I’ve had the Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Link ($1000) running in my kitchen, lounge and bedroom. Whenever air quality dropped, the Dyson automatically turned on and cleaned things up.
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Nasty things in our air include fungi and bacteria (including mould spores), particulates from wood smoke or pollen, gases such as nitrogen dioxide from vehicle emissions, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by building materials. The US Environmental Protection Agency has identified indoor air quality as one of the top 5 environmental hazards for the western world, and we aren’t immune in clean, green New Zealand.
While older homes in New Zealand are rightly cited as being damp and draughty, more modern homes are warmer, dryer and more airtight. However, newer isn’t all good – too little airflow can reduce the quality of the air we breathe. A 2013 study by BRANZ found a third of New Zealand homes built since 1995 have ventilation below international guidelines for air quality.
The Pure Hot+Cool Link has a HEPA particulate filter and an active graphite filter for removing VOCs and odours. Dyson claims it “captures 99.95% of fine particles such as allergens and pollutants”. Air is sucked into the body through a 360° intake and Dyson’s “air multiplier technology” sends cleaner air back into the room. Returned air can be heated or cooled. The device sends out either a jet or diffused stream of purified air and oscillates around its base (the static part is hidden, so it looks like it’s hovering while rotating).
The purifier can be controlled through a simple remote control that’s intuitive to use. A small LED display on the purifier shows status at a glance. However, the brains of the machine are really in the Dyson Link app, which offers the remote control functionality and much more.
The purifier has sensors for measuring indoor air quality, displayed on the app along with a with a live outdoor air quality reading for your location. You set your required air quality level and the app does the rest, controlling when the purifier turns on and selecting its speed. The app shows a chart of air quality, temperature and humidity, and when the purifier was active. The charts were neatly presented and informative, but only showed a week’s worth of detailed data. The quality of the data presentation in the app gave me confidence in the device’s performance. The app also has a timer that can set daily on/off periods over a week.
I found it easy connecting to the Dyson using the app on my iPhone using Bluetooth. I experienced a few dropouts after periods of inactivity, but that’s no different to any other Bluetooth device I’ve used. It reconnected easily on all but one occasion, when I needed to delete the device and reconnect from scratch. Setting up my location, air quality preferences, device operation and timer using the app was intuitive and straightforward.
Running as a purifier in my spare bedroom for 12 hours used 10¢ of energy. According to the app, the Dyson kept air quality high and didn’t cost the earth in doing so. However, I would expect this relatively small device to be less effective in bigger spaces as it doesn’t have the largest throughput of air. It also gets quite noisy and the breeze it generates is obtrusive when the fan cranks up, not unlike an oscillating tower fan heater.
The Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Link was easy to set up and use. It didn’t cost much to run, but was it worth a grand? I don’t suffer from asthma and live in a draughty 1960’s house on a windy hillside above Wellington, so it was difficult for me to judge any general improvement in my air quality. The app told me it was doing a great job keeping my indoor air clean though, and the purifier responded when I filled a room with fly spray or cooking smoke. If I was asthmatic, lived in a tightly sealed new home in Nelson, and used a woodburner to keep myself and 2 dogs warm in winter, it could be an investment worth making.
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By Paul Smith
Head of Testing
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