Buying guides

Air Care Buying Guide Hero

Air Care

Whatever the season, you can enjoy the ideal environment in your home. Frosty winter mornings. hot summer nights and humid autumn days are all taken care of with our range of heating and cooling appliances.

Types of air care

Whether you want rooms purified or cooled, we have air care models to suit

Heating

When the weather gets colder, opt for a heater to see you through even the chilliest months. Here we outline There are a variety of styles available:

 

Traditional fan heaters

Work by passing air over a heated element, then blowing that air into your room: this effectively heats an enclosed space. Some also offer a cool air mode.

  • Affordable
  • Swiftly heats rooms
  • Compact and easily portable between rooms
  • Audible when in use
  • Rooms cool quickly once they’re turned off
  • Temperature is harder to control

 

Ceramic heaters

Ceramic heating elements offer spot heat – many have a self-regulating heat output for added safety.

  • Affordable
  • Swiftly heats rooms
  • Compact and easily portable between rooms
  • Most are silent when in use
  • Rooms cool quickly once they’re turned off
  • Temperature is harder to control

 

Oil-filled radiators

Also known as column heaters, these mini radiators contain  oil that’s heated using electricity, causing the appliance to radiate heat and circulate it around the room.

  • Longer-lasting heat
  • Silent when in use
  • Can heat larger rooms more effectively
  • Many have wheels, for transportation between rooms
  • Can be more expensive

 

Dyson heating & cooling

More advanced technology allows for models that heat and cool in one, for year-round air care.

  • Current models offer bladeless airflow, remote controls and precise temperature control
  • Ensures you only need one appliance all year
  • Quiet when in actionMore of an investment

Cooling

For comfort  during even the stickiest heatwaves, . these cooling units blow cool air around the room, varying from simple fan heaters with a cool air mode to oscillating fans. Top-of-the-range models host options such as a series of speeds and timers, allowing you to cool the bedroom before you go to sleep, for example.

 

Bladed fans

Bladed desk fans blow air in your chosen direction. They won’t cool the air in a room, but the moving air is what makes you feel cool and allows for the body to stay cool. This means that leaving a bladed fan on when you’re not in a room won’t cool the room down, so you may as well save energy and switch it off.

  • Affordable
  • Allows for use at close range
  • Compact and easily portable between rooms
  • Audible when in use
  • Rooms are as warm as they were before once the fan is turned off
  • Can’t control temperature of fan or room

 

Bladeless fans

These fans work to cool the air in your room, for a longer-lasting cooling effect – it also means you can enjoy a higher level of control over your environment.

  • Affordable
  • Cools whole rooms
  • Fairly compact for portability
  • Quieter than bladed fans
  • Many have sleep settings and/or remote controls for convenience
  • Temperature is easier to control
  • Higher-end models also have heat settings

 

Air conditioning

This method of cooling is the most thorough. Air conditioning units reduce the temperature by removing hot air. A compressor (the ‘engine’ of an air conditioner) draws hot air into the unit, over an evaporator which contains a very cold refrigerant. Now cooled, the air is then blown out through the front vents while the heat is expelled through a rear hose.

  • Can be used in multiple rooms – mobile air conditioners have wheels
  • Audible when in use
  • Rooms maintain coolness once air conditioner has been switched off
  • Temperature can be controlled precisely
  • More expensive option
  • Hot air needs to be let out of the room – for example through a window or hole in the wall
  • Room size will affect how efficient the unit is, along with whether there’s computer equipment and the number of people in a room

 

Types of mobile units:

Single units

These house the compressor, evaporator and refrigerant in one neat unit. There are 2 types of single units: air-cooled or air-and-water-cooled. The latter offers more cooling power, but means you need to top up the water regularly.

Split systems

Larger units have a separate condenser unit that you place outside. Though this might seem cumbersome, it means that the internal unit is often smaller and more discreet. The outside unit is fully weatherproof and the connecting hose is narrower.

Humidifying & dehumidifying

 

Ideally rooms should have a humidity level between 40% and 60%. If you’re an asthma sufferer, low humidity might heighten symptoms, while those with dry skin might find they have increased irritation and itching. And it’s not just you who suffers: furniture can dry up or crack. In damp houses with high levels of humidity, mildew or fungi can flourish.

Dehumidifiers

These provide a way to combat mould, condensation and damp in the home by drawing excess moisture from the air. Some fully automatic models can even be set to work when moisture levels reach a critical point.

Humidifiers

As we spend so much time indoors with the windows closed – and air conditioners or the heating on – humidity levels can often be too low. These work to hydrate air, which can be helpful for babies as well as anyone with dry skin and even asthma and allergy sufferers.

Choosing a humidifier:

  • Cool or warm mist: If your room is often cool then a warm mist machine would be best, whereas if it often gets stuffy a cool mist humidifier will be refreshing
  • Humidistat: Some models start working when the humidity level in the room reaches a certain point
  • Room size: You may need more than one unit
  • Water tank capacity: The larger the tank, the fewer times you need to top it up
  • Timer: Most models have a timer or alert system, telling you if you need to top up with water

Air treatment

Air purifiers work by drawing in air through a filter to remove impurities and odours, offering you fresh air in your environment – particularly suitable for asthma or allergy sufferers. Some include built-in ionisers: these release negatively-charged molecules into the air to create a stimulating tone much like the feeling after a heavy thunderstorm.

Purifiers are designed to reduce the dust particles, smoke, pollen and bacteria you find indoors. Our homes can be more polluted than outdoors, and if they’re well insulated you may need to do more than simply open all the windows and doors – especially if you live in a city.

 

British Allergy Foundation Seal of Approval

Look out for the seal of approval by the British Allergy Foundation. They scientifically test and measure products and endorse those that specifically restrict or remove high levels of named allergens from the environment.

Filter Types

There are various types of filters in air purifiers, the most well-known being HEPA and electrostatic. All need replacing at some stage, depending on use.

  • HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters remove 99% of all airborne particles (for example dust, moulds, pollen and bacteria), 2 microns or larger from the air that passes through the filter. Highly efficient, these filters are usually more expensive than other purifiers. HEPA filters are also used in vacuum cleaners.
  • Electrostatic filters clean the air using static electricity, by attracting airborne particles that stick to the filter. Though quieter and cheaper you may find more expensive filters more effective.
  • Photocatalytic filters work like the photosynthesis process that plants use to convert carbon dioxide and water into oxygen. In this case titanium oxide is used to break down the molecular structure of pollutants, thus eliminating toxic gases and odours and deactivating germs and bacteria. By this method some 99.99% of pollutants are removed.