The weather hasn’t made up its mind. One day it’s hot and sunny, the next windy and rainy. Welcome to April in the UK. Dyson reckons its new fan, which blows both hot and cold, is the answer – with an eye-watering price tag to match.
The new Dyson AM09 is the company’s latest in its series of bladeless fans – a heater and fan combined into an oblong loop. It’s the third version of Dyson’s “Hot + Cool” fans – the first two, the AM04 and AM05, were subject to a recall last year for a fire risk found in models manufactured before April 2014.
Since then the heating fan system has been refined, quietened and made more effective at heating a room.
The small fan stands about the height of a small radiator, on a swivelling and tilting base that holds the turbine-like system that draws in air and propels it to a big paperclip-shaped ring sitting on top of it.
Like the more basic ring-shaped AM06 fan, the paperclip directs the air forward with force, sucking air through the back of the loop as it does so, amplifying the airflow. A turbofan jet engine works in much the same way, and hence why Dyson calls the technology the “Air Multiplier”, first launched in 2009.
But the AM09 has a new trick up its sleeve – the Coandă effect, which bends the airflow around the edge of the loop and out at an angle.
A second aperture in the loop combines with the first to broaden the angle of airflow, firing it out from the loop at around 45-degrees, which projects into the room and circulates the air more efficiently.
The direct approach is good for heating or cooling one spot, but leads to an uneven heating, something the older Hot + Cool fans suffered from – they cooled or heated one person very effectively but multiple people in a room not quite so much.
The new system is much more effective at heating an entire room, but comes at the cost of noise.
In use without the heater on and the fan in direct mode it is quiet and effective. It has 10 levels of power, anything up to level five is quiet and doesn’t drown out the television. Turning it up to 10, the fan sounds like a jet engine, and while it’s not loud enough to be heard outside the room, makes it difficult to hear dialogue at an acceptable volume from the television.
Turning on the heater and the wide-angle airflow kicks the fan into gear that starts at about the same noise as level five of the direct fan. That means it can be difficult to hear the TV.
The noise doesn’t carry very far, meaning moving the fan away from you and away from the TV helps, but it’s certainly not silent.
What it makes in noise it makes up for in heating the room. It is the most effective heater I have ever come across, raising the temperature from chilly to cosy in a matter of minutes.
The small remote sets the temperature in degrees Celsius, the fan does the rest. Once the room is up to temperature the fan shuts off. At peak it’ll draw 2,000 Watts of power when heating at maximum (about 30p per hour), which is similar to competitors, while a timer allows users to leave it running for a set time.
The AM09 will never replace central heating, but warming up one room on a cold day or night takes only a couple of minutes.
The Dyson AM09 costs £400, which is more than 10 times the price of similar oscillating fan heaters, and £150 more than Dyson’s cool-only fan.
The Dyson AM09 is arguably the best small heater fan available. It heats the room very quickly, is easy to use with the remote, has direct and air circulating modes and is as effective as a cooling fan can be considering it’s just blowing air.
But at £400 it is also the most expensive, and by a factor of 10 over some of its rivals. For that money you get a heater that’s attractive, relatively quiet, safe without blades and won’t emit a burning smell.
Whether that is worth the extra £360 will depend on how much you care about a heater.
Pros: heats a room quickly, powerful small fan, easy to use remote, exact temperature control
Cons: expensive, noisy enough to drown out a TV at full blast, can only push warm air around
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