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Product Safety Consumer Recall Alert: Dehumidifiers

Jun. 12, 2015
Product Safety Recall  
*Note: Thornton & Grooms does not and has never sold this product. Many homes we've encountered have these units and may not have responded to the recall announcement.

Gree, an appliance manufacturer, announced a recall on dehumidifiers manufactured by Gree Electric Appliances of China that were sold from January 2005 through August 2013. The dehumidifiers can overheat, smoke and catch fire, posing fire and burn hazards to consumers. This recall involves select 20-pint through 70-pint dehumidifiers with brand names:
• Frigidaire
• GE
• Gree
• Kenmore
• Norpole
• Premiere and more.
Units were sold at Home Depot, Kmart, Lowe's, Menards, Mills Fleet Farm, Sam's Club, Sears and Walmart, as well as online at Amazon.com and eBay.com

The recall was originally announced in September 2013 and units were removed from retail outlets. In May 2014, more than $4.5 million in damage had occurred in consumers homes, as reported by USA Today.

If consumers suspect their unit is defective, immediately turn it off and unplug the dehumidifier. Register the unit by contacting Gree to receive a refund.
If your product is part of the recall, you will be asked to submit your contact information. If your product is not part of the recall, you can continue use.

Why Use a Dehumidifier?
ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers) is an organization devoted to the advancement of indoor-environment-control technology in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) industry. Their Relative Humidity Chart can help consumers understand the hidden dangers of high humidity in the home and the necessity of a dehumidifier. 

Without a dehumidifier your home could become overrun with bacteria, viruses, fungi and dust mites. Along with these air quality killers, high humidity can increase instances of respiratory infections, allergic rhinitis, asthma and ozone production.

In addition to keeping your indoor air clean and those in your home healthy, having a dehumidifier can benefit your wood floors, piano, and more. According to the National Wood Floor Association (NWFA), a 2,500ft2 home can increase by five tons because of moisture wood floors, furniture, etc. accumulate in your home without a dehumidifier.

“Most humidity problems for Michigan consumers are in the basement. If you have a finished basement you  may wrestle with ‘clammy’ air and bad smells resulting in a mostly unusable space for a large part of the year. Michigan homes on lakes or in low-lying areas could experience humidity levels of 88% or higher during the Spring and Summer months. Whole-house dehumidifiers can reduce the clammy feeling, foul smell, and dangerous by-products of high humidity within 72 hours, and keep them away,” says Drew Barnum, HVAC Service Supervisor at Thornton & Grooms.

Strides in Dehumidifier Efficiency & Safety
Stand-alone dehumidifiers are often running continuously in order to pull moisture out of the home; running continuously can cause overheating. They are usually equipped with a drain pan that collects the water from the air that you, the consumer are required to empty if it isn’t “hard piped” to a drain; this step is often ignored and inconvenient. 

“Most customers don’t empty their [dehumidifiers] so it pulls the water out of the air and then evaporates right back into the air of your home,” Barnum says.

Whole-house dehumidifiers can be connected to the heating and cooling system in a home. These units are safer, more efficient, and more convenient.
“Most whole-house dehumidifiers work to bring the humidity down to a certain level and when it goes below that percentage or set point, the unit will turn on. Aprilaire designed theirs the other way. They designed their dehumidifiers to not exceed a certain amount. They changed their logic so that the humidity remains at a threshold. This allows the dehumidifier to cycle less often, which is more efficient,” Barnum said.

Air conditioner units are built with dehumidifiers in them but, the more efficient air conditioners have become the less efficient the dehumidifying components. With more efficient A/C units, running for shorter amounts of time they are unable to pull out the necessary amount of humidity.

Learn If Your Dehumidifier Was Recalled
You can learn if your dehumidifier was recalled by calling the toll free number 1-866-853-2802. If so, a full refund will be given from Gree.

*Note: Thornton & Grooms does not and has never sold this product. Many homes we've encountered have these units and may not have responded to the recall announcement.
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Thornton & Grooms
24565 Hallwood Ct
Farmington Hills, MI 48335
(248) 644-7810
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