I want to start today’s post by mentioning how important it is to buy products from reliable companies with a lot of experience. There is nothing worse than investing your money and your time in a product that ends up being mediocre. Thankfully, in the world of air purifiers, there are a lot of notable companies that many people trust and love.
Today I will be mentioning two of those – Winix and Guardian Technologies. Both of them have been putting products out for years and years. These are not startups or small companies, but really important creators who have earned their buyers’ trust thanks to their product quality and great customer support.
Table of Contents
I will be comparing the GermGuardian AC4825 and the Winix 5500-2. They are very different when it comes to numbers and stats. The GermGuardian is meant for rooms up to 167 square feet large, while the Winix model covers a much larger 360 square feet space. As you can see, I’m talking about a big difference, as one value is two times bigger! However, room coverage is not the only thing that is very different between the two devices, as the Winix 5500-2 is also twice as big, twice as heavy, and therefore less compact.
I have researched both of them very well, both online and in real life, through my tests, so keep reading to determine whether my assumptions were right or whether my tests prove that the more compact device, the GermGuardian, is better, although it’s not as powerful.
GermGuardian AC4825 Vs Winix 5500-2
|Dimensions||9 x 5.5 x 22 inches||15 x 8.2 x 23.6 inches|
|Weight||8.55 lb||14.7 lb|
|CADR||Smoke 108, Dust 118, Pollen 125||Smoke 232, Dust 243, Pollen 246|
|Coverage||167 sq. ft.||360 sq. ft.|
|Filters||Pre/Charcoal filters and True HEPA filter||Washable Pre-filter, Washable AOC Carbon filter and True HEPA Filter|
|Filter Replacement Indicator|
|Filter Longevity||6-8 months||up to 12 months|
|Certifications||Energy Star Verified, AHAM||Energy Star Verified, AHAM, UL Certified|
|In-Depth Review||GermGuardian AC4825||Winix 5500-2|
|Price||Check Price on Amazon||Check Price on Amazon|
I noticed that the Winix 5500-2 and the GermGuardian AC4825 have different general ideas behind them. One would think that all air purifiers are similar, but this is not the case for these models. Some things might be the same, but when we look at the big picture, especially when we discuss performance later, we will see a great difference.
These devices have a filter reset indicator, a useful feature that notifies you when you have to replace your filter. They also both use three-stage filtration, which is a great way to make sure that your air is getting as clean as it can. There is a small difference, as the Winix model has an additional ionizer, which the manufacturer refers to as the PlasmaWave technology. On the other hand, The GermGuardian has a UV-C light bulb.
The AC4825 model has three speed modes, while the 5500-2 has four, as well as a sleep mode. I think that this alone could be a huge deal maker or a deal-breaker, the fact that one has a sleep mode and one doesn’t.
Sleep mode is such a major function when it comes to air purifiers. After all, we like to have our air purifier on when we sleep as well, right? I personally use this option quite a lot as it saves energy and makes the device quieter, so it’s a huge disappointment that the GermGuardian AC4825 doesn’t have a sleep mode.
The Winix model, as mentioned before, has a sleep mode, and the sleep mode is not only going to make the device slower and quieter, but it’s going to help you keep your air consistently purified without raising your energy bill. Keep in mind, when the device is in sleep mode, it’s also less efficient.
Another really important and reliable feature that air purifiers can have is a timer. This is especially important for those who are not home all the time but still want to have high-quality air in their homes. The Winix 5500-2 model has a timer, while the GermGuardian AC4825 does not. You can set your Winix timer to go off in an hour, 4 hours, or 8 hours.
As mentioned before, PlasmaWave is an ionizing technology that the Winix device has as a feature. Many customers don’t know much about PlasmaWave and ionizers overall, so they avoid them as much as possible. If I’m honest, they’re not completely wrong. Unreliable manufacturers may use ionizers that emit too much ozone, making them unhealthy for you, your family, and the environment.
It’s a really good thing that we trust Winix and their certificates! The PlasmaWave version of ionizing technology has been tested and approved, and it’s important to mention that you don’t even have to turn it on while you’re purifying your air. It’s completely up to you.
