Dyson's Bladeless Fan No Blockbuster

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Children - and idiots - are more likely to retain all of their fingers while visiting your apartment now that Dyson introduced the Air Multiplier bladeless fan.

The revolutionary design works because a regular fan sits safely in the base with air forced up and out through a narrow slit at "about 119 gallons a second," according to Sir James Dyson. All air, no finger-severing.

True to form, Dyson, well-known for its super-sucking vacuum, makes the minimalist Air Multiplier look foreign. In fact, at first glance you might not notice that the Air Multiplier has a dimmer-switch so you can get the air flow just right. No, your first thought is that this ringed device might suck you into a time-shifting quark.

Instead, this futuristic fan will suck up between $300-$330 of your hard-earned dollars. And it's said to be as noisy as running a vacuum. Definite negatives.

The major plus, according to the UK's Telelgraph, is that it's 15-times more efficient that a standard fan, which would save in energy costs, especially compared to an A/C unit. Also, it doesn't require dusting grimy blades. But, does that make it worth the heavy up-front price? We did a little math to figure out how its cost compares to the cost of a cheaper fan ...
Let's suppose you spring $40 for a Honeywell fan. You're aware of the drawbacks: no bragging rights about your nifty futuristic fan. And, you'll also get about 15 times less air flow, according to the Air Multiplier's science explanation.

Let's say you run your regular fan every day for 8 hours the entire summer, or approximately 95 dog-hot days. That's 760 hours, at an average cost of about 12 cents a kilowatt hour. That fan is costing you about $92 to operate all summer.

Next, let's suppose you're lazy and only want to dust your dirty fan blades once a month for three months (June, July, August). If you're calculating minimum wage for yourself (or your cleaning lady) it will cost $7.95 an hour. Sure, cleaning a fan it won't take but a few wipes, so, let's just round up and say over three months the fan-cleaning portion took you a whole hour.

So far, the regular fan is costing you $40 to acquire, $92 to operate, and $7.95 to clean. That equals about $140 for the summer.

If you assume the same usage minus the cleaning fee, an Air Multiplier will cost you nearly $400. ($300 to acquire, $92 to operate).

Call me cold-hearted, but, I'm going with the cheaper fan. That $252 difference could buy a lot of movie-theater tickets.

Using average 2008 movie ticket figures, I could buy about 35 tickets (more if I go to a matinee). Split with a friend that's 17 separate, 2-hour blocks I can turn off all the costly electricity in my apartment, enjoy frigid air conditioning, and be entertained by beautiful people.

Forget the Air Multiplier - go to the multiplex!
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