GE Appliances has announced a recall of 33,500 GE Zoneline® packaged-terminal air conditioner and packaged-terminal heat (PTAC) units due to a risk of fire. GE has received three reports involving smoke and/or fire associated with the unit’s heater resulting in about $30,000 of property damage. No injuries have been reported.
The appliances are hazardous because moisture from outdoor air can accumulate near the unit’s heater when the unit is operated with the vent door continuously open. This, along with two shorted electrical components, can create an electrical ground path and arcing, posing a risk of fire.
The recalled air conditioners and heaters are most often used in hotels, apartment buildings, and commercial spaces. They were sold at GE authorized representatives and HVAC distributors nationwide from January 2010 through December 2013 for between $1,000 and $1,200. Only certain models and serial numbers are included in the recall; see the CPSC notice for a full list. Owners of the recalled appliances should contact GE to schedule a free repair. While awaiting repair, do not operate the PTAC unit with the external vent open.