They say timing is everything. Dyson’s timing is right on. Not only did they send us one of their new Pure Cool Fans to review, they timed it with the start of another sweltering heat wave here in San Diego. We’re lucky enough to live close to the coast which virtually guarantees cooling ocean breezes in the afternoon. For most of the year, it is ridiculously pleasant. The kind of pleasant that makes dear friends from out of state hate us during the winter. Thanks to those cool ocean breezes, many in our area do not have AC. Even so, there still tend to be several weeks hot enough to make those of us without AC near the coast seriously consider installing an AC unit. Dare I say, those brief weeks of intense heat get. . . UNpleasant. Luckily, by the time we’re at our breaking point, the breeze kicks back in and we return to annoying 99+% of the rest of the world with our ultra comfortable climate.
If you’re not already familiar with Dyson as a brand, let’s just say they aren’t conformists. All vacuums use annoying bags? Dyson harnessed cyclonic power and easy to empty dust cartridges. All fans are large, ugly, noisy things that spew out the same questionable air that went into the fan to begin with? Dyson releases the new Pure Cool Fan, designed for year round air purification with cooling fan capabilities in the warmer months.
Dyson Pure Cool Style
If you have seen Dyson’s previous spin on fans and heaters, the design of the Pure Cool may not come as a shock to you. Here’s a quick look at Sir Dyson himself giving an overview of the first fans put out by the company:
Pretty cool, right? If you have ever had the gut wrenching experience of watching a small child with tiny fingers wander up to a conventional fan, the elegance and safety of Dyson’s design is readily apparent. Parents will relax happily, even as kids might approach a Pure Cool set at top speed. No exposed, whirring blades not only mean no fear of small finger loss. The design is also incredibly easy to clean with a gentle wipe-down of the smooth oval surface. And, at just under 8″ in diameter, the Pure Cool takes up shockingly little floor space. One downside to it’s rather unconventional design is that the Pure Cool is fairly awkward to carry and transport. As tempting as it may seem to hoist the Pure Cool from the convenient air loop, Dyson strongly discourages it.
Cool, Clean Air
Aside from appearing like a high-tech piece of fine sculpture, the Dyson Pure Cool also has function. It traps odors and toxins like paint fumes, smoke and cooking “aromas” using a high-efficiency Glass HEPA filter. As a nice bonus, bumping the fan speed up into the 6-10 range results in a smooth, cooling breeze when the weather gets a little toasty.
If you share my frugality, you might immediately panic at the thought of a replaceable filter. According to Dyson:
No need for regular monthly filter maintenance. It takes less than 60 seconds to replace the filter. And only after six months – 4382 hours – of continuous use.
4382 hours equals 24 hour a day use for half a year. That’s a LONG time between filter changes, particulately (get it?! I made a typo, on purpose!) if you’re not running the Pure Cool 24/7.
I wasn’t able to track down the replacement filter online, so I checked in with Dyson’s PR crew. They advised that the filters will be available from the Dyson website in the next few months for $69.99. It remains to be be seen what average usage is, especially since I would expect fan speed to also impact filter life. Going on the data we have from Dyson at the moment, it sounds like worst case scenario (for someone leaving the Pure Cool on 24/7) is that they can expect to spend $140/year on filters. Alternatively, someone running the fan six hours a day (all year) would theoretically get a couple years out of the filter, or, a much more reasonable $35/year.
Well, my filter lasted a little less than a year. I ordered a replacement online and was surprised to discover the filter comes attached to the nifty blue perforated screen that surrounds it. I would have liked to have seen a more environmental approach to this that didn’t involve having to toss a perfectly good piece of plastic away. Other than that, the filter swap was very quick and easy. With tax and shipping, the filter was around $85 total, direct from Dyson.
Related to filters, one thing I would have liked to see is a filter bypass mode. If you have the windows wide open in the summer anyway, filtering the air doesn’t make much sense. Being able to bypass the filter altogether and just use the Pure Cool as a fancy-pants fan would save unnecessary wear and tear on the filter when it’s not needed.
Dyson Pure Cool Assembly
The Pure Cool is probably the easiest to assemble product we have ever had the pleasure of reviewing here at Home Fixated. The unit comes boxed in two parts: the base which houses the filter and motor/fan, and the smooth oval that distributes the purified air at a velocity of your choosing. Installation is intense. Take oval top, click it on to base. Oh, and plug it in. That’s it. The unit can be powered on from a button at the base, or, more optimally, via a handy remote.
Remote Control Breeze
The only thing worse than a sweltering hot day is being tormented by the grueling walk from your lounge chair ALL THE WAY to the fan to change the fan speed. Dyson has done away with this kind of drudgery with a palm-sized remote that controls power, fan speed, whether the unit pans left and right, and a handy sleep timer that can be set for up to nine hours. Sadly it does not order drinks with the little umbrellas in them. Although all the remote’s features are extremely convenient, I do have a couple minor gripes.
Maybe it’s just poor aim on my part, but I found myself sometimes having to push the remote buttons more than once to get a response, despite being close to the fan. The remote is smooth and sexy from a design standpoint, but not easy to use without good lighting. The buttons are at the exact same height as the remote surface, so you really need to look where your thumb is to make sure you’re pressing the right button. Gripes aside, I now believe all fans deserve to have remote controls.
I’m a bit embarrassed to say that I didn’t realize the remote is perfectly curved to magnetically dock to the top of the Pure Cool. That’s even more embarrassing when I looked at the manual’s cover which only shows two “assembly” steps. One was the already mentioned clicking the oval to the fan base. The other is docking the remote up top. Prior to that realization, I spent a number of wasted minutes hunting down the remote as the Pure Cool made its rounds through various rooms of the house.
Dyson did all kinds of fancy, super-scientific stuff to minimize noise from the Pure Cool. Is it silent? No. Sound levels vary depending on fan speed. At levels under five it was whisper quiet. For settings 1,2 and 3, the fan is barely audible in a typical room. At 8,9 and 10, the sound is very noticeable, but still more hushed than conventional fans that sound like you’re next to a turbo-prop on a twin-engine commuter jet. Dyson did a nice job minimizing noise.
Dyson Pure Cool Performance
First a disclaimer. . . does the Pure Cool filter out 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns? If so, did my family sleep like babies, revelling in crisp, ultra-pure air? The answer is: I have no idea. Particularly in the summer, our home has far too much outside air ventilation to try and weigh in on how effectively the Pure Cool filters the air. I suspect I will have a better sense of the Pure Cool’s filtering capabilities after operating it in the winter when the home is more buttoned up from the extreme elements present here in San Diego.
Since corner placement isn’t always an option, I would have liked to have seen a 180 degree setting for the oscillation rather than just 90 degrees. However, even if you don’t have a free corner, the Pure Cool’s small footprint makes it easy to locate where the breeze will get you.
As a fan that just happens to clean the air, I think the Pure Cool is a winner. Flexible controls and inspired design fuse to deliver a smooth, quiet and presumably crystal clean breeze. The price point right around $400 does make it a remarkably spendy alternative to fans and even most popular air purifiers. Typical fans are almost all found at under $100, and most popular air purifiers are in the $100-$200 range. With that said, none of them look half as stylish as the Pure Cool, and most are substantially noisier. If you’re looking for cleaner air and some optional fanning while you sip a tropical beverage of your choosing, the Dyson Pure Cool is worth considering.
You can find the Pure Cool for $399.99 including a 2 year parts & labor warranty via Costco Retailers on the West Coast (California) and East Coast, as well as through Dyson.com