Wednesday, August 31, 2016

My Very Bad Experience with Philips Air Fryer HD9220 - Will it Cause Cancer?

I am sure by now many households would have a Philips AirFryer at home - Who doesn't like the idea of frying without using oil? I was one of the many who was impressed with this technology back in 2014 and had bought 2 units of the popular Philips AirFryers namely HD 9220 and HD9230 in one month.

The model which I used more frequently is the one with the manual knob HD9220 (the digital version HD9230 I rarely use, think I only used less than 8 times within 2 years so its not that bad as compared to my HD9220). Please read below to see how bad my Philips HD9220 is now..

Actually barely 2 weeks after I bought my HD9220 Airfryer, I already encountered a very terrible incident - I got a burnt ashy cracker when I tried to fry a piece of cracker. I still remember that there was a smelly ashy smoke emitting from the Airfryer when the incident took place.

The metal heater (coil) above the container has been burnt (see above picture) and the cracker was almost turned into ash. I was worried that there might be harmful particles on the heater and above it, we wont know what is in the area since we are not able to remove the parts. I contacted Philips Singapore back then for a one-to -one exchange since it was less than 3 weeks from purchase date and my third time using it, but they did not do so. Instead they offered to do a replacement of the heater (coil) and took my burnt cracker for investigation. Pretty terrible incident so I guess everyone should learn a lesson that not every thing can be air-fried!

What could be worst than having a burnt ashy cracker when using the Philips AirFryer?? Read on...

Let me show you some pictures of the current state of my AirFryer HD9220...

This picture of the heater was taken when I put my AirFryer upside down. Super disgusting right???

In the past few weeks, I had tried contacting Philips Singapore via their customer service hotline, email and even via their facebook. I wanted to know how much they would charge if I were to send in my AirFryer for cleaning. They could not give me a definite answer and said they do not provide such cleaning service. One of the customer service officers emailed me a soft copy of their quick cleaning guide which was not helpful. The staff manning their facebook sent me a youtube video on how to clean my AirFryer and subsequently said they will forward my case to the relevant department.

Then a few days later, I received another email from them informing me that the internal part of the airfryer can be cleaned by following the instruction (in word document) that they attached with the email.

So how to clean the internal part of the Philips AirFryer?

Below are the print screen of the instructions that they sent me.
Have to say the above instruction is easier to follow compared to the soft copy of their quick cleaning guide which was provided in their first email.

I went to buy a new spray bottle and a bottle of baking powder, naively thinking that these two items may end my misery. I finally have the time to try out all the steps (No. 1 to 19) earlier but it did not work at all. In fact I could see more burnt carbon residue surrounding the heater (coil) and also underneath the heater. So after making one big round, all the instructions provided were useless.

After wasting more than 1hr 30mins to clean my Philips HD9220 AirFryer, it is still as disgusting as before. The carbon built up cannot be totally cleaned without dismantling the internal heater (coil) and parts. For now, I do not dare to use this Philips AirFryer anymore because of health concern - the thick layer of carbon residue could jolly well lead to cancer!!

By the way, did I mention that I hate the design of the basket that comes with this wired mesh base? It rust easily and it is so difficult to clean. I am sure Philips is aware of this problem that is why in the newer models, they came up with quick clean basket with a removable metal cover and honeycomb base. (Yes, it now comes with a cover, cause I think I am not the only one facing the above problem. Without a proper cover, it will cause more grease and carbon built up on the heater (coil) when the air is being circulated in the AirFryer). Unfortunately, Philips HD9220 AirFryer is still selling in the market although price has dropped significantly over the past 2 years.

All I can say is please think twice if you are considering to buy this model or the digital version of this model (HD9220 & HD9230). Internally they are the same - yes same difficult to wash basket without covers, just that the HD9220 has a knob and a dialer to set the time and temperature, whereas the latter has a digital panel.

I have bought many Philips products in the past since it is a local brand and their products have nice designs but this selling-like-hotcakes Philips AirFryer and the after sales- service is a total disappointment. Next time I would think twice when buying a Philips product!

Thanks for reading till the end of the post. I hope that this post gives you an insight of what your Philips HD9220 AirFryer will become/ look like after using it for some time.

Update 4 September 2016:

I did mention earlier that I have 2 sets of Philips AirFryers, the other one is HD9230 which I hardly used -less than 8 times throughout 2 years and I only used it to airfry only frozen nuggets and hashbrowns, nothing else.

