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Haier Readies 2013 Home Comfort Line

NEW YORK – Haier America is planning new features and branding for its 2013 line of room air conditioners and dehumidifiers.

In AC, all window models from 5,000 to 18,000 Btus with electronic controls will receive updated features that include an auto mode, sleep mode, energy save mode and a filter check reminder.

The new features are in addition to the dehumidifier mode, 24-hour on/off timer, and three fan speeds that carry over from the 2012 line.

In addition, all portable ACs, which had previously been branded Commercial Cool, will be marketed under the Haier badge next year.

Tom Kelly, sales and marketing VP for the company’s air conditioner group, told TWICE that Haier enjoyed a moderate increase in room air sales in July, and that inventory was adequate to cover the uptick. Last summer was otherwise surprisingly slow for AC sales, merchants reported, some of whom had anticipated stock-outs amid record-setting heat waves across much of the country.

Elsewhere in home comfort, Haier plans to introduce three Energy Star-rated dehumidifiers next year with 32-, 45- and 65-pint capacities, and a non-Energy Starrated mechanical control model with a 32-pint capacity. All will continue to feature a digital humidistat, 24-hour on/off timer, a filter check reminder, an audible fullbucket alert alarm, and two fan speeds plus a “smart dry” setting.

Kelly anticipates higher prices for both standard and Energy Star-qualified dehumidifiers, particularly in the smaller pint sizes, due to new and more stringent energy efficiency requirements. The higher pricing will appear “when the new production works its way into the marketplace next season,” he said.