The Winix 5500-2 has a remote control, which is handy for quick access and for those who have trouble moving around the house quite a lot. With the remote, you can turn the device on and off, change the fan speed, and switch to the Auto Mode or the Turbo Mode. For most people, this is definitely enough managing power.
Air Quality Sensor
Another additional feature that is exclusive to Winix 5500-2 is the air quality sensor. This sensor can detect various gases, but it can’t do much regarding dust, pollen, and similar particles. It’s really easy to notice whether there’s anything wrong with the air quality as the indicator lights up in various colors.
If you see the light shining in blue hues, the air quality is perfect! If the light is in amber tones, that means that there is room for improvement. However, if the light turns red, you might be in some trouble, and your filter may not be strong enough to properly clean the area that it’s in.
Again, I have to mention the Winix 5500-2 again as it obviously has another feature that the GermGuardian cannot claim for itself – the auto mode. It’s a feature that gives your device full control over choosing the operating speed according to the room’s air quality.
Also, if the room is dark for a long time, sleep mode will automatically turn on, assuming no people in the room. Don’t worry, you don’t have to use the auto mode if you like to watch Netflix in the dark, but it is a useful feature for some people, that’s sure!
Finally, I can share something different and unique about the GermGuardian AC4825 as well! This device uses a UV-C light that acts as the last filtration stage. Like the auto mode we previously talked about, this option can be turned on and off, which is great because there are no obligations whatsoever!
The UV-C light is on the inside of the device, on the top. We’ll talk more in-depth about it later, though.
These two devices have different designs and, therefore, different airflows, making our Winix Vs. GermGuardian discussion quite interesting in this department. The GermGuardian model lets air in on the back, filters it through a prefilter, carbon filter, a True HEPA filter, as well as a UV-C bulb. The filtered air then leaves through the ribs in the front.
The Winix is quite different, as it lets air in through the front. The air travels through the device, getting filtered by a prefilter, an activated carbon filter, and a True HEPA filter. Then it exits through the top of the backside.
Again, we meet a certain similarity between the two devices. Both of these air purifiers use three-stage filtration with some additional options you can turn on and off. They both use a True HEPA filter, but it’s worth mentioning that the Winix 5500-2 uses a better carbon filter with activated carbon pellets. These have been proven as more effective due to their shape and design.
The Germ Guardian AC4825 uses a pre-filter and a carbon filter as the first two stages of filtration. After that comes the True HEPA filter, and then you get to choose whether you want additional UV-C bulb filtration or not. By now, you must be wondering what this technology does, so let me explain it briefly.
UV-C is a special technology that combines the work of Titanium Dioxide and UV lights. These two, when combined, kill germs and remove odor from your air. We’re not talking just about the stale smell, but cooking odor, pet odor, as well as smoke! It’s a great feature for those who like to fry or grill a lot!
The Winix 5500-2, as mentioned before, has a prefilter stage, and then the activated carbon filter. The third stage is the True HEPA filter, a common filter amongst air purifiers, but the Winix also offers PlasmaWave technology. I was quite excited to see a novelty in the world of purifiers, so let me explain what it’s all about.
This technology removes odors, possible chemicals, pollutants, and even allergens from your air. It’s also quite important to mention that it doesn’t create ozone and that it only works with positive and negative charges that transform the molecules of water.
How to replace the filters?
I like that most air purifiers nowadays have a filter reset indicator, including these two, so you don’t have to bother with calculating the right time to switch things up. Here we’ll have another really clear GermGuardian AC4825 Vs. Winix 5500-2 comparison when we find out the replacement time difference between two devices.
The GermGuardian model will have you buying new filters after 6 to 8 months of usage, while the Winix filters last as long as 12 months. The replacement process isn’t complicated for filters per se, but the UV-C bulb replacement can be a bit tricky.
I have written about the GermGuardian AC4825 filter replacement in greater detail in the product review, and I talked a lot about the bulb itself, so make sure to check that out to see whether the process is a little bit too complicated for you.
