to another warmer room.

Check Airflow

If that still doesn't resolve the issue, then make sure that the airflow is working nicely. Is the dehumidifier too near a wall or ceiling? This can block the vents and prevent air from getting in readily.

Check For Build-Up And Debris

Check the fan and filter for any blockages or clogs; even if these are not pushing air through easily, it may result in the dehumidifier icing up. And, based on the air quality in your house or the area in which the system sits, you might have dust build up more often than another person.

Clean It

And finally, give the coils a fantastic clean. They may not be working properly if they're dirty, and this could result in icing. There are some hints on what to do but remember to disconnect the power before doing any maintenance.

There are also some simple maintenance tips if you find your dehumidifier is still not working properly after the temperature is increased, and the coils are free of ice. Check the fan and filter for any blockages or clogs; even if these are not pushing air through easily, it may result in the dehumidifier icing up. And, based on the air quality in your house or the area in which the system sits, you might have dust build up more often than another person.

Are there any products to help?

why does dehumidifier ice up

Some dehumidifiers are built to withstand reduce temperatures, so if you know you're going to be putting it in a room where it'll be colder (like a basement or outbuilding), it might be well worth investing in a unit that will deal with lower temperatures.

Frigidaire and Kenmore are two great brands that provide quality models that may help. By going with a trustworthy brand, you can purchase with a little bit of simplicity of mind and know that you have a solid warranty to back it up if anything goes wrong. Do not cheap out when it comes to a machine that's supposed to do a big job.

Or if you only have a little space you need to reduce humidity, then a desiccant dehumidifier might work. These work by drawing moisture from the air with a synthetic material such as silica gel. They're free of moving parts, so they won't face the same issues as a mechanical device. But these units need replacing more frequently and won't be as strong as a permanent dehumidifier.


Thus, there are a few main things to be aware of if your dehumidifier keeps freezing up. Check the temperature in the area to be certain it isn't too cold. While some units are built to operate in lower temperatures, most have to be over 65 degrees to work appropriately. You can also move the device into a greater place, where the air is warmer. If you are room temperature is fine, but you are still having issues with your unit, check that air can flow through it easily -- there are no blockages in the airport, and the fan is turning as it should.

About the Author Tom Hanson

I’ve worked as an HVAC tech in Phoenix, AZ for the past 10 years. I created to help home owners select the right portable air conditioner, cooler or air purifier for their needs & budget in just a few minutes.

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