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Winix 5500-2 PlasmaWave

Winix 5500-2 Review: The Best PlasmaWave Air Purifier!

One of the best sellers for the brand by a mile. We reviewed Winix 5500-2 air purifier a long time ago but even to this day, we can't figure out how Winix manages to keep the price down with its complete purifying specification. What is a complete purifying specification you might ask? Does this PlasmaWave machine utilize a True HEPA filter and carbon filter? How effective is the air purifier in dealing with stubborn airborne irritants and odors? Continue reading to see the full 5500-2 "must-have" list and why should you buy one.
MRSP/ RSP**
± 249 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 80 p
 Online price*
CHECK LATEST AMAZON PRICE
** MRSP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price)/ RSP (Retail selling price) is provided by cleanairprice.com. Accurate at the time of posting.
^ Annual filter cost is calculated based on filter price and 12 hours of usage. Pricing could vary depending on air quality, usage frequency, and speed.

Winix 5500-2 Specification

ProductWinix 5500-2
Dimension
15 x 23.6 x 8.2 in
(38.1 x 59.9 x 20.8 cm)
Weight15.4 lb (7 kg)
Fanspeed4
Coverage (up to)360 sq. ft. (33 m2)
Airflow speed53 - 226 cfm (90 - 384 m3/h)
Dust free (CADR)243 cfm (413 m3/h)
Pollen free (CADR)246 cfm (418 m3/h)
Smoke free (CADR)232 cfm (394 m3/h)
Filtration4-stage
Pre-Filter
- Lifespan
- Replacement cost ($)
Pre-filter
Permanent
HEPA filter
- Lifespan
- Replacement cost ($)
True HEPA filter
1 year
Carbon filter
- Lifespan
- Replacement cost ($)
AOC Advanced Granular Carbon Filter
1 year
Ionizer/ TechnologiesPlasmaWave Technology
UV-light/ PCO
-
Other filter
-
All-in-one filter
- Lifespan
- Replacement cost ($)
Filter H 116130
1 year
+- 79.99
Optional/ Addon
-
Noise level26.6 - 60+ dB
Power usage level5 - 90 W
Timer/ Scheduler1, 4, 8 hours
SensorsVOC sensors (Air quality)
Auto mode
Air qualityAQ indicator
Filter change indicator
More color options
Wi-Fi/ BTBluetooth
ENERGY STAR
Remote control
Child lock
Warranty2 years
Email/ Phone support

Key features

  • 4-stage filtration with PlasmaWave™ Technology
  • Permanent pre-filter
  • AOC Advanced Granular Carbon Filter - 93% efficiency
  • True-HEPA filter - 99.97% efficiency up to 0.3 microns
  • 4 fan speeds (Low, Medium, High, Turbo)
  • Auto mode/ Sleep mode
  • Timer (1, 4, 8 hours)
  • Air quality indicator - Blue (good), Yellow (fair), Red (poor)
  • Light sensor, Odor sensor
  • Remote control
  • 2 years warranty

Pros

  • Super attractive price (after online rebate) with outstanding specifications.
  • Decent CADR that covers medium room size via its 4-stage PlasmaWave filtration.
  • Genuine True-HEPA filter works as advertised. Excellent in removing allergens and other microorganisms.
  • Standalone AOC carbon filter rather than cheap out on a carbon pre-filter sheet.
  • Full access remote control including the mode selector.
  • 4 fan speed plus Auto/ Sleep mode with light sensor. Sleep mode autonomously adjusts the LED indicator brightness according to the room ambient light.
  • Built-in timer with 3 pre-set options (1, 4, 8 hours).

Cons

  • An improved 2 years warranty (Winix 5500 only comes with 1-year).
  • Occasional short delay before 5500-2 reacts to surrounding particles.

The starters

Winix 5500-2 dimension
Dimension
15 x 23.6 x 8.2 in
(38.1 x 59.9 x 20.8 cm)
Winix 5500-2 weight
Weight
15.4 lb (7 kg)

An evolution of the older 5500 model with visual improvement. Winix 5500-2 air cleaner has an aesthetic design that is both modern and contemporary. The grey-black housing stands at 15 x 23.6 x 8.2 in dimension with 15.4 lb of weight. Build quality is solid with no visible gap as it should be. The whole body is made of durable plastic materials including the front removable panel. It is not the cheap, flimsy type that you feel it will release harmful ozone with any heat. Air ventilation placement is a typical console air purifier setup. You have the air inlet located at the front/ sides and the air outlet located at the top back. Lastly, there is a back handle slot that you can grab on to when moving Winix 5500-2 room to room.

