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If you opted in to an energy demand reduction program that allows a power company to control your home’s thermostat, you better check to see if it’s been recalled.
White-Rodgers of St. Louis recalled almost 200,000 programmable thermostats sold through energy conservation programs nationwide and in Canada because the AA batteries that power its clock can leak and risk sparking a fire, said the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The company received three reports of minor property damage. What happens is the thermostats constantly charge the backup AA batteries, which can make them leak and short the circuit. So far, no one has been hurt, the CPSC said.
More than 40 utility companies and various HVAC wholesalers sold the China-made thermostats to consumers from January 2005 through August 2010 for about $150 each.
About 180,000 were sold in the U.S. and 8,300 in Canada, mostly in Ontario.
The recall involved all White-Rodgers programmable thermostats with model numbers 1F88-XXX and 1F85RF-275 and the date codes beginning with 05, 06, 07, 08, 09 and 1001 through 1039.
The model numbers can be found on the thermostat’s front pull-down panel door. The date code can be seen inside the removable front cover.
Consumers should take the two AA batteries out of the thermostat and call White-Rodgers for a free repair kit at (888) 624-1901 between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Eastern, Monday through Friday.
You can also register your thermostat with the company. In some cases, removing the batteries can cause the furnace to turn off. If that happens, replace the batteries and contact your utility provider and White-Rodgers to schedule service.
In December, more than 2 million electric portable heaters sold through Walmart were recalled after 21 incidents including fires that injured four consumers.