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January 17, 2011

White-Rodgers has recalled about 188,300 programmable thermostats because they could potentially cause a fire.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced that the company is voluntarily recalling the affected programmable thermostats because the unit constantly recharges the AA batteries that power the clock, which may cause the batteries to leak and become a fire hazard. There have been three reports of minor property damage from these thermostats.

Consumers can identify these recalled units by the model number 1F88-XXX and 1F85RF-275 printed on the thermostat’s front pull down panel door and the date codes beginning with 05, 06, 07, 08, 09 and 1001 through 1039 printed inside the removable front cover.

White-Rodgers advises that anyone with these thermostats remove the AA batteries immediately and call White-Rodgers toll-free at (888) 624-1901 for a free repair kit. Consumers should also call if removal of the batteries affects furnace operation.

This recall affects 180,000 thermostats in the United States and 8,300 units in Canada. In the US, more than 40 utility companies and numerous heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) wholesalers across the nation sold these thermostats for about $150. Power companies sold these units to consumers participating in energy conservation programs because the thermostats had the ability to be controlled by the power company.

The Energy Star program, a joint effort by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, recommends energy conservation through use of programmable thermostats.

White-Rodgers is a Division of Emerson Co. and part of Emerson Climate Technologies.

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