Portable Air Conditioner Vs Dyson Fan (differences compared)

As the temperatures start to soar here in the UK everyone is looking for a way to cool down indoors. We decided to look at the differences between Dyson fans and portable air conditioners.

If you are interested in staying cool this Summer and you want to know whether to buy a Dyson fan or a portable air conditioner, keep reading.

In this article we look at how portable air conditioners and Dyson fans work and compare their cooling functions as well as many other factors.

What’s The Difference Between A Dyson Fan And A Portable Air Conditioner?

Before we get into the differences between each of these items let’s take a closer look at each one and see how they work.

What Is A Dyson Fan?

Ever since Dyson introduced their range of vacuum cleaners, they have been known for the quality and workmanship of their products. So when they started making their air multiplier fans we were intrigued.

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How Does A Dyson Fan Work?

The first thing to point out is that calling a Dyson fan “bladeless” is a bit misleading. This is because there is a fan with blades but it is not visible or accessible from the outside.

Dyson fans work by drawing in air around the base which is then forced up into the top ring where it passes through a series of slits and over the edge which is aerodynamically shaped.

This causes the air to increase in speed up to around 55 MPH. But there’s more to a Dyson fan than that. As the air travels through the top ring it drags more air from outside through with it which means there is an average of 15 times more air blowing from the top of the fan than is drawn in through the base.

What Are The Pros Of A Dyson Fan?

Now we have a basic idea of how a Dyson fan works, let’s look at the advantages of owning one.

 They include;

  • They’re More Energy Efficient
    Compared to a portable air conditioner, a Dyson fan is far more energy efficient. It uses less power to cool you down. On average a Dyson fan uses 1% of the electricity used by a portable air conditioner.
  • Less Noisy
    Dyson states that their fans are 60% quieter than conventional fans. And a Dyson fan is definitely a lot quieter than a portable air conditioner.
  • Safe
    With no visible working parts, a Dyson fan is safe to use around pets and children.
  • Aesthetically Pleasing
    Dyson fans are like pieces of modern art and look very pleasant in any room.
  • Lightweight
    Considering the amount of power displayed in a Dyson fan, they are incredibly lightweight. And definitely lighter to move than a portable air conditioner.
  • Portable
    Due to their lightweight design and the fact that Dyson fans don’t need to be positioned near an open window, they are far more portable than a portable aircon unit.
  • Easy To Maintain
    Dyson fans need to be cleaned on occasion but this is an easier process especially when compared to a portable aircon unit.
  • Can Be Used To Heat As Well As Cool
    Many Dyson fans have the capability to produce hot air as well as cold. Which means a Dyson fan is not only useful during those hot days. It can also be used as a heater as well.
  • Anti-Allergy
    Many Dyson fans have HEPA filters which can remove minute particles including dust, dust mites, pollen, mould spores and many other allergens.

What Are The Cons Of A Dyson Fan?

As with every appliance, there are two sides to every coin. The disadvantages of Dyson fans include;

  • Doesn’t Cool The Air
    All a Dyson fan or any fan can do is redirect the air that’s in the room. Which means the air remains at the same temperature (unless you have the fan in heat mode when it heats up the air). Fans cool your skin by the process of evaporation, as the air passes over the skin, it evaporates the sweat which makes your skin cool down.
  • Only Works If You Are Directly In Front Of It
    As the fan only cools your skin via evaporation, it will only work if the airflow is directed towards you. Which means a Dyson fan cannot cool the room only the person directly in front of the fan’s airflow.

What Is A Portable Air Conditioner?

Portable air conditioners are stand alone appliances that actually physically cool the air in the room.

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How Does A Portable Air Conditioner Work?

Inside a portable air conditioner are two radiators sat on opposite sides of the appliance which are connected by copper piping which runs on a continuous loop. One radiator is cold and the other hot and they cool the air by a simple but effective process.

The copper piping is filled with a refrigerant which heats up as it passes the air intake it then passes through a compressor which heats it up further due to being pressurised. 

It then travels to a condenser which ejects the heat using the exhaust hose. This causes the refrigerant to lose some of its heat and turns it back into a cool liquid.

It is then passed through an expansion valve which turns the refrigerant into an extremely low temperature gas. It then starts to absorb heat and the process continues. 

If you want to find out more about how an air conditioner works, click here.

What Are The Pros Of A Portable Air Conditioner?