Winix 5500-2 control

Moving on to the usability, Winix 5500-2 slight slanting angle control panel at the top is easy to use and read. The entire control panel consists of a left Winix logo and five evenly spaced buttons (On/ Off, Mode, PlasmaWave, Fan Speed, Timer). Right at the center, there is an air quality indicator bar that cycles between blue (good), amber (fair), red (poor). There are also eleven indicator lights, a dual odor/ light sensor, and a small filter reset button. Skipping the self-explanatory On/ Off button, let’s go through 5500-2 buttons one by one. The mode button allows you to cycle between Auto mode or Sleep mode activation. The center dedicated PlasmaWave button activates or deactivates Hydroxyls function. Fan speed button that will cycle between the four fan speeds. The timer button will switch between off, 1, 4, 8 hours preset setting.

Continue on, the Reset button will reset the count and turn off the change filter indicator light after you have replaced the filter. The odor sensor detects the amount of odor in its surrounding while the light sensor detects room ambient light. Last but not least, remote control is included for added convenience.

Overall the controls are clearly labeled with many supporting indicator lights. The tiny complaint we had is the touch button lacks tactile feel like some of the older models.

Let’s round up Winix 5500-2 air purifier “complete purifying specification”. You have the 4-stage filtration with PlasmaWave Technology, 4 speeds with auto/ sleep mode, dual odor/ light sensor, a digital screen with AQ indicator, and remote control. Lastly, Winix 5500-2 is ozone-safe certified by CARB, AHAM listed, approved UL safety standard, ENERGY STAR rated, and 2 years warranty on manufacture defects.

Airflow, speed, and CADR

Winix 5500-2 coverage
Purifying coverage
360 sq. ft. (33 m2)
Winix 5500-2 fanspeed
Fanspeed
4
Winix 5500-2 air purifier carries on from the previous 5500 setups with an AHAM verified room size 360 square feet coverage at 2 air changes per hour. Suitable for medium size bedroom, living room. kitchen, dining table, basement, and garage. The airflow delivery rate is 53 to 226 cfm across its four fan speeds. Not bad as the airflow output has once again proven its consistency. Besides the 4 fan speed operation, the air cleaner also comes with the typical Auto mode and Sleep mode. Auto mode (enabled by default) will perform autonomous fan speed adjustment based on the surrounding air quality. In most cases, fan speed will be kept at low until there is a high volume of polluted air detected. Sleep mode is much simpler. It set the fan speed low and turns off all air quality indicator light when there is no ambient light. On day time with enough light source, it will switch to auto mode.
Winix 5500-2 dust CADR
Dust CADR
243 cfm (413 m3/h)
Winix 5500-2 pollen CADR
Pollen CADR
246 cfm (418 m3/h)
Winix 5500-2 smoke CADR
Smoke CADR
232 cfm (394 m3/h)
Winix 5500-2 all three CADR passes our 200 cfm benchmark. Remarkable for an air purifier of its class. Dust CADR is at 243 cfm (upgraded marginally from the previous version). Pollen, Smoke CADR is at 246 cfm and 232 cfm respectively. From the figures itself, the airflow delivery output is at a satisfying level. There is ample airflow to swiftly remove all indoor airborne irritants and odors.

What’s inside count

Let's talk about Winix 5500-2 superior 4-stage air filtration (pre-filter, True HEPA, Carbon Filter, PlasmaWave technology). The pre-filter traps large particles like dust, lint, and hair while reducing the work stress of the HEPA filter. The protected True HEPA filter would focus on capturing 99.97% of microscopic allergens as small as 0.3 microns like pet dander, mold, pollen, bacteria, and viruses. AOC Advanced Granular Carbon filter removes 93% of odors and toxic gases like VOCs, asbestos, formaldehyde, benzene, tobacco smoke within its proximity. PlasmaWave Technology produces natural water vapor and oxygen ion bonded Hydroxyls that safely break down tough allergens, germs, viral viruses, and odors.

