Dehumidifiers are an essential part of many houses, especially in humid climates such as Arizona. As a result of the continuous work that they have to do, problems tend to happen rather often with dehumidifiers.
One of the most popular questions that you’ll find the owners of the dehumidifiers asking is, “why does my dehumidifier freeze up?”
Everything boils down to your knowledge of the device, what it needs to properly operate, its inside parts, and how to take care of it. Throughout this article, we’ll explain in-depth what every point means and how you can do your best with your device.
Defrost Sensor Breaking Down
As dehumidifiers get more and more evolved by the day, the features that they offer increase as well. One of the most critical features of any dehumidifier that’s widely present today is the defrost sensor.
This sensor senses any frost or ice accumulation on the coils of the unit, and when it does feel this type of frost, it’ll immediately cut the power from the dehumidifier to protect the mechanism of the unit and prevent it from causing a fire hazard.
The thing is, with some dehumidifiers, the sensor might be broken. If that’s the case, it’ll not detect the frost, and the device will keep on working. Then, the coils will be frosted entirely, and that’ll definitely overwork the dehumidifier unit completely.
More importantly, the contact between ice/water and the coils/electricity will be a fire hazard that can turn into a catastrophe way too fast.
Climate and Temperature
One of the very first things that you need to know about dehumidifiers is that they work best in warmer climates. The air is way more humid; then they’re free to do their thing. Hence, you have to keep the temperature in your home at 65°F or above in order for a dehumidifier to be able to work correctly.
If the temperature drops anywhere below that, the climate becomes way too cold for the unit to run properly. The air passing through the dehumidifier will lose the moisture in it; however, this moisture won’t have the proper time to fall in the water bucket or the drain attached to the dehumidifier.
They’ll frost immediately and accumulate on the coils of the dehumidifier. Some dehumidifiers come with a built-in thermostat that tells you the temperature of the room, while others don’t. Either way, that’s the job of your air-conditioner, so keep an eye on that, and always have the two devices complement each other.
How frequently you should be cleaning your unit entirely depends on how much you use the appliance. Nevertheless, if you’re using your dehumidifier regularly, it should be cleaned thoroughly every 2 to 3 weeks.
To make sure that you’re on the safe side, this cleaning process doesn’t take too much time or too much effort. All you need to know is how everything is cleaned and where everything will go.
After it has been cleaned, we’ll talk about the two items that contribute to the problem of frosting and freezing up the most; the filters and the coils.
When it comes to cleaning your dehumidifier’s dirty filter, you’ve got to pull it out, remove all of the accumulated dirt using a vacuum cleaner or a brush, and then give them a good wash in the sink. That way, you’ll remove all of the accumulated germs, gunk, tiny dust particles, and so much more.
What does that have to do with the coils of my dehumidifier freezing up on me? That’s a good question, and the answer is when the filters are chock-full of pollutants, they won’t pass sufficient airflow through them. Lack of airflow immediately causes the coils to freeze up.
The evaporator coils, on the other hand, can be a little bit tricky to clean, and the first thing that you need to do is to fully unplug the dehumidifier and make sure there’s no electrical current passing through it in any way to avoid serious harm to yourself.
Then, using a damp, not wet rag, go over the dehumidifier coils to remove all of the dirt of the gunk. If there’s any previous frost, make sure to get that as well, as accumulation attracts more of these particles.
If the coil already has frost all over it, it won’t be able to evaporate the humidity in the air properly and send it to the water tank/drain. Rather, the new humidity will end up freezing the coil even more.
Don’t forget that dehumidifiers have quite a few parts running within their mechanism in order to do their job.
We’ve already spoken about both the filters and the coils; but, there are other parts, especially if your dehumidifier is a refrigerant one, as that goes into this equation as well. If any of these parts fall, it might very well cause your dehumidifier to freeze.
These parts include the fan and the fan motor, which help circulate the air into the dehumidifier, and as we’ve mentioned before, poor airflow will lead to frosty coils if your fan is not working.
It’s an indirect cause of dehumidifier freeze, so the first thing that you’d want to do is to clean the fan blades so that you know for sure that they weren’t stuck due to dunk and not actual damage.
You must also consistently check on the refrigerant liquid as running out of liquid means that the cooling action is out of the window. That will mess up the whole mechanism. If you're using a desiccant dehumidifier, you won't have to worry much.
The same thing goes for the burn compressor, so in the end, you have to consistently check on all the parts of your dehumidifier. And, if you find that it’s not working correctly or making any funny noises, you must take it to the manufacturer or the appliance repair shop as soon as possible.
This will be a wrap-up on our straight-to-the-point guide discussing why your dehumidifier might freeze up. To be completely honest, the key here is maintenance and care.
When you purchase a big-ticket item, you have to put in the required effort to properly take care of it in order to extend its lifespan. Always remember that freezing up your dehumidifier is a severe issue as it can lead to fire hazards. So, always keep an eye on your unit, and make sure that you're maintaining it properly.