Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier Review

 

I decided to review the 5500-2 air purifier for its exquisite design and an interesting filtration system. It’s the first unit I’ve reviewed to have a washable carbon filter.Usually, carbon filters are thin and can’t deal with tough odors and smoke. The fact that this one is washable made me think about its durability and power.

Since I loved the smaller version 5300-2 – I thought I should check out it’s larger brother.

The air purifier should service an area up to 360 square feet. It has a formidable set of smart options, including an odor sensor and a remote control. The price tag for this machine is reasonable, so let’s take a closer look.

Filtration System

This Winix air cleaner has a four-stage filtration system, which focuses on odor and VOC filtration.

Pre-Filter – The pre-filter takes care of the large particles, such as big dust pieces and pet hair. It traps them on their way inside the air purifier, allowing the rest of the filters to work longer and more efficiently. The pre-filter is washable, but should be rinsed every 2 weeks.

AOC Carbon Filter – This thick carbon filter deals with odors, VOCs, and other chemicals in the air. It’s an excellent choice for kitchens and rooms where people smoke. The best part about this thick filter is that it’s washable. You can wash it every 3 months and the life expectancy of this filter is about 12 months. The replacement comes combined with HEPA filter. The combination costs about $60.

True HEPA Filter – This high-quality filter deals with 99.97% of contaminants 0.3 microns in size. It’s suitable for people, who suffer from respiratory problems since it takes care of allergens, pet dander, mold spores, and more. The filter isn’t washable, but does last for about 12 months. The replacement cost (coupled with carbon filter) is $60.

PlasmaWave – The PlasmaWave technology is essentially an ionizer, which freshens up the air, making it feel and smell clean. PlasmaWave doesn’t produce any ozone. It’s an optional feature, which can be turned off and on with a separate button.

The 5500-2 model is equipped with a “check filter” button, which tells you when it’s time to replace the HEPA and carbon filter combination. It’s up to you to monitor the condition of pre-filter and carbon filter.

Overall, this air purifier has a powerful and convenient filtration system. The fact that the majority of filters can be washed makes the unit highly efficient. The annual maintenance cost of this air purifier is about $60. It’s rather high compared to many other air purifiers I’ve reviewed.

   

 Design

This air purifier has a sleek design, which allows it to look great in virtually any environment. It comes in an elegant black color, which makes it appear slimmer than it actually is. The air purifier is quite bulky. It weighs about 17 pounds. The dimensions are 14.9 x 7.8 x 23.6 inches.

Moving such a big model around the house may be problematic, especially considering that it doesn’t have caster wheels or a carrying handle. When buying this air purifier, be ready to install it in one room and leave it there.

The air intake system of this unit is such that you need to be careful when choosing the place to install it. The purifier must stand at least four inches away from the wall and at least 12 inches away from any electronic devices, such as TVs and radios. It shouldn’t be placed in the direct sunlight.

The control panel is discreet and straightforward. You can operate the air purifier by pressing one of the five labeled buttons or using a remote control.

Overall, I’m fully satisfied with the design of this air purifier and would gladly use it in any of the rooms in my house.

Smart Options

This air purifier has numerous smart options, which considering its moderate price are pretty impressive.

Light sensor – The light sensor determines the amount of ambient light in the room and dims the panel lights accordingly. It’s an excellent feature for light sleepers, who don’t enjoy bright lights in the bedroom. However, this sensor sometimes sends the air purifier into the sleep mode as soon as it’s dark in the room, which may not be suitable for your needs.

Air Quality Sensor – The color-coded LED air quality sensor monitors the air quality and adjusts the fan speed accordingly (when in auto mode). If the purifier is not an auto mode, it’s up to you to adjust the fan.

Auto Mode – The air purifier changes the fan speed according to the readings of the air quality sensor.

Sleep Mode – When in sleep mode, the purifier dims the lights and switches the fan to its lowest and quietest setting.

Odor Sensor – When in auto mode, the sensor checks the air quality for odors and adjusts the fan speed accordingly.

Filter Replacement Indicator – The LED light goes on when the HEPA and carbon filters need to be replaced.

Timer – You can set the timer to turn the air purifier off in 1, 4 or 8 hours. It can help you save energy.

Remote Control – You can operate the unit from any spot in the room.

Noise Levels

This air purifier has four fan speeds. At the highest (turbo) fan speed, the noise level is about 60 dB. For some people, such sound may be annoying. It could interfere with reading, watching TV or working. Thankfully, the turbo setting is rarely required.

The rest of the fan settings are quieter. At the lowest speed, the purifier produces about 26 dB, which is reasonable. As a light sleeper, I prefer the lowest settings to be around 20 dB or quieter. However, 26 dB is satisfactory as well.

Overall, this model is fairly quiet and suitable for bedroom and living room use.

Coverage Area

The manufacturer claims that the air purifier can service a room up to 360 square feet. In my experience, air purifier manufacturers often inflate this indication trying to sell the unit for what it’s not.

That’s why I use a simple formula to calculate the real coverage area – CADR x 1.5. Let’s see what it says about this air purifier.

  • Smoke 232
  • Dust 243
  • Pollen 246

After applying the formula, we see that this air purifier can handle rooms between 348 and 369 square feet. Meaning, the manufacturer is telling the truth, and you can easily use this purifier in the room up to 370 square feet.

Warranty

The unit comes with a 2-year warranty. I’d appreciate it having at least three. However, considering the moderate initial price you are paying for the 5500-2 , the 2-year warranty seems reasonable. The warranty works in the USA and Canada only.

Pros:
  • 4-stage filtration system
  • Washable pre-filter and carbon filter
  • Numerous smart options
  • Air quality, light, and odor sensors
  • Moderate price tag
  • PlasmaWave technology
  • Sleek design
  • 2-year warranty
Cons:
  • Large and bulky
  • High maintenance costs

Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier Review Conclusion

This high-quality air purifier is packed with smart options and features. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a unit, which does an excellent job of keeping the air clean while taking care of the smoke and odors.

The air and odor sensors allow this air purifier to monitor the air quality all day long, keeping it high regardless of your activities. The quiet operation at the lower fan settings is suitable for light sleepers.

The air purifier services large rooms up to 360 square meters, making it suitable for virtually any space in the house, including bedrooms and kitchen.

This article was written by Julia Montague – check out her author bio here

Winix 5500-2
  • 93%
    Final Rating: - 93%
93%

Summary

The 5500-2 is a bit of a bargain in the world of air purifiers. Gets fantastic reviews and produced by a solid manufacturer known for building solid and dependable machines.

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