There are many advantages to owning a portable air conditioner which include;

  • Ease Of Installation
    Compared to a full home aircon system, a portable A/C unit is easier to install.
  • Actually Cools The Room
    A portable air conditioner physically cools the room, whereas a Dyson fan simply forces air at room temperature in one direction.
  • Removes Moisture From The Air
    Portable aircons remove moisture from the air making the room feel more comfortable as it cools.
  • Can Be Moved From Room To Room
    The clue is in the name, portable aircon units can be moved from room to room because – they are portable.
  • Costs Less Than A Full Home Aircon System
    A portable air conditioner is far cheaper than a full home aircon system and in all honesty, living in the UK a full system is mostly unnecessary due to the climate.

What Are The Cons Of A Portable Air Conditioner?

The disadvantages of a portable air conditioner when compared to a Dyson fan are;

  • Not So Easy to Relocate
    Although they are called portable, due to size and weight many portable air conditioners are difficult to move. Added to which is the limited positioning available due to the need to be placed near to a window and a power socket.
  • Noisy
    Compared to a Dyson fan on a low speed setting, a portable aircon unit is far noisier.
  • Heavy
    With an average weight of 25kg, many portable air conditioners are quite difficult to move even if they are on castors.
  • More Expensive Running Costs
    Due to the amount of components in a portable air conditioner, they are far more expensive to run than a Dyson fan.
  • Window Kits Often Ill-Fitting
    To create a cooler atmosphere in the room the exhaust hose is connected to the window using a window kit which is often supplied with the A/C unit. These window kits are often ill fitting which means the A/C has to work even harder to cool the air.
  • Requires More Maintenance
    Dyson fans need a clean once every 3-4 months whereas a portable air conditioner will need its filters cleaned every 2 weeks on average.
  • Large And Often Unsightly
    Portable air conditioners are very often large and in all honesty ugly appliances. Dyson fans on the other hand, are pleasant to look at and could be mistaken for pieces of art.

Which Is Better Dyson Fan Or Portable Air Conditioner?

As both of these appliances are designed to do a different job, it is difficult to answer this question. 

Dyson fans, like any fans, simply direct the air at room temperature. Whereas a portable air conditioner actually removes heat from the air. 

Dyson fans can be moved easily and placed in different rooms as they weigh far less than portable air conditioners.

Dyson fans look like art installations whereas even the most sleek portable air conditioner looks out of place in most rooms.

Portable air conditioners are the loudest when operating of the two but neither is exceptionally noisy.

A portable air conditioner will cost more to run than a Dyson fan but the room will definitely be cooler if you run a portable air conditioner than if you were to run a fan.

Portable Air Conditioner Vs Dyson Fan Price Comparison

When it comes to the purchase price, there is often not too much difference in some cases.

Dyson Fan Price

Dyson fans range in price from around £475 to £750 depending on the model and the store you buy it from.

Portable Air Conditioner Price

Portable air conditioners start at around £300; anything lower than that is usually an evaporator fan, not an air conditioner.

There are some models that can cost up to £900 – £1000 depending on the make and the model and where you buy it.

Should I Buy A Dyson Fan Or A Portable Air Conditioner?

It really depends on what you’re trying to achieve. If you want to physically cool a room in your home during a serious heatwave, you’ll need to buy a portable air conditioner.

On the other hand, if you don’t want the hassle of fitting a window kit and all the rest of the paraphernalia that comes with an air conditioner, you should buy a Dyson fan.

SEE ALSO: Best Portable Air Conditioners (top UK aircon units reviewed)

PLUS SEE: How Much Does It Cost To Run A Portable Air Conditioner? (UK prices)

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Dyson fan as good as a portable air conditioner?

A Dyson fan isn’t as good as a portable air conditioner if you intend to physically cool the room. However, a Dyson fan will cool your skin if the airflow is directed towards you. But that air will still be at room temperature.

Is it cheaper to run a Dyson fan or a portable air conditioner?

It is cheaper to run a Dyson fan because there are far more components in a portable air conditioner which use more electricity to operate.

Do portable air conditioners use more electricity than Dyson fans?

Portable air conditioners use far more electricity than Dyson fans. Dyson fans have been estimated to use around 1% of the energy used by a portable air conditioner.

Is it better to use a Dyson fan or a portable air conditioner?

From an environmental aspect, it is far better to use a Dyson fan than a portable air conditioner because a Dyson fan uses only 1% of the electricity used by a portable air conditioner.

Why are portable air conditioners less efficient?

 Portable air conditioners are less energy efficient because some of the air that is used to cool and dehumidify the room gets sent out of the room in the exhaust hose. Whilst some of the hot air that is sent outside finds its way back into the room through ill fitting window kits.

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