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hands on ... Dyson Hot

A little more than 18 months ago I took a first look at the Dyson Hot, an innovative electric fan heater with sleek styling, no visible moving parts and a price-tag to match.

I was impressed with the product, but couldn't picture a place for it in a modern centrally-heated home.

That opinion was formed in late summer which, even in the damp west of Scotland, is arguably not the best time to test a heater. So would my view change in the grip of winter?

Firstly, the Dyson Hot is a handsome beast. Around 20 inches tall and finished in gunmetal grey, the heater is understated and refined. The large Air Multiplier ring, with its bright blue metallic interior, adds some visual pop without being garish.

The fan and heating elements are hidden in the base of the unit, with ports directing the heat evenly through the Air Multiplier ring. The benefits of this approach are twofold: there are no fan blades to hurt inquisitive young fingers or paws; and the air flow produced by the wing-like Air Multiplier is far less intrusive than a traditional fan.

The heating element is ceramic rather than metal wire, reducing any fire risk while avoiding the smell of burned dust associated with most fan heaters.

A remote provides control over temperature, fan speed and oscillation from anywhere in the room. When not in use, the remote sticks neatly to the top of the heater via a magnet.

As a general rule, electricity isn't the smartest way to heat a home. With unit costs around three times that of gas (outside of some overnight discount deals) it simply doesn't make sense to use electricity to heat an entire home.

But then that's not the point of the Dyson Hot, and over the course of a few days I discovered its strengths. Thanks to the powerful fan, heat delivery is almost instant. My garden summerhouse, which registered a mere 2C last weekend, was made habitable within 10 minutes by the Dyson Hot.

It still took the best part of half an hour to reach its target 21C – only moderately quicker than the convection heater I usually rely on – but importantly, the blast of warm, dry air took the chill out of the air very quickly.

The Hot was useful elsewhere too: when working from home the Dyson proved a more economical and more comfortable way to heat a single room than using central heating.

The Dyson Hot isn't a replacement for central heating, but used thoughtfully it can add comfort, reduce bills and make those cold corners of the home usable all year round.

Positives Beautifully designed and cleverly engineered.

Negatives Much more expensive than a conventional fan heater.

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Families

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