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Fans as we know them forever changed in 2009 when Sir James Dyson, the famous inventor who is known for Dyson vacuums, introduced the first consumer available bladeless fan known as the Dyson Air Multiplier. This technology was first brought to fruition by Toshiba, the Japanese tech and electronic company, in 1981, but it was not yet made available to the public until Dyson improved the technology to make them safe and usable for consumers.
Here is a video from James Dyson introducing the bladeless fan technology in 2009, which has since been improved upon as you’ll read later.
What Exactly is a Bladeless Fan?
Bladeless fans have a large ring where the air seems to magically come from, and a base that houses the gear and motors that allow them to blow air.
Compared to traditional fans that you can visibly see how the blades push out air, but with a bladeless fan you can not.
Interestingly enough a bladeless fan, using a technology known as air multipliers, technically does have blades within the fan. But these blades are not visible from the outside and you can’t make contact with them like traditional fans, which makes bladeless fans safer to use around anyone, especially kids.
Simply put, air is blown from the empty ring from inside the fan.
But how does that work?
How a Bladeless Fan Works
The blades that are hidden within the base of the fan pull air from openings at the bottom and push the air through tiny openings surrounding the ring of the fan, which pushes out the air to create constant airflow.
But there’s a lot more to it. That’s just one of the ways air is blown out of the ring. There are three ways air is pushed outside in a fan-like fashion.
When the air is pushed through those tiny openings that surround the ring, the neighboring air is also brought along with it. The physics of this is known as entrainment.
This is where the term air multiplier comes from, because it takes the first initial stream of air and pulls the surrounding air along with it, hence air multiplier technology.
Another method for air flow is that the ring where the airflow is pushed out is thinner at the front of the fan which allows the air that is exiting to flow along the curve instead of in a straight path. This causes low pressure in the inner region, which allows air that is behind the fan to be pulled towards the front which gives bladeless fans another form of air multiplier.
Lastly, the airflow exiting the ring gains more entrainment from air in the outside regions, which also adds another form of airflow.
Thanks to this air multiplier technology, the initial airflow is multiplied 15 times to create a constant and cool breeze of air coming from the ring of the bladeless fan.
Are Bladeless Fans Quiet?
Initially when bladeless fans were introduced by Dyson they had one main problem.
They caused too much noise.
The engineers at Dyson were able to find out where in their machines the most noise was coming from, and installed a Helmholtz cavity which catches air and bounces sound waves within the cavity, which decreases the noise.
After 2 years of research and investing millions of dollars, Dyson introduced this new technology in their fans in 2014 and claimed it made them 75% quieter than their previous models.
So if you were wondering, are bladeless fans quieter than traditional fans, the answer is yes.
Are Bladeless Fans Worth It?
You may be wondering, why are bladeless fans so expensive when compared to traditional fans? As with any new technological advance there is a price to pay for it.
With the advancements and investments that Dyson made towards making quieter fans, gives it a reason as to why they are more expensive.
You only notice something if it’s loud, but you won’t notice the newer bladeless fans thanks to the technology from Dyson that others have since followed.
Without blades that can become dangerous, like if the cover of a traditional fan becomes dislodged, you have no worries about the safety of bladeless fans.
These bladeless fans are also built to last. You may remember as a kid stopping the blades of a fan, which would mess with the motor. With the way these bladeless fans are built, you can not burn the motor unless you throw them around the room while they are on.
Couple the safety of bladeless fans along with the low-noise, long-lasting benefits, and sleek looking design, then it’s a definite yes that bladeless fans are well worth the higher cost.
Bladeless fans bring a futuristic look with the cooling concept that we all know and love. Dyson has since gone on to improve upon its best bladeless fans by also combining them with heating capabilities, making them useful all year long.
Understanding, in a basic sense, how they conceptually work is all we need to know. So yes, bladeless fans actually do have blades that use physics and technology to push and pull surrounding air through the ring.
The end result…
Constant cool breeze of air without seeing any blades. Simple right?