Noise is a major factor for some people, especially light sleepers. The GermGuardian AC4825 sadly does not have a sleep mode and do keep this in mind when choosing because sleep mode is a great energy saver as well. For me personally, the lack of sleep mode is a huge deal-breaker, as I have used the GermGuardian at night, and there is a massive difference in the noise and the buzzing, which gives Winix a head start, in my opinion.
So yes, the Winix 5500-2 has a sleep mode, and it is a little bit louder than the Germ Guardian when you take all speeds into account, but when you focus specifically on the sleep mode, the Winix is quieter than the other model on speed one. For more details, check the numbers below.
|Product||Noise Range (dBA)|
|GermGuardian AC4825||46.7 – 54.2 dBA|
|Winix 5500-2||40.6 – 66.4 dBA|
I have tested both of these devices in several different rooms and conditions. In the upcoming paragraphs, we’re discussing numbers measured in rooms that are either 194 square feet or 320 square feet large. I was surprised by both devices, as they have drastically improved the air quality.
I also want to mention that both of them were set to their highest speeds. The Winix 5500-2 was on Turbo Mode, while the GermGuardian AC4825 was on speed three. And now that we’re discussing usage and conditions, I want to mention that I avoid both the PlasmaWave and the UV-C technology at home. Why? Because none of these features significantly improved the air and proved themselves as a useful addition.
That’s why I don’t keep them running – the classic filtration process does enough for me, and it may do the same for you, so make sure to check the numbers.
320 sq. ft. Room Tests
First, I tested the devices in a room that’s 320 sq. ft. large. I made sure the conditions were well controlled – 60 minutes, maximum settings. The Winix model changed the Air Quality Index from 141 to 5, which means that the air was 96% clearer and healthier in the end.
The GermGuardian purifier competes well with the 90% change it created, which is great, as it is a device made for smaller rooms, and it gave a proper fight!
I have also tested the GermGuardian AC4825 in a smaller room that it was meant for, a 194 square feet large room. Here, it created a 92% difference, and you can see how the productivity goes up when the device is put in a room that it is meant to be in!
Other than that, I also wanted to see what the Winix model can do on the so-called Auto Mode, so I left it running for 60 minutes in a room that was 320 square feet large. It has improved air quality by 93%, which is a result. It appears that the device knows when and how to change the settings accordingly.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room – the overall price versus quality ratio. I was a little bit surprised to see these numbers, as they are slightly larger than they usually are in my other calculations, but we do have to keep in mind that stronger devices cost more in terms of electricity.
|Product||Wattage Range (W)|
|GermGuardian AC4825||30.8 – 43.1 W|
|Winix 5500-2||1.2 – 57.9 W|
The GermGuardian AC4825 is a 55 Watt device, and the UV-C bulb is a 5 Watt one. On the highest setting, in a month, this device will add an extra $3.8 to your bills. It may look like this is not a lot, but keep in mind that you have to buy replacement filters more often, so it appears to be more costly over a longer period.
The Winix 5500-2 is a 70 Watt gadget, which means that it will cost you $5 monthly in electricity. Although this is more than what the GermGuardian costs per month, you’ll have to replace the filter only once a year, not twice a year. So, overall, it is still cheaper to maintain!
Which one is the winner?
Maybe you’ve already realized that the Winix 5500-2 caught my attention because of the larger number of features and the better room coverage, but even if you didn’t, I assure you, I would choose it over the GermGuardian AC4825.
However, if you want to try out if UV filtration is something you want to save a little bit of money while buying, the GermGuardian AC4825 air purifier still gives a solid performance. It’s not going to disappoint you!
The Winix 5500-2 is the winner of today’s battle, as it has proved its greatness in terms of numbers and percentages! It did better in my test process, and it’s meant for bigger rooms. It’s always better to have a more powerful air purifier, as any device can be set to lower settings if you want less noise and smaller electricity bills! And yes, this is the end to my AC4825 Vs. 5500-2 comparison! Good luck in finding your air purifier!