How to Fix a Dehumidifier That’s Freezing Up

freezing up

Are you at your wit’s end because your dehumidifier has frozen up?

If you live in humid conditions, you probably already know that too much humidity can damage your furniture by causing mold and dampness. Moreover, in some situations, it may also have a harmful impact on your health.

Therefore, it is important to remove the excess moisture from your home. We understand the frustration you feel when your dehumidifier freezes up and stops functioning. Don’t worry if your dehumidifier is giving you a headache, we have the best solution to help you deal with this problem.

Why Does My Dehumidifier Freeze Up

Before we get into the details of how to fix your dehumidifier, it is important to know how it functions and what causes its coils to freeze up.

A basic dehumidifier unit includes cold evaporator coils, warm condenser coils, a fan, and a reservoir or drain to store water. It also includes a humidistat which functions in a similar manner as a thermostat. It measures the level of humidity in the room and cycles your humidifier.

Your dehumidifier works by pulling air into its vents. This air then travels through the cold metal coils, which condense the air and turn it into water droplets. Depending on the type of dehumidifier you have, these droplets are either stored in the reservoir or get pumped through a hose.

When your dehumidifier freezes up, the droplets do not reach the reservoir. Instead, it generates a cold breeze. Eventually, once the temperature rises and the ice melts, the reservoir overflows, potentially damaging to your humidifier. This is a common occurrence in summer.


One reason why your dehumidifier is icing up may be due to the temperature of the room it is kept in.

Most humidifiers work best in places where the temperature is 65 F or higher. However, your dehumidifier may freeze up in places with lower temperatures. This whole process of air condensing and turning into droplets progresses very smoothly at high temperatures.

However, if the temperature is lower, the water vapors tend to freeze instead of condensing. This obviously creates issues, as the steam freeze around the coil, airflow is interrupted, and your dehumidifier stops working.

Air Flow

Blocked airflow is another reason why your dehumidifier might be freezing up. Airflow might be obstructed if there something is preventing the fan from functioning or if the condenser is choked up.

Regular and proper maintenance of your dehumidifier can prevent such issues from occurring. Moreover, it will also help you understand the cause of the issue sooner. So you can clean or replace the part accordingly.

Tip: If you see ice formulating on your humidifier, we suggest you give it some time to defrost and stop using it for a while. Further use may damage the already frozen coils. Moreover, it may also cause the compressor and motor to over function and burn out.

In addition, we also suggest keeping an eye on your dehumidifier’s filter. Dirt can accumulate on the filter leading to airflow blockage. Regular cleaning can prevent this issue from occurring.

Alternatively, if your dehumidifier has a de-icer switch, we suggest checking it too. Most basement dehumidifiers have de-icers to defrost the ice that forms on it. However, a faulty de-icer switch may cause trouble as there is nothing to melt the ice.

If you find any of these signs, we suggest your unplug your appliance and check to see if there are any complications:

  • more noise from your dehumidifier than normal
  • the level of humidity in the room rising
  • a bad odor coming from your humidifier

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How To Repair A Dehumidifier When The Coils Are Icing Up

Just because your dehumidifier has frozen up does not mean it’s the end of the line for it. In fact, we have some tips that can help you fix it. Moreover, now that you know your dehumidifier works and what may cause it to freeze up, it will be easier for you to understand the repairing process.

Let’s not waste time and get right into it.

Blower Wheel and Fan Blade

The blower wheel and the fan blade are responsible for managing the airflow and stopping your appliance from freezing up.

We suggest cleaning the filter as dirt and debris tends to build-up on it. Carefully brush off all the dirt off the filter. If you’re still facing issues with airflow, even after cleaning the filter, we suggest removing the fan cover and inspecting the coils.

Also, make sure to check the blower wheel and the fan blade as well. You should also clean these as part of your maintenance routine. Once you’re done with cleaning your fan blade, we recommend moving it manually once just to ensure nothing to prevent it from moving when you start the dehumidifier. In case of a damaged blower wheel or fan blade, you will probably need to repair or replace the part.

Humidity Management System

Issues with the humidity management system, also known as the humidistat, might also cause your dehumidifier coil to freeze. As mentioned earlier, the humidistat is similar to a thermostat and keeps track of the humidity in the room. The electric contacts of the humidistat are responsible for turning on your humidifier’s compressor.

In case of humidistat malfunctioning, your compressor remains on as there is nothing controlling it, which can promote freezing of the coils. Alternatively, the electric contacts of the humidistat might also get fused shut, creating the same problem.

If you want to fix this problem, begin by unplugging your dehumidifier from the power source. Next, try turning the humidistat dial. If you hear clicking sounds, it is an indication that the humidistat is functioning correctly.

Moreover, you may also check if your humidity control is working correctly by using a multimeter. Also, keep in mind when examining the humidistat that the electric contact circuits are supposed to be open. You may need to replace the electric contacts.

Fan Motor

The fan motor is responsible for the smooth flow of air in your dehumidifier. To check for issues related to the fan motor, we suggest paying closer attention to the fan as it functions. We also advise caution when carrying out this task, as you don’t want to hurt yourself or damage the fan motor.

To solve issues related to the fan motor, we suggest taking a look at the grille to ensure air is flowing smoothly and that there is no blockage. In case of blockage, remove the fan cover and clean away any dirt or debris you find.

If you hear a hum but the fan isn’t spinning or is spinning at a slower speed, you may need to replace it. In situations when the fan isn’t humming or spinning, you may require the help of a professional.

Must read: The Difference Between Air Purifier and Dehumidifier


As you’ve probably guessed by now, there are many possible reasons that may lead your dehumidifier to freeze up. We recommend you carefully look at the way it functions to figure out the cause of the problem.

As we’ve highlighted, the fan motor, humidistat, blower wheel, and fan blade are some parts that you can inspect when trying to find a solution. You can also look at the user guide of your appliance for further help with troubleshooting.