Washington - Factory shipments of major appliances rose 3.1 percent in September, to some 5.5 million units.
Driving the increase was a 96.5 percent surge in dehumidifiers, a 28.2 percent spike in chest-style freezers and a 10.8 percent gain in gas cooktops, according to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), which compiles vendor volume.
Refrigerators also had a good month, with unit shipments growing 6.3 percent to some 949,400 units.
But the increases mask weakness in other core categories such as dishwashers, down 0.5 percent year over year; clothes washers, off by 8.4 percent; and gas ovens, shipments of which fell 15.8 percent last month.
September was toughest for trash compactors, with wholesale sales falling 17.1 percent.
Year-to-date shipment totals of all major appliances were essentially flat through September.