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Winix 5500-2 Review In 2022: 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, and even to this day, we can't figure out how Winix manages to keep the price down with its complete purifying specification. So what's powering the device? 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 review of Winix 5500-2 pros, cons, and why you should buy one.
online price (US)**
±249.99 $$$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±80)

CHECK LATEST AMAZON PRICE
** MRSP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price)/ RSP (Retail selling price) is 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.
` The indicated online price guides as follows: $ = under $50, $$ = $50-100, $$$ = $101-200, $$$$ = 201-300, $$$$$ = $301-400, $$$$$$ = 401-500, $$$$$$$ = over $500.

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)
Humidifying(H) speed
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

Design And Usability

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. It fits nicely in most homes without being overly cumbersome. Build quality is solid with no visible gap as it should be. The whole body consists of durable plastic materials, including the removable front 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. Perfect for placing the air purifier near you without breezing directly in your direction. Lastly, there is a back handle slot that you can grab on to when moving Winix 5500-2 room to room purifying.

Winix 5500-2 control

Moving to usability. Winix 5500-2 slightly slanting angle control panel at the top is easy to use and read (non-touch panel). The entire control panel consists of a left Winix logo and five evenly spaced buttons (On/ Off, Mode, PlasmaWave, Fan Speed, Timer). There is an air quality indicator bar at the center that detects air quality in real-time. The AQI will display blue when air quality is good, amber when air quality is fair, and red when poor. There are also eleven LED indicator lights, a dual odor/ light sensor, and a small filter reset button that lets you know when to replace the filter.

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 preset timer button will switch between off, 1, 4, and 8 hours. Choose the desired time, and Winix 5500-2 will automatically shut down after the interval.

Press the reset button will reset the count and turn off the change filter indicator light. Do this after you have replaced the filter every 12 months. The odor sensor detects the amount of odor in its surroundings for the Auto mode to make adjustments accordingly. The particle sensor is surprisingly omitted here. The light sensor detects ambient room light for sleep mode to kick it automatically. Last but not least, remote control with batteries is included for added convenience. You can turn on/ off the air purifier, change fan speeds, and switch between modes in the comfort of your bed or sofa.

For safety measures, do not handle Winix 5500-2 plug or controls with wet hands. Never cover the air inlet as it can impede the airflow distribution. Also, never insert your finger or any small objects into the ventilation. As for the placement, do not leave Winix 5500-2 air purifier next to flammable objects or near the window directly exposed to sunlight. Never use a transformer to step down or up the power voltage. If you have a loose or damaged plug, send it back to the manufacturer for replacement rather than fixing it yourself.

Overall the controls are clearly labeled with many supporting indicator lights. The tiny complaint we had is that the touch button lacks a tactile feel like some 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, remote control, and user manual in the box. Lastly, Winix 5500-2 is ozone-safe as certified by CARB AB 2276 U.S. standard. It is also AHAM listed, UL safety standard, ENERGY STAR rated, and 2 years warranty on all manufacture defects with With 1-to-1 exchange if the unit breakdown. Winix’s customer service is excellent and attentive. You can reach them via live chat, phone, email, and social media i.e. Facebook, Instagram. The support team will reply promptly to any inquiries and after-sales service, typically within 2 working days.

Airflow, Coverage, 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. If your home air quality is unhealthy or you need a quick cleanup after returning home. Switch it to Turbo mode and let the air purifier run for 10-20 minutes. AQI will drop swiftly from 100+ to under 10, with more than 99% of airborne particles removed.

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 low until a high volume of polluted air is detected. Sleep mode is much simpler. It sets the fan speed low and turns off all air quality indicator lights when there is no ambient light. During the daytime, it will switch back to auto mode.

BrandPurifying CoverageFan Speed
Honeywell HPA300465 sq. ft.4
Levoit Vital 100500 sq. ft.3
GermGuardian AC9200WCA378 sq. ft.3
Medify Air MA-40840 sq. ft.3
Medify Air MA-25500 sq. ft.3
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 themselves, the airflow delivery output is at a satisfying level. There is ample airflow to remove all indoor airborne irritants and odors swiftly.

Recommended Read

Filters And Performance

Let's break down Winix 5500-2 superior 4-stage air filtration (pre-filter, True HEPA, Carbon Filter, PlasmaWave technology) and how it can effectively clean the air.

  • Permanent pre-filter - The first-stage filtration traps large particles like dust, lint, pet fur, and hair while prolonging the HEPA filter usage life.
  • (AOC) Advanced Granular Carbon filter - The second-stage filtration removes 93% of smoke, odors from cooking, pet, cigarette, and toxic gases like VOCs, asbestos, formaldehyde, benzene, tobacco smoke within its proximity. The surface area is made of dense honeycomb pattern carbon pellets.
  • True HEPA filter - The third-stage filtration focuses on capturing 99.97% of microscopic allergens as small as 0.3 microns like pet dander, mold, pollen, bacteria, and viruses. Note that the HEPA filter is not washable and must be replaced when damaged.
  • PlasmaWave Technology - Produces natural water vapor and oxygen ion bonded Hydroxyls that safely break down tough allergens, germs, viral viruses, and odors. Winix 5500-2 is approved under California Air Resources Board (CARB) ozone limit. While PlasmaWave technology is safe and will not aggravate asthma or cause lung damage, it does produce a very insignificant amount of ozone. If you are still uncomfortable with it, turn off the PlasmaWave function.

