Department of Energy’s Dehumidifier Testing Rule

The Department of Energy (DOE) has published a “Final Rule Pertaining to Test Procedures for Dehumidifiers” that goes into effect August 25, 2023. In the publication, the DOE clarified definitions of a whole-home vs. portable dehumidifier. We would like to outline what has changed and any resulting impacts on your business.

What has changed with the new rule:

  • The DOE clarified that a unit is portable vs. whole-home based on whether the manufacturer’s instructions call for it to operate with ducting. For example, if a manufacturer designs a crawlspace unit to operate with ducting, then it is a whole-home unit and must meet whole-home standards. The “Standard” specifically indicates:
    • Portable Dehumidifier: as a dehumidifier that, in accordance with any manufacturer instructions available to a consumer, operates within the dehumidified space without the attachment of additional ducting, although means may be provided for optional duct attachment.
    • Whole-Home: as a dehumidifier that, in accordance with any manufacturer instructions available to a consumer, operates with ducting to deliver return process air to its inlet and to supply dehumidified process air from its outlet to one or more locations in the dehumidified space.
  • The DOE did NOT delineate a definition for “crawlspace dehumidifiers,” as suggested by commenters, “because of concerns that such a definition would not only reduce regulatory transparency but also create challenges for enforcement.”1 In fact, the DOE went on to say that, “… whole-home dehumidifier configurations that include ducting from either the HVAC return or from other central locations in the dwelling both meet the existing whole-home dehumidifier definition…”

What does this mean to you and your business,

  • Regardless of installation location, if you are using AprilAire Dehumidifiers, there is no impact to your business.
  • All AprilAire crawlspace units are designed to operate with ducting and, therefore, are compliant with whole-home units and DOE standards.
  • AprilAire’s Crawlspace Dehumidifiers are listed on DOE’s CCMS site and meet energy conservation standards for whole-home units.
  • Distributors, dealers, or retailers that sell or install AprilAire Dehumidifiers into crawlspace, basement, or attic applications are NOT at risk of any DOE enforcement under the DOE rule.
In summary, all AprilAire Dehumidifiers fully comply with DOE standards, including the updated “Final Rule Pertaining to Test Procedures for Dehumidifiers.”