Gree, a Chinese home appliance manufacturer, has announced a recall of 1.56 million dehumidifiers due to fire and burn hazards. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said that the dehumidifiers can overheat, smoke, and catch fire, posing a serious risk to consumers.
The recall involves 42 models of dehumidifiers with brand names Kenmore, GE, SoleusAir, Norpole and Seabreeze, manufactured between January 2011 and February 2014. The 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 model number and date code are printed on a sticker on the back, front, or side of the unit.
The CPSC has received reports of at least 23 fires, 688 incidents of overheating, and $168,000 in property damage with the recalled dehumidifiers. No injuries have been reported so far.
How to Check If Your Dehumidifier Is Affected
Consumers who own a dehumidifier that matches the description above should immediately stop using it and unplug it from the power source. They should then visit Gree’s recall website to sign up for the waitlist. They will be contacted in 6-8 weeks with information on how to register for the recall and receive a refund.
Alternatively, consumers can call Gree toll-free at 888-853-2802 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or email email@example.com for more information.
The CPSC also advises consumers to report any incidents or injuries related to the recalled dehumidifiers at [SaferProducts.gov] or by calling CPSC’s Hotline at 800-638-2772.
Why Dehumidifiers Can Pose a Fire Hazard
Dehumidifiers are devices that reduce the humidity level in the air by extracting moisture from it. They are often used in basements, crawl spaces, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and other areas where excess moisture can cause mold, mildew, or odors.
However, dehumidifiers can also pose a fire hazard if they are not designed or maintained properly. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), some of the common causes of dehumidifier fires are:
- Faulty wiring or electrical components that can spark or short-circuit
- Overheating of the compressor or fan motor that can ignite flammable materials nearby
- Accumulation of dust or lint that can block the air vents or catch fire
- Leaking of refrigerant or water that can corrode the metal parts or create an electric shock
To prevent these risks, consumers should follow these safety tips when using dehumidifiers:
- Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings
- Register your product with the manufacturer to receive recall notices
- Check for recalls regularly at [CPSC.gov] or [Recalls.gov]
- Place the dehumidifier on a stable and level surface away from heat sources and flammable materials
- Keep the dehumidifier clean and free of dust or lint
- Empty the water bucket regularly and check for leaks
- Replace the filter as recommended by the manufacturer
- Do not use extension cords or power strips with dehumidifiers
- Do not run the dehumidifier when you are not home or when you are sleeping
Other Dehumidifier Recalls in Recent Years
This is not the first time that Gree has recalled its dehumidifiers for fire and burn hazards. In 2013, Gree recalled about 2.5 million dehumidifiers sold under various brand names in the US and Canada. In 2014, Gree expanded the recall to include another 350,000 units sold under different brand names. In total, Gree has recalled about 4.4 million dehumidifiers since 2013.
Other manufacturers have also recalled their dehumidifiers for similar reasons. In 2016, Midea recalled about 3.4 million dehumidifiers sold under various brand names in the US and Canada. In 2017, GD Midea Air Conditioning Equipment Ltd. recalled about 15,000 dehumidifiers sold under SoleusAir brand name in Canada.
Consumers who own any of these recalled dehumidifiers should stop using them immediately and contact the respective manufacturers for a refund or replacement.