Dyson AM09 Hot+Cool Review: A Heating Fan For $699?

Image: Supplied

The AM09 Hot+Cool is the latest swanky home appliance from Dyson. As its name implies, it's a cooling fan and heater in one, which means you can use it all year round. It also boasts near-soundless operation, safe-to-touch heating elements, intelligent climate control and an impressively sleek design. But is it worth the astronomical $699 asking price? We put it to the test.

Dyson seems pretty proud of the AM09 Hot+Cool's dual temperatures -- it's right there in the product's title. It's a bit odd when you consider how prevalent hot/cold heaters are. Indeed, even $20 no-name models usually contain a cool fan mode.

Thankfully, this isn't the only trick up the Hot+Cool's sleeve.

First, The Specs

Dyson AM09 Hot+Cool
Total height 580mm
Total weight 2.4kg
Airflow (max setting) Personal mode 186L/s / Diffused mode 157L/s
Temperature setting Yes (degrees Celsius)
Remote control Yes
Amp width 153mm
Cord length 1.8 metres
Price $699

Design & Setup

Image: Supplied

Like everything Dyson makes, the AM09 Hot+Cool is designed to stand out from the crowd. The futuristic blade-free build and absence of visible heating elements is unlike any personal heater on the market. It's an everyday device re-imagined to look fresh and avant-garde.

The heating element is quite similar to Dyson's range of hand driers that require you to insert your hands into a cylindrical opening. Which is to say: most of the heat is supplied via a stream of concentrated airflow.

Setting up the device couldn't be easier. It's a self-contained unit with easy-to-understand controls; simply plug it into a wall and plonk it down in the desired area. The supplied power cable runs to 1.8 metres, which is a pretty decent length.

There are a handful of physical buttons on the top of the device, with advanced functions such as a sleep timer selected via an included remote control. More on that in a moment.

Features & Performance

In terms of operation, the Dyson AM09 Hot+Cool shares more in common with an air conditioner than a floor heater. It comes with a remote control and allows you to set precise temperatures right down to the desired degree. By contrast, most conventional heaters provide a handful of incremental heat settings that you adjust with a dial.

Image: Lifehacker

As mentioned, the AM09 Hot+Cool comes with all the features you'd expect from a high-end heating unit. On the other hand, it doesn't pile on a bunch of bells and whistles to justify the price tag.

Noteworthy features include a revolving motor with oscillation control, a sleep timer with an automatic cut-out safety function, an inbuilt display that shows the temperature, and the so-called 'Jet Focus' technology that provides two airflow modes: Long-Range for focused heating and Diffused Mode for heating up an entire room.

In terms of what's offered, we think Dyson struck the right balance with the Dyson AM09 Hot+Cool: it contains all the essential modes and features a good heater requires with no superfluous gimmicks you're unlikely to use. That said, we think a slightly bigger remote would have been nice given the price tag. As it stands, older users may have a hard time deciphering what the tiny buttons do.

Because it's winter we focused on testing the unit's heating capabilities, which is the make-or-break function here. Like any air-based fan, the cool setting simply blows out air slightly below room temperature.

The Dyson does a pretty great job of providing heat in both Long-Range and Diffused modes. Naturally, its ability to warm up an environment largely depends on the size of the room and whether the space is sufficiently closed off. In other words, you'll get best results in a bedroom.

We compared the Dyson's heating chops to an el cheapo "Home Collection" fan heater with just three heat settings. From memory, it was purchased at K-Mart for about $20.

Interestingly, the Home Collection did a better job heating the room at maxed out settings than the Dyson. However, this is not nearly as advantageous as it sounds: the room quickly became uncomfortably suffocating and stuffy.

By contrast, the Hot+Cool's temperature remained pleasant and evenly dispersed at the highest setting. It is also smart enough to keep the nominated temperature constant. If you forget to turn it off at bedtime, you're not going to wake up parched and sweaty -- unless you set it at 30+ degrees, of course.

In addition, the cheap model gave off an off-putting burning smell that is a common issue with fan heaters. The Dyson AM09 Hot+Cool Personal Heater maintains a temperature below dust's burning point regardless of how high you crank it up. If you can't stand the smell of burnt dust, this is a chief selling point.

The operation noise isn't completely silent, but it's pretty darn close -- the sound is comparable to a modern laptop under medium load. In other words, it's just loud enough to know it's working.

Conclusion

Is the Dyson AM09 Hot+Cool worth $699? Is any fan heater worth that much? When you consider portable air conditioners start at around $400, the Hot+Cool's asking price is a pretty big hurdle to cross. Anyone with this much money to burn probably has cutting-edge smart heating installed in every room of their house already.

With that said, we can't fault the AM09 Hot+Cool when it comes to room heating. Anyone that requires a powerful, quiet and user-friendly fan that can be used in summer and winter will not be disappointed. It will heat most rooms rapidly and evenly with minimal noise and zero smell. Plus it looks incredibly cool, if you care about that sort of thing.


Comments

    It's power consumption to heating effect?
    The thing that makes or breaks a heater.

    I needed a new heater this winter and because I am poor I needed a loan I looked around and found a subsidy program. This was the only heater they would subsidise because according to them it runs cheaper than anything else. I think $699 is a little high a price tag but it still does a good job. Our living room is big and setting it to about 21C means it takes a while to heat up, but it does do it eventually. At first I thought it was crap, and then I walked outside and realised that I was wrong because it was freezing out there. For the smaller bedrooms it does an even better job.
    For that price what I would really have liked is an on timer. I would love to be able to set the heater to come on half an hour or so before I get out of bed.
    My point of all of this is, if my electricity bill goes down then it might be worth the price (which I didn't actually pay, so I can't really complain), but I still think that's a rather hefty price.

      Yeah, $700 is too high, you can buy a cheapy at Bunnings for under $100, though obviously power consumption and build quality are way down. What about noise though, those things have a bit of a rep previously for being too noisy?

      Last edited 25/07/16 2:25 pm

        No louder than a standard fan heater, probably a little quieter actually. I have notice that I have had to lower my standard television volume since I had it.

      these things have only been around for a few decades, im not surprised you havnt heard of them

      https://www.bunnings.com.au/hpm-24-hour-timer-2-pack_p7052868

        Funny. Doesn't turn the actual heater on. It's not like a lamp or a radio where when you turn the switch on the heater comes on. You've also got to push the start button. At least that's my experience with it because I would never have thought to have tried one of them.

    I bought the model AM06 last year and yes, it does save on electricity when compared to air conditioning. Gone is the power hungry reverse cycle air conditioner. The Dyson Is great and fast for bedroom heating. And also heating a large living/dining room area. Ten out of ten!

      Well, considering that an air-conditioner usually has a Coefficient of Performance of 3 or 4 (that is, for every watt of power it consumes, it generates 3 or 4 Watts of heating or cooling), no electric fan-heater is ever going to be more energy efficient than an air-conditioner. Of course, if the air-conditioner is oversized for the application (e.g. want to cool/heat one room only and the A/C unit is not an inverter model and does not have zones), then that is a different problem, but the A/C will still cool/heat 3 or 4 rooms for the same power as a fan-heater cooling/heating a single room.

    Ineffective, expensive.
    Returned for refund.

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