Thanks to shelter in place orders, many of us are spending more time at home than ever—and that’s saying something, because Americans typically spend 90% of our time indoors. It can be difficult to get the air quality in your home consistently comfortable. (I, for one, relied on an ad hoc team of humidifier, fan, and a slightly open window to combat my old-school radiator and get the humidity and temperature in my apartment to their optimal levels this past winter.) All of that time indoors also means more exposure to airborne pollutants, some of which are two to five times more concentrated inside than outside, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
With a new addition to its air treatment line called the Pure Humidify+Cool, Dyson is trying to solve all of these problems in one product. The Pure Humidify+Cool is an $800 humidifier, air purifier, and cooling fan.
That might seem astonishingly expensive for a fan. But as with most Dyson products, you pay a premium for meticulous engineering and singular design. Like Dyson’s previous fans, this one is bladeless and has an oblong form factor that could pass for some sort of futuristic totem. A Big Ass Fan this is not.
Here’s how it works: The Pure Humidify+Cool stacks the humidifier, air purifier, and fan components into a tower. As the water makes its way up the tower to be dispersed, it passes through UV-C light and a silver-threaded evaporator (silver has antibacterial properties) to kill 99.9% of bacteria in the water. (If you have a humidifier with a paper filter, that standing pool of water it sits within can turn into a bacteria petri dish that’s humidified and sent back into the air.) The HEPA filter in its air purification system kills 99.7% of air pollutants as small as .3 microns.
As for the fan: It has the typical Dyson bells and whistles you can expect; it can oscillate, change the direction of air flow from the front of the machine to the back (if you want the humidifier on but don’t want to feel any breeze), and you can adjust the force of the fan, which sends out purified, humidified air.
But it’s also like having your own home air quality data center: You can check the levels of varying air pollutants like VOCs (things like formaldehyde and NO2, or more mundane scents like a burning candle, food cooking, and so on), particulate matter like pollen, and more through the app you connect to the product. When set to auto mode, the system will automatically set the product at a higher or lower level to reach an ideal setting. I tested this by lighting a candle, and whrrr up went the fan, and so did the line indicating particulate matter levels in the app’s chart. The app takes a reading and updates the chart every 15 minutes.
The shipment of the tester I received was delayed, so I only got to try it out for a few days, rather than living with it for weeks. But it certainly simplifies the users’ buying experience, and the products they have to coordinate in their home. Why buy a purifier, a fan, and a humidifer (which would likely run you about $800 total, anyway—purifiers alone can run upward of $550 or more) when you get can get all three in one? There are a few fan-humidifiers or humidifier-purifiers on the market, but not many. Will this cannibalize their other products that have only one function to offer? Hard to say. But since I no longer have to MacGyver airflow and quality in my apartment, I’ll mark it as a design innovation.