When you hear of the brand Dyson, the first thing you would associate them with is the vacuum cleaner. It is not surprising as the company was founded by James Dyson with the cyclone vacuum as the first product. Since then, the company has diversified their product lines to include other types of home appliances such as hair dryers, air purifiers, fans, heaters and lightings.
And as a result of their sleek marketing, they could be perceived as the company that makes premium and high quality appliances.
I will admit, it was that perception that got me yearning for a Dyson fan when I first saw it several years ago.
And after several years of waiting, and having gone through a period of hypersensitivity to gaseous compounds from cigarette smoke and haze, I got myself the Dyson Pure Cool Advanced (TP04-White/Sliver) model and it cost me about ~$700 after some sort of discount.
I have been using it for several months now and that has allowed me to get over the initial emotional high of a new toy, which enables me to give a more objective review.
Clean the air
The Dyson Pure Cool is first and foremost an air filter and then a fan.
Air is sucked in by the fan located at the base of the machine. There are two types of filter installed, and when combined are designed to capture up to 99.5% of pollutants in the air.
The glass HEPA filter is able to capture most pollutants, allergens, dust and viruses as small as 0.3 microns. The second filter is the activated carbon filter that can capture other smaller particles and gaseous vapours.
As of this writing, the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing and this double-filter system ensures the air you breathe in is clean and safe.
Air quality monitoring
It comes with a suite of sensors that detect air pollution ranging from PM10 to NO2 and will display these information in the form of graphs.
The graphs will start from green and will turn yellow if the air starts to contain certain pollutants. Red and purple graphs will follow when the pollution becomes worse.
It is especially useful in Singapore where we have haze seasons due to burning of the forest in Indonesia. Or when you live in HDB apartments where you are so close to other people who pollute the air with their cigarettes and those toxins enter your living area due to wind. You can use the Dyson air quality monitoring to help you determine if you need to take additional steps to protect your health such as putting on a mask or closing the windows.
Easy to maintain
Unlike the traditional fans, the fan blades are kept hidden within the base of the machine with the filters to keep out dust and dirt. Other than changing out the filters once every year or so, the machine needs only a simple wipeout with a lightly damp cloth.
Compact size and lightweight
Most standing fans are rather heavy and most can be difficult to transport around the house due to their size, especially due to the large fan blades and protective cage.
The Dyson Pure Cool stands at about 1.06 meters tall with a max diameter of 22.3 cm, which makes it much smaller than most standing fans. It also weighs about 5kg and that makes it light enough to carry with one hand.
During the time I had it, I have moved the machine around my room just so that I could get a decent air flow depending on where I am. And this ultimately lead us to the cons of the machine.
Very noisy with weak air flow
At its core, it uses a motor to suck in and propel air. At lower speed, the motor is relatively quiet but it comes at a cost of low wind speed.
With the motor speed set to 5 or 6, the air projected out by the so call air multiplier technology is perceived to be weaker than a simple $20 desk fan.
As you raise the motor speed up to 8, 9 or even 10, there is a distinct whining sound that you typically hear with vacuum cleaners. Even then, the amount of air movement you get is less than a ~$30 standing fan with fan speed set at 1.
Does not cool you
The machine does not actually live up to its name Pure Cool.
It has tiny silts along the central tube that allow air to flow out after it has been pushed through the internal tunnel. To increase the airflow, a technology called air multiplier is used, which is nothing more than a fancy name that take advantage of inducement and entrainment to move a higher volume of air than it actually takes in through the machine’s base.
With the air multiplier, air moves like a steady stream but the airflow is weak. Really weak when compared to traditional standing fans. The stream of air is not fast enough and spread wide enough to create a situation where you can get indirect air flow from air molecules bouncing off surfaces.
My non-scientific test involved setting the fan speed to 8 and see how far I can go before I stop feeling the airflow. And the result is about 2.5 metres.
Also, due to its inability to move large volume of air with sufficient speed, it is unable to remove heat from a room faster than the heat can accumulate. And it is a problem especially in a country as warm and humid as Singapore. The room is so much warmer than it should have been when compared to using a traditional standing fan. Without a strong air flow, it is not able to induce faster sweat evaporation in such a weather, which makes you feel even hotter than usual.
The feeling of cheap build
When you buy a product such as a fan or an air filter, you would expect that the material used to construct the product would be of a higher quality. Yet, most of the device is made out of plastic that does not really make it feel like a premium product.
What are you actually paying for?
In my opinion, the price tag you pay for the machine is to cover the following cost:
- The engineering hours that goes into the sensors and software needed to run the machine
- The motors, asymmetrical fan blades and the R&D of the filters
- Whatever tests Dyson need to conduct to claim their product can filter out 99.5% of the pollutants in the air
Other than the above, I do not see how they could justify the price tag, which is as much as an 128GB iPhone SE (2020).
If you are living in a country as hot and humid as Singapore, I would not recommend the Dyson fan unless the company figure out a way to deliver high airflow needed to encourage heat dispersal within a room and sweat evaporation from the body.
If you need something that does not consume a lot of electricity like the air-conditioning but can still cool you down in this country, I would recommend you buy a standing fan from companies like Mistral or Sona.
But if you are looking for an air filter that doubles up as a fan and you plan to use it in an air-conditioned room with temperature around 25 degrees celsius, then Dyson Pure Cool is a product that you can consider. You can use the fan as a method to even out the cool air in a room so that there are no warm spots.
And if you are looking for just an air filter, there are other cheaper alternatives that can do the job just as well.