Overall, the filter size and quality are top-notch for its price. The washable pre-filter is reusable and can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth or light vacuuming (brush attachment). The carbon filter is also washable, though only with gentle vacuuming. You should clean the pre-filter every 2 to 3 weeks, depending on the room air quality. When replacing the filters, remember to remove the plastics and switch off the air purifier before anything else. Insert them according to the exact sequence: True HEPA filter first, then AOC Carbon filter, and finally Pre-filter.

Winix 5500-2 air purifier

Noise And Energy Usage

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

With the adjustable 4 fan speeds, 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 white noise in the background. At 60+ dB high/ Turbo speed, there is apparent fan noise that might not be bearable for some. Fortunately, you can activate Sleep mode to lock 5500-2 at low speed while snoozing. Ideal for bedroom use even when Winix 5500-2 is placed by the bedside. 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 90 watts max depending on the fan speed. Even though it uses more energy than compact air purifiers, The difference is minimal. 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. The Auto and sleep mode can also help optimize energy consumption by using higher speed when the indoor air quality drops. With auto mode, it will consume an estimated 6 to 13 watts of electricity between low to medium speed. If you have no issue with the previous Winix 5500 noise and power consumption, Winix 5500-2 PlasmaWave air purifier will also serve you well.

Noise TypeDecibels
Winix 5500-226.6-60+ dB
Breathing10 dB
Rustling leaves20 dB
Whispering/ Quiet library30 dB
Light rainfall40-50 dB
Conversation50-60 dB
Vacuum cleaner/ Hair dryer/ Washing machine65-80 dB
City traffic80-90 dB

Pricing And Maintainence Cost

Winix 5500-2 MRSP/ RSP
MRSP/ RSP**
+- 249.99
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. Despite having a lower price point, the better specification is also well reflected in its mid-range group. The only slight drawback is the lack of app support, as this is not a smart air purifier.

As for maintenance, 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. There's limited third-party support, and we do not recommend using it as it may void the warranty. Filter availability is good as the filter set is compatible with a few other Winix models.

Compared with the Honeywell and Blueair models, Winix 5500-2 offers better value and good stock availability. You can purchase the air purifier in Home Depot, Best Buy, or Walmart (subject to availability). We recommend buying straight from Amazon. It offers the best deal (around 40% cheaper than MRSP) with expedited shipping, a 30-days return policy, and sheer Amazon convenience. If you don't quite fancy buying from Amazon, Winix's official channel offers great seasonal deals where the price will drop from time to time. Unique on the Winix website is the filter membership program that automatically sends replacement filters every year with a special rebate.

Winix 5500-2 air purifier

Winix 5500-2 VS The Challengers

Winix 5300-2 Air Purifier Review

Winix 5300-2

A slightly lower tier model, Winix 5300-2 is cheaper than 5500-2 but not by a lot. The trade-off is the lower grade carbon pre-filter that is less effective than AOC Carbon Filter. The remote control is also excluded, but the rest of the specification is identical.
GermGuardian AC5250PT Air Purifier Review

GermGuardian AC5250PT

This tower air purifier gets the nod with its slim body profile. The downside is the higher cost, with weaker airflow, coverage, and CADR.
Levoit Core 300 True HEPA Air Purifier Review

LEVOIT Core 300

An unorthodox choice, Costs less than what Winix 5500-2 is listed, and you still get an identical purifying coverage and CADR output.
Coway Airmega AP-1512HH Mighty Air Purifier Review

Coway Airmega 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.

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 covers well against dust, germs, and allergens. Despite the low price point, a small group of people also appreciates the inclusion of Auto mode and remote control. For negative reviews, around 9% of the 1-2 stars reviewers disagree with the effectiveness. Few people complained about the noise and longevity, but the percentage is too small to consider.

To conclude, Winix 5500-2 is definitely our pick as the positives outweigh the negatives. Its excellent 4-stage PlasmaWave filtration covers small to large areas well, has tons of features, and is well-priced. This air purifier will serve you well if you are hypersensitive to allergens or have asthma.

Pros

  • Super attractive price (after online rebate) with impressive 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 neutralizes odor rather than cheap out on a carbon pre-filter sheet.
  • 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).
  • Robust and modern design. Packed with features including an AQI and full access remote control.

Cons

  • Improved but still limited 2 years warranty (Winix 5500 only comes with 1-year).
  • Occasional short delay on the Smart Odor Sensor before 5500-2 reacts to surrounding particles.
  • Filter replacement costs are on the higher side.

Verdicts And Ratings

Build Quality

Features

Coverage

Particle Filtration

Smoke Filtration

Price

Filter Cost

4.5

OUT OF 5

Winix 5500-2 Review
4.5

Max Fernandez

A loving father and a dedicated reviewer for airfuji.com with more than 1000 air purifiers under his belt. Max Fernandez is also one of the million patients currently suffering from asthma. Feel free to nudge him if you have any questions.
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