There are sites suggested that PlasmaWave produces a very insignificant amount of ozone. Ignore all that as Winix 5500-2 is way under California Air Resources Board (CARB) ozone limit. PlasmaWave technology is safe and will not aggravate asthma or cause any lung damage. If you are still not comfortable with it, simply turn off the PlasmaWave function.

Overall, the filter size and quality are top-notch. The washable pre-filter is reusable and can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth or light vacuuming (brush attachment). You should clean the pre-filter every 2 to 3 weeks depending on the air quality level. The thick honeycomb AOC carbon filter is very effective in removing smoke particles from cooking, pets, and household chemicals. Best of all, you only have to replace the carbon filter annually together with the HEPA filter.

Highly Recommended

 

Keep it down

Winix 5500-2 noise level
Noise level
26.6 - 60+ dB
Winix 5500-2 power consumption
Power consumption
5 - 90 W

Winix 5500-2 offers the same soft noise level output as the previous generation model. 26.6 dB noise level is reasonably quiet at low to medium speed. Great for watching movies, working, or reading without the background white noise. At 60+ dB high/ turbo speed, there is clear fan noise that might not be bearable for some. Fortunately, you can activate Sleep mode to lock 5500-2 at low speed while you're snoozing. PlasmaWave noise is neglectable and can be deactivated when not needed.

Being an Energy Star rated model, energy usage is low at only 5 watts minimum to a max 90 watts depending on the fan speed. You will not notice any surge in your electric bill. With a standard 12 hours daily runtime, the electric cost will be around $0.05 per day, or $1.6 a month, or 19 dollars a year. There is also the Auto and sleep mode that can help optimizing energy consumption by only using higher speed when necessary. If you have no issue with Winix 5500 noise and power consumption, Winix 5500-2 PlasmaWave air purifier will also serve you well.

At what cost

Winix 5500-2 MRSP/ RSP
MRSP/ RSP**
+- 249
Winix 5500-2 annual filter replacement cost
Annual Filter Cost
+- 80
^ Replacement filters/ estimated cost
To our surprise, Winix 5500-2 air purifier online price is cheaper than the prior model 5500 despite having a newer design and an improved specification. The better specification is also well reflected in its mid-range group despite having a lower price point. That said, Winix 5500-2 filter replacement cost is not cheap at around 80 dollars annually. It comes with a yearly bundled pack consisting of a True-HEPA filter and a carbon filter. Filter availability is good as the filter set is compatible with a few other Winix models.
Compare with the likes of Honeywell and Blueair models, Winix 5500-2 is very well priced and stocked. You can purchase the air purifier in Home Depot, Best Buy, or Walmart (subject to availability). We recommend buying straight from Amazon as it offers the best deal (around 40% cheaper than MRSP) with expedited shipping, 30-days return policy, and sheer Amazon convenience. If you don't quite fancy buying from Amazon, Winix official channel offers great seasonal deal s where the price will drop from time to time. Unique on the Winix website, there is the filter membership program that automatically sends replacement filters every year with a special rebate.

Winix 5500-2 VS the challengers

Winix 5300-2 PlasmaWave

Winix 5300-2

A slightly lower tier model, Winix 5300-2 is cheaper than 5500-2 but not by a whole lot. The trade-off is the lower grade carbon pre-filter that is less effective than AOC Carbon Filter. Remote control is also excluded but the rest of the specification is identical.
Winix NK105

Winix NK105

This tower air purifier stands gets the nod with its slim body profile. NK105 is also blessed with a WiFi-enabled feature where you can use the SMART app remotely. The downside for going with NK105 than 5500-2 is the higher cost yet with a weaker airflow, coverage, and CADR.

Holmes HAP8650B-U

An unorthodox choice, Holmes HAP8650B-U only costs half of what Winix 5500-2 is listed and you still get an identical purifying coverage and CADR output. What's missing from Winix 5500-2 is PlasmaWave technology and practical features e.g. AQ sensor, Auto mode.
Coway Mighty Air Purifier

Coway AP-1512HH Mighty

Voted the best air purifier by our peers, Coway Mighty is only a tad more expensive than 5500-2. In return, you get a slightly better purifying, CADR, lower maintenance cost, and PlasmaWave equivalent Vital ionizer.

