When Dyson first told me about their new Purifier Cool Formaldehyde machine, I was pretty sceptical. I mean, it seemed like it was just another iteration of the Dyson purifier and fan combo. Sure, maybe the motor inside is different, but there wasn’t anything that really made me go “wow” during the briefing. Well, here I am to say that I was wrong and that this machine has really impressed me over the course of my testing.

Let’s talk design first. It’s the standard Dyson bladeless fan design, but the model that can remove formaldehyde comes with a new copper/gold colour for the outer covers at the bottom. It’s a very nice touch that clearly indicates that the fan is the TP09 model instead of the TP07 model. That’s also the major difference between the two new models, the fact that the TP09 (the one I’m testing) can remove formaldehyde from the air.

Dyson TP09 HEPA+Carbon filter catalytic filter
Credit: Dyson

The removal of formaldehyde is made possible by a new catalytic filter that Dyson has included in this model, which is actually self-regenerating, so it never needs replacing. The filter traps and breaks down formaldehyde into water and CO2 molecules, and of course, there’s also the Dyson HEPA+Carbon filter which traps debris and dust and all the other gases and molecules.

So what’s formaldehyde? Well, it’s a colourless gas that is typically emitted from wood furniture, laminate flooring and even stuff like curtains or paint. It’s also a known carcinogen, which means prolonged exposure to high levels of formaldehyde might result in a higher risk of contracting cancer.

When I heard about this, I thought to myself: “this fan won’t do anything for me; my house was renovated almost 5 years ago and I don’t have any new furniture. It probably won’t even register any formaldehyde at all.” Turns out, I couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Right after setting up the fan, I checked the app. Everything looked fine, the air quality improved and stabilised after a few minutes of operation. Exactly as I expected, I thought. Then at night, I went to turn on the air conditioner, and I saw a spike in the formaldehyde (HCHO) reading. It came as a bit of a shock the first time because the readings all along were pretty much close to zero. After a few days of observing the pattern, I came to the conclusion that the reading spiked whenever I turned my air conditioner on.

It was completely unexpected because nothing I Googled about formaldehyde indicated that air conditioners would emit it. I even reached out to Dyson to ask about it, and the engineers mentioned that there are a lot of potential sources for the spike, so while it’s difficult to verify that my air conditioner is the source, it’s clear that the purifier is picking up elevated levels of formaldehyde and destroying the pollutants within my room.

The fan is also quite sensitive to other pollutants, with the VOC reading spiking when I used a hand sanitiser. Granted, the hand sanitiser did smell quite strongly of alcohol, but I didn’t expect the reading to be so high in comparison to other hand sanitisers. It’s these little nuggets of information that are really intriguing and provide context on how much air pollutants there really are in a home.

Aside from that though, both the TP09 and TP07 models have the exact same features. They’re both now benefiting from the purifier being fully sealed, so there’s no chance of pollutants leaking back into the surroundings. Dyson also claims the fans are 20% quieter than the previous model, although I’ll have to take Dyson’s word for it since I never tried the previous models.

That being said, I did find the noise from the fan relatively acceptable until it gets to around 7 speed or so. Running the fan at 7 speed and above results in quite a bit of noise, which can be quite distracting. There’s also the Auto mode, which allows the fan to control the speed. If air quality is good, the fan runs at a very low speed or just stops running. If pollutants are detected and the air quality is above a certain level, the fan will ramp up airflow speed to draw in more air to purify it until the air quality returns to good.

Additionally, if you don’t think you need the fan to be running and purifying the air at night, then there’s the Continuous Monitoring feature which just keeps track of the air quality without turning the fan on.

Now, I do have to mention that I’ve never personally owned and used a Dyson fan before, so I’m very impressed by the convenience provided through the Dyson Link app. I particularly liked that I’m able to turn the fan on and off through the app no matter where I am in the house and that I can even choose the degree that the fan should swivel when put into the oscillating mode or even just adjust where the fan is facing. The app essentially makes the remote unnecessary, and I think that this is a great example of tech making life easier for consumers. I have the remote if I really want to use it, but otherwise, being able to use my phone to control every aspect of the fan is excellent.

Dyson Link app screenshot

The app also shows the remaining lifespan of the HEPA+Carbon filter, which is great since it takes all the guesswork out and notifies you when the filters need to be replaced.

As for how well it works, it definitely circulates cool air really well around my room, even at lower speeds. It might just be a placebo effect, but after a few days of using the fan, I did notice I was sleeping better at night and not waking up randomly as often as before.

Dyson Purifier Cool Formaldehyde
Credit: Dyson

All in all, I think the Dyson Purifier Cool Formaldehyde is something that I never thought I would appreciate to this extent, but after trying it out for two weeks, it’s really become a pretty integral part of my home.

The Dyson Purifier Cool Formaldehyde air purifier fan TP09 (S$999) and the Dyson Purifier Cool air purifier fan TP07 (S$899) are available on Dyson’s website.

Written by Cheryl Tan