During the winter months, a dehumidifier can be a huge help. The best dehumidifiers are designed to reduce the amount of bacteria in the air and ultimately beat damp in your home, and many people swear by them. Whether you have a dehumidifier or not, there's some recent news from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission that you should probably know.
Oh before you do, read about the differences between a compressor dehumidifier and a dessicant dehumidifier - you may find it useful!
Okay...back to the news.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced yesterday that over 1.5 million dehumidifiers are under recall following reports of nearly two dozen fires.
The dehumidifiers being recalled fall under 5 different brands: Kenmore, GE, SoleusAir, Norpole and Seabreeze. The 1.56 million different devices were all manufactured by the China-based Gree Electric Appliances (also known as Gree Zhuhai) and were sold from January 2011 to February 2014 at major retailers nationwide — including Walmart, Lowe's, Home Depot and more.
Gree has received reports of at least 23 fires and 688 incidents of overheating, totalling around $168,000 in property damage.
The CPSC has also released advice on how to recognise if your dehumidifier is one of the recalled products. Alongside their official list of the recalled models, they have said that the brand name and pint capacity are printed on the back, front, or side of each dehumidifier. The model number and date code are printed on a sticker on the back, front, or side of the unit. The recalled dehumidifiers are white, beige, gray or black plastic and measure between 19 and 24 inches tall, 13 and 15 inches wide, and 9 and 11 inches deep.
The CPSC have advised those with a recalled dehumidifier to stop using it immediately, unplug it and contact Gree to receive a refund.
Only a few months ago, Gree was sentenced to pay a $500,000 criminal fine after pleading guilty to failing to notify the CPSC that millions of their dehumidifiers were faulty and had the risk of overheating and catching fire. The investigation marked the first time a corporate criminal enforcement action has been taken under the CPSA.
The Gree Companies, which include Gree Zhuhai, Gree Hong Kong, and Gree USA, were aware that their dehumidifiers did not meet safety standards. However, they did not inform the CPSC about this issue for several months, as per court documents.
You can find the CPSA's official list of recalled dehumidifiers here.