Dyson Hot + Cool AM04 Heater Review: Stay Warm In Style, For A Price

I recently bought a little Dyson upright vacuum. It's sturdy and well-engineered, performs surprisingly well and is beautifully designed. I love using it. But it wasn't exactly cheap. The Hot + Cool ceramic space heater/fan -– the latest in Dyson's 'air multiplier' range -– carries much the same traits. For some, the Dyson name may be enough to convince your significant other. But others may just be wondering what the heck kind of tech begins to justify the $549 price tag. Let's take a look.

How It Works

Similar to the Dyson Air Multiplier AM02 fan, the Hot + Cool (aka Dyson Hot) pushes air instead of spinning blades. And as Dyson's first heater, we see some new touches.

The base encases a rotating mixed-flow impeller that draws air in and over special ceramic heating stones. The air is then jetted out through thin slots, along the airfoil-shaped ramp (the blue area you see pictured) and out into your room. This process is what Dyson refers to as its ‘Air Multiplier' tech, and this is how the Hot + Cool heats rooms faster and more evenly than traditional space heaters.

What We Liked

The 55cm-tall Hot + Cool definitely has good looks and became a conversation starter when I had friends around. I'll admit I probably fall into the perfect target market: I've started to buy nicer lounge room furniture for my little apartment, but I don't have central heating. As a stylish table-top heater, the Hot + Cool complements the aesthetic of my nesting investments. Sure, that's a bit wanky (and throwing on a jumper will get me to my house deposit faster) but there are other benefits too.

Because the Hot + Cool's heating components don't go beyond 200 degrees Celsius, you won't get that dust burning smell that occurs when other heaters get to around 233C. These heating plates are also internal, so the Hot + Cool could be worth considering over certain blade or element space heaters if you've got pets or kids. The Dyson is also much easier to clean. Other safety features include a base that's bottom-heavy to help avoid tip-overs, and an automatic cut-off feature should a knock actually occur.

The Hot + Cool is certainly easy to use. It can be tilted up or down on its base, and stays in place nicely without clamps even when oscillating from side to side. In fact, the adjustability and precise temperature settings are what had me hooked. You can go from zero (cool-air fan) to 37 degrees, and select up to 10 airflow speeds for your choice of energy efficiency. An included remote control means you don't have to get up, and when not in use, the remote's curved/magnetised design lets it nestle neatly atop the heater.

This is the first portable space heater that I've used with an intelligent self-monitoring thermostat, and I've definitely become spoiled. In my 8 by 5 metre lounge room, I was able to set a target temperature of 22 degrees and get there in about 20 minutes -- heat projection for the win!

What We Didn't Like

The thermostat tells the heater to power on and off as your room cools from its target temperature. Unfortunately, it takes a few moments for the heat to kick in again which can lead to a chilly surprise if you fall asleep in front of the Hot + Cool (as I've been known to do on my couch).

The heater uses jet engine-like technology, and at full blast, you kind of remember that. As you can see in the video, sound levels do dip dramatically on lower settings. Ultimately, the noise level wasn't so high that it bothered me (I just turned up my TV slightly), but you should ask to see/hear it in action before taking one home. This is an area where I'd expect to see future versions improve.

Other minor quibbles: As a fan, the Hot + Cool performs only half the air multiplication of the dedicated Dyson cooling fan (6x to 15x); the attached 1.8m power cord could be a tad longer; and the remote control's battery would be super easy for a child to pop out (and potentially swallow).

Should You Buy It?

As touched upon, the Hot + Cool isn't about simply getting from point A to B; this is about the grand parade in between. You're either in or you're out, so I'll let you answer the price equation for yourself. You can find deals from around $440 for the heater if you look around.

In either grey/blue (pictured) or white/silver, the Hot + Cool looks great, is easy to control and effectively heats small-to-medium sized rooms. It comes with a 2 year guarantee.

There are cheaper, smarter options out there, but I'm sick of lounging with my doona -- and a little luxury is nice once in a while. At least that's how I plan to convince my wife. [Dyson Australia]

Republished from Lifehacker Australia


    This was reviewed during the week and I think the consensus was
    too noisy
    too expensive to buy & run..

      Everything that heats or cools is expensive to run!

        Every thing that heats or cools costs money to run but this thing is more expensive than a reverse cycle A/C or a gas heater. Now look at the other naysayers in this column and wake up!

    And futuristic but totally ugly. I would never want that monstrosity in my place

      Meh, no more ugly than most fan heaters.

      We had one at a holiday house a few weekends ago. No one believed me when I said they go for about 500 in Good Guys. Just a really expensive fan heater, really.

    I like them. But that price is not winning me over.

    I have one...works pretty well...safe for kids, but it is noisy (especially if you use it in your bedroom and it kicks on again just as you were about to fall to sleep)

    The one down side I really find though is that you can't adjust the fan speed after it's thermostat has turned it off. So you pump it up high to warm a room fast...the it stops..and you want to adjust the fan speed down but you have to instead beef the temp up so it comes back on and then adjust the fan.

    Kind of an unexpected oversight for a dyson product.

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