Winix 5500-2 VS Coway AP-1512HH

Again it is tough to pick between these two highly recommended air cleaners. In the end, we decided to go with 5500-2 for 2 reasons. A) The standalone AOC carbon filter and B) The slightly lower online price. Apart from that, both air purifiers have a similar 4-stage filtration. Airflow performance is also identical with 300+ square feet coverage and 230+ CADR. Finally, features like air quality sensors, Auto mode, and timer is available on both models.

Winix 5500-2 VS Honeywell HPA300

On paper, it is a landslide win for Winix 5500-2 as it comes all the tech like Auto/ Sleep mode, AQ indicator, and remote control. Winix 5500-2 PlasmaWave technology plus AOC carbon filter are also better at eliminating smoke and odor. On the other hand, Honeywell HPA300 is an extraordinary machine that does better in airflow performance with above 300 cfm CADR. Honeywell HPA300 also has broader room coverage (465 sq. ft. VS 360 sq. ft.). At the end of it all, we will still go with Winix 5500-2 as the cheaper online price is simply irresistible.

Winix 5500-2 VS 6300-2

There are little differences between Winix 5500-2 and the discontinued 6300-2/ 6300. 5500-2 is our pick as it has a lower price point and still can be easily purchased online. Winix 5500-2 also utilized a better smoke filtration (Advanced Granular Carbon Filter VS Odor control carbon pre-filter). Otherwise, both air purifiers share the same 15 x 23.6 x 8.2 in dimension and 360 sq. ft. room size coverage. Airflow is identical too at 230+ cfm dust/ smoke/ pollen free CADR.

Winix 5500-2 VS 5300-2

Winix 5500-2 and 5300-2 are identical in many ways. 5500-2 is the higher spec version with better airflow output, AOC carbon filter, and remote control. Winix 5300-2 offers a lower price tag ( about 50 less) but with a thinner carbon filter and without a remote control. Either way, both air purifiers have the same dimension (15 x 23.6 x 8.2 in), purifying coverage (360 sq. ft.), CADR (230+ cfm), and 4-stage PlasmaWave filtration. Essential features like Auto mode, air quality sensor, timer, and two years warranty is in on both models.

Winix 5500-2 VS 5500

The discontinued Winix 5500 VS the current top-selling model 5500-2 air purifier. Winix 5500-2 is the replacement model to 5500 with many similarities. However, the key difference between these two is Winix 5500-2 comes with an updated black exterior design that is more suited to modern times. There is also an improvement in purifying coverage (360 sq. ft.) and dust CADR (243 cfm). Lastly, 5500-2 air purifier comes with an AOC carbon filter, built-in timer, and 2 years warranty (VS previous 1 year). The older 5500 utilize an inferior washable HEPA filter.

Winix 5500-2 VS C535

While Winix 5500-2 is more related to 5300-2 than C535, they share the same dimension and airflow output. Ultimately we go with 5500-2 air purifier as our pick for three main reasons. First, it has better availability as it is a global model VS Costco lock C535. Second, it is equipped with Filter H kit that comes with AOC Advanced Granular Carbon Filter. Third, it is more competitive price than the limited C535. Only go with C535 if you can find a better deal, wants a white exterior and do not mind losing out on a remote control.

How does Winix 5500-2 PlasmaWave Technology work?

PlasmaWave works by generating positive/ negative ions and combines with water vapor to form hydroxyls. Hydroxyl molecules created can be used to neutralize germs and chemicals gas particles. No harmful ozone is produced during the process.

Final thoughts on Winix 5500-2

Winix 5500-2 has been in the market for quite some time and it still receives many positive reviews to this day. Out of the 800+ reviews, 86% of the reviewer that gave it 4-5 stars. Most people fancy the air cleaner specification especially with the sales price. The PlasmaWave + True HEPA filtration also cover well against dust, germs, and allergens. A small group of people also appreciates the inclusion of Auto mode and remote control despite the low price point. For negative reviews, around 9% of the 1-2 stars reviewers disagree on the effectiveness. Few people complained about the noise and longevity but the percentage is just too small to consider.

To conclude, Winix 5500-2 is definitely our pick as the positives outweigh the negatives. If you are a hypersensitive person or have asthma, this air purifier will serve you well.

Verdicts and ratings

Build quality
7
Features
7
Coverage
6
Particle Filtration
8
Smoke Filtration
8
Price
7
Upkeeping
7
8.5
Winix 5500-2 PlasmaWave
8.5

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