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.