Dyson’s new humidifier kills bacteria using ultraviolet light


Living in Wisconsin (we lived there years ago) meant aeon long winters, heart stopping heating bills, and desert dry air. We used humidifiers to try to add invaluable moisture to the air to help decrease respiratory illnesses or alleviate the symptoms, but also to keep from shocking each other to a fine char. While cleaning the humidifier, it was always disturbing to think about how the wick in the humidifier was growing and harboring bacteria and dispersing it through our air. Now you and I can throw out our old humidifiers because Dyson’s new humidifier uses ultraviolet light to kill bacteria in the water and will also humidify a room up to 172 ft2. Using their Air Multiplier technology and a humidistat, you can humidify your environment evenly and quietly. It has a sleep timer or you could use it continuously for up to 18 hours. And you do not have to use it as a humidifier – you can also use it as just a fan in the summer. It comes with a remote control and will be available for purchase in the fall of 2015 (the price is not yet known). Okay, so don’t throw out your humidifier just yet. To find out more information about it, go to the Dyson website.

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12 comments… add one
  • Sandee Cohen October 25, 2014, 9:23 am

    I find almost all Dyson products to be horribly overpriced for the minuscule benefits they provide over other appliances in that category. The Dyson fan is a perfect example.

    I agree that winter heating causes terribly dry air and a humidifier prevents dryness, illness, and more.

    But to come out with this product without any idea of the price is very annoying. I suspect they are gauging the responses for the sign ups and will decide a price based on that.

    I don’t trust Dyson.

  • Andrew Baker October 25, 2014, 12:02 pm

    I’m sure the price will be equal to at least one or more limbs. Probably two, one upper and one lower.

  • meistervu October 25, 2014, 1:11 pm

    Yes, a bottle of bleach will last a whole winter and cost less than $5. Just add a spoon to the humidifier water once a day. And it brings the reminder of a summer day by the pool.

    Of course I was kidding.

    I like the design of this humidifier, and their products in general, even if I can’t justify buying one. A good design does not turn into a bad design because of the price.

    And it is these designs that influence other products in the market.

  • Kathleen Chapman October 25, 2014, 10:51 pm

    @Sandee, @Andrew: I have to admit that I have not jumped on the Dyson bandwagon because of the high cost of their products, but they are innovators and like @meistervu said, they influence other products with their new designs.

  • DStaal October 26, 2014, 8:28 pm

    The ‘use it continuously for up to 18 hours’ interests me – but from my experience the amount of time a humidifier can run is directly related to the size of the water tank and the size of the space you are humidifying. In my case the second is ‘my whole house’ and I tend to go through something like 4 gallons of water a day.

    There’s no note of the size of the water tank, and it appears to be a single tank. Most humidifiers limit the tank size to about 2 gallons (which is enough for one person to cart around without strain…), so I wonder how they compute that.

  • David Grant October 27, 2014, 10:07 am

    Price etc. aside, IMO this is unlikely to work as advertised. UV is a good germ killer but it is not an instantaneous germ killer except at extremely high fluxes. UV is ubiquitous in nature so all organisms have quite robust UV damage repair pathways. (Think how bad off you would be after a day at the beach if you didn’t.) This means that a UV disinfector needs to do enough damage to overwhelm the inate repair pathways. OK you say, Just need to up the dosage and/or time. But wait I say, Water is a very effective UV blocker so the germs only see UV when they are at the surface of the liquid (resevoir or droplet). This means either a _very_ intense UV source, which would certainly be damaging to the users if exposed, or an ineffective product. My guess is the latter.

  • DStaal October 27, 2014, 1:45 pm

    @David: I know other products that use the fact that the water surface is a good UV blocker to aid the containment of the UV – If the UV source is immersed in water that can mean the UV can travel through the water but gets blocked by the surface interface. (The Steripen water purifiers work on that effect.) But a good point to think about.

    Another question I have on the product: What method does it use to transfer the water to the air? Humidifiers typically use one of four methods: Heating, Ultrasonics, Wick, or Spinner. Each has different advantages and disadvantages. (Heaters heat the air. Ultrasonics need cleaning. Wicks need changing. Spinners can put other things in the air, and are usually noisy.)

  • Kathleen Chapman October 27, 2014, 3:44 pm

    @DStaal, @David – It would appear, from other sites on the web like Wired, CNET, and gizmag (I could not find any official Dyson documentation to verify this), that the new Dyson humidifier has a 3 liter tank. Since it uses a humidistat to measure and regulate the humidity in the room, this would allow the humidifier in the room (room size of up to just over 13 ft x 13 ft) to ramp up humidity to a certain percent in the air and then throttle back on the amount of water expelled to maintain that percent humidity thus not using as much water as typical humidifiers and allowing it to work for a longer duration.

    This humidifier is an ultrasonic humidifier (it uses a piezoelectric transducer to vibrate breaking up the water into a fine mist). It would appear, according to other web sites, that the mist (and not the water tank) is exposed to UV twice (I have no idea about the intensity of the UV, I would imagine it to be higher than ambient UV) to ensure that 99.9% of bacteria are killed. It would appear that the air is expelled from the back of the loop which then passes to the front of the loop where it mixes with the mist that is expelled there.

    I want to stress that the information in this comment CANNOT be confirmed by any official Dyson documentation that I could find. I do not include such information in my news post because I cannot confirm it and thus the information COULD be incorrect.

    • Michael Aulia April 24, 2015, 1:19 am

      That’s pretty much correct (have just finished reviewing it on my blog – http://www.cravingtech.com/let-the-mist-begin-dyson-humidifier-review.html)

      You can technically disable the auto and just set the humidity level you want; but the auto is probably the optimum comfort setting for your current room because as you mentioned, Dyson Humidifier has the humidistat and thermostat that automatically detect the temperature+humidity level of its surroundings

      I tried setting to the highest for testing and my room felt kind of damp, like what you feel after a long, hard rain 🙂

  • Fred October 28, 2014, 9:46 am

    Is Wisconsin also known for its database exploitation?

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