And this is how the heater/coil part looks like:

There is still grease and residue beneath the coil even though it is rarely used, so I performed the 19 steps cleaning procedure on this set.

And after 1 hour and 30mins..

This is how it looks!! Even worst now have baking powder residue which is hard to remove at the hard to reach area beneath the heater/coil. I even cut my finger while trying to remove the white residue by the side of heater/coil as it is stuck in between a very hard to reach gap. 

OUCH!! So unlucky me!!! The 19-step cleaning procedure that Philips Singapore provided me did not even work on a rarely used and pretty clean airfryer. Seriously there is no way for us to clean thoroughly the area beneath and surrounding the heater/coil without taking it out!!

Now I am stuck with 2 sets of Philips Airfryers which I am unable to use !! 

There is really a serious design problem with Philips Airfryers! Should make it in such a way that allow users to clean all parts easily and safely. The basket with the wired mesh base is badly designed- just so difficult to wash after each use and it will rust easily!

Update 27 September 2016:

I sent my 2 sets of Philips Air Fryers for repair and collected both sets yesterday- they were able to clean them by replacing the respective heater (coil) afterall. If the condition of your heater is like my HD9220, the spare part(s) will cost $91 and if the condition is minor like that of my HD9230, then the spare part(s) will cost $25.

Although the heaters of both sets have been replaced. I am angry and heart pain that they purposely damaged the silver area just above the silver handle. It looks as if someone was trying to pry the silver part off the air fryer, as it was evidenced with a mark. And horrorified when I saw that there was a cut just below the silver part resulting it from dropping off if I touch it. I did not inspect both my Air fryers inch by inch but zoom right into the heaters of both Air Fryers.. BUT WHY DID THEY HAVE TO PURPOSELY DAMAGE THE SET WHICH I USED LESS THAN 8 TIMES???

I just have to say I have lost the least bit of confidence in Philips Products! Please buy it at your own risk!

Update 30 September 2016

2 days ago, I went back to Philips Singapore Service Centre to let them have a look at the chipped part above the silver handle of my HD9230 and it took them more than 1 hr 30mins to return my set saying that they had fixed it!!  Guess what they returned me? 

They simply removed the silver knob and sticked it onto another used set which has rusty heater (coil), they even went to the extend of peeling my original label and sticked it onto this used set.  I was so pissed off and told them that the set presented to me wasn't mine.  As it was 6.20pm then,  (their closing time was 6pm),  they issued my a job sheet and said they would have to take in my set for repair again.  

And the next morning I received a call from one of the customer service officers informing me that my set has already been repaired.  So I went down to the service centre the 3rd time to collect my set thinking this nightmare would end..  In my mind I thought they would have make sure everything is in place as they do not want to see me again for the 7th time but it did not happen the way I expected.. 

The set that I collected today was mine (with a new heater coil replaced),  I believe they did change the top casing with another used set as there were scratched marks at the edges but there was nothing much I can do.. And as I was about to accept the set,  I saw a HORRIFYING thing -  my original label was missing!!!  The staff later told me that the technician repairing my set has resigned the previous day and they could not find the set which they had pasted my original label on.  — how co-incidence this can be.  


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Anonymous said...

Sharon, I think you are interested on every details for the Air Fryer was made. Unfortunately product maker only concentrate for good design in order to score they sale target. While maintenance this part will let the consumer to figure out itself, this is pretty unfair. That's why I totally support your concerns.

Anonymous said...

Oh my God... I just browse google to find how to clean it and I read your post.. if I will now it before I bought it I will probably never purchase this model.. Im happy that I have insurance so I can broke it and exchange to new model by paying the difference as the idea of frying by air is the best ever and I think all users love it until they try to clean it...

Sharon said...

Hi, thank you for leaving your comments. Yes, even the promoters did not mention the cleaning procedure at the point of sale and just told us its very easy to clean, just wipe using a cloth. Well, I am glad that you have insurance for your air fryer and that you will be able to get a new model for your replacement unit. Out of curiosity, which country are you residing? Your Philips Care Centre will be so good to give you a new model by paying the difference? Here in Singapore, there is no such thing as insurance for our home appliances, at home we can only buy extended warranty. BUT Philips Singapore will only repair the unit. Hope you are able to exchange to a new model that comes with an easy clean basket. Air frying is healthy but the thought of what goes above the coil is quite alarming.