When you think about the concerns around air quality, many people immediately think of Asia and, to an extent, that’s with good reason. One quick glance at the real-time air quality visual index map and there’s a worrying amount of red labels across the known trouble spots of China and India.
But alongside the problems faced halfway across the globe, Dyson believes that air quality is just as much of a concern in the UK. As such it has developed its Dyson Pure Cool Link air purifier, the first of its Wi-Fi connected devices to be launched here. ItsDyson 360 Eye robotic vacuum is set to be the next and should be with us in the first half of the year.
Speaking at the launch of Dyson’s Pure Cool Link purifier, Dr. Bruce Mitchell, a clinician and immunologist, stated that we breathe 250 million litres of air in our lifetimes and complacency around air quality is something we should avoid.
Dyson believes that air quality can be five times worse indoors compared to outside. Considering we spend an average of 90% of our lives indoors, this is potentially a lot of time to be exposed to allergens and pollutants. The problem is exacerbated by the manner in which homes and buildings are designed. Modern buildings are made to keep heat in and noise out, creating a sealed environment for allergens and pollutants accumulate. Allergens and pollutants can be anything from mould and bacteria, textile fibres, chemical fumes, pet hair, and gas from cooking. But it’s chemicals from deodorants and cleaning solvents that are the most common indoor pollutants.
Dyson’s Pure Cool Link, which is available as either a desk (£350) or tower (£450) fan, is designed to capture 99.95% of ultrafine allergens, odours and pollutants, all the way down to 0.1µ (microns), trapping them in its filter. Its design isn’t a drastic departure from its existing desk and tower fans and humidifiers. The filter is located in its base, which uses a 360-degree glass HEPA filter. This contains 1.1m2 of constructed microfibres, which when unfurled amounts to about six metres. The filter has been pleated over 200 times to help it trap more minute particles. Once the air has been passed through the filter, it’s projected back out through the amplifier loop fan above. Each filter will last for around 180 days of constant use and replacement filters will cost £50.
There’s no filtration performance difference between the desk and tower variants. Aside from the obvious change in physical size, the only difference is in the performance and air distribution of the fan itself. The desk version can also be tilted for more targeted airflow.
I had a quick demonstration of the purifier’s performance with the filter component sealed inside a glass box that was then filled with smoke. The Cool Link was then turned on and after about five seconds all of the smoke had been passed through the filter and clear, smoke-free air was projected out of the top fan. It was an impressive visual display the Cool Link will require more rigorous testing before any performance conclusions can be made. For what it’s worth, Dyson states that it tests its purifiers in real-home environments and it has been through 350 prototypes before ending up on the model on shelves today.
With its vacuums, the distinctive clear bins were a way for Dyson to clearly show off the performance of its patented suction and bagless design. Air quality isn’t something that can be as easily visually represented. That’s where Dyson’s Cool Link app that is available on iOS and Android comes in. As I mentioned earlier, the Pure Cool Link is the first of its Wi-Fi connected devices and, therefore, has a companion app. The base of the purifiers not only houses the filters, but also a number of sensors and these detect changes in conditions. These then relay the live air quality information to the Dyson Link app, so you can instantly get an air quality reading as well as see when the filter needs replacing.
The app can also be used to control the Cool Link purifier and you’re able to set a target air quality level, adjust fan speed or enable functions such as the night mode. This dims the indicator lights and ensures the fans remain on the quieter settings while still maintaining target air quality. The app gives you historical data for air quality so you can easily monitor changes. Having used the app, everything was logically laid out and being able to set schedules was useful. Changing basic settings, such as fan speed, was also instant, which isn’t always the case with Wi-Fi controlled devices where there can sometimes be lag. Multiple Cool Link purifiers can be controlled from the app. A physical small remote control is also included if you don’t want to constantly be reaching for your smartphone or tablet.
The Cool Link app is integrated with BreezoMeter, an analytics company that provides real-time air quality from thousands of sensors around the world. This means you will have both indoor air quality readings from your Cool Link purifier, but outdoors, too. How useful this will be, for anyone but the most ardent hypochondriacs remains to be seen.
The Dyson Pure Cool Link is available from today in either silver or blue finishes. We’re expecting a review sample in shortly and will be sure to put it through its paces.