Winix Air Purifier 5500-2 – Review

Winix 5500-2 is an air purifier with a True HEPA filter, and it is one of the hottest products Winix made. Winix has been on the market since 1973, long before HEPA was innovated, but as you see, they follow new technology and have created a True HEPA filter air purifier.

Besides the 5500-2, Winix has many different models on the market.

Winix 5500-2 features a simple design with black color that makes it extremely neutral in any environment. It is built for a medium-size room. However, it features lots of cool functions and advanced features that you can find out in this Winix 5500-2 review.

Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier
Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier – Front Side

Four-stage air purification is the core of the Winix air purifier. Pre-Filter, AOC Carbon filter, True HEPA filter, and Winix PlasmaWave technology make this Winix air purifier effective in combating air pollution.

Winix 5500-2 is a mighty air purifier thanks to advanced PlasmaWave technology and a true HEPA filter combination.

It also has remote control allowing you to control everything from a distance.

Short on time? Here are highlights of the Winix 5500-2

  • Winix 5500-2 is a very powerful air purifier, mentioned for rooms up to 360 sq. ft.
  • It has a smart sensor that will track indoor air quality in real-time.
  • Winix 5500-2 uses four-stage filtration, which will effectively clean the air in your room.
  • It has a lot of advanced features such as PlasmaWave, Filter Reset Indicator, Auto Mode, and a Light Sensor.
  • Winix offers a 2-year warranty for this air purifier.

Winix 5500-2 Specifications

Below is a complete list of important specifications and features included on the Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier:

Manufacturer Winix
Model 5500-2
Dimensions 15 x 8.2 x 23.6 inches
Filters Washable Pre-filter, Washable AOC Carbon Filter, and True HEPA Filter
Filter Longevity up to 12 months
Coverage 360 sq. ft.
CADR Smoke 232 / Dust 243 / Pollen 246
Ionizer PlasmaWave
Power Consumption 70W
Warranty 2-year
User manual PDF

Design

5500-2 is a well-designed air purifier with high-quality material. Simple design with neutral colors allows this air purifier to be put in any room.

The air intake is on the front panel as well as on each side. The good news is that air once filtered is released on top of the device. This feature is useful because air will not flow directly into you if you stand in front of it.

On top of the front panel is the control panel, which features many options and will grant you ultimate control. Behind the control panel is a handle for easier transport. Winix 5500-2 is easily transported because it is not heavy.

Control Panel – Initial Operations

The Control panel is using buttons instead of the touch panel. In other words, that means you will need to push a button, and just putting the finger on a button will not work. For some people, that’s an advantage while others like touch panels.

However, buttons are easy to press, and I am sure won’t present any problem for you to control this air purifier.

Winix 5500-2 Control Panel
Winix 5500-2 – Control Panel

As soon as there is power, all lights on the device will light on for a few seconds, and you will hear a sound. Now you know the air purifier is ready to use.

There are five main buttons which control different features:

Power Button

Pushing this button will either turn it on or off.

Mode Button

You can choose auto mode or sleep mode by pressing this button.

PlasmaWave

Turn on or off PlasmaWave mode. Once it is on, there will be light saying so. Simply check the control panel and see if PlasmaWave is on or off.

Fan Speed Button

Pressing this button will turn on manual mode, and you can now choose the fan’s desired speed. Each press on a button will change the fan speed.

Timer Button

Choose how long you want it to work. You can choose a different time, and the air purifier will automatically shut down after it’s done. Above the timer button, you can see for how long it will work.

Other than control buttons, you can use the check filter indicator, filter reset button, light sensor, and odor sensor, but I will describe these options later in this Winix 5500-2 review.

Through the first 30 seconds of power-up, the Air Quality Indicator will cycle through blue, amber, and red colors.

Size and Dimensions

Winix 5500-2 is a light air purifier; it has only 14.7 lb. If that’s too heavy for you, there is a handle that will significantly help you transport it from room to room. If we look at its size, we can say it is not a small air purifier. It is quite large (8.2 x 15.0 x 23.6 inches).

Such a giant air purifier may present a problem at finding a sweet spot in the room. Just make sure it is at least 12 – 18 inches away from the TV, Radio, and other electronic devices. Don’t expose it directly to the sun. Also, make sure it is at least 4 inches from the wall.

What’s in the box?

In the package box, you need to find a Winix 5500-2 air purifier, pre-filter, AOC Carbon Filter, True HEPA filter, remote control, and user manual.

First Start-up and Filter Installation

Before the first startup, you need to install the filter. Filters are inside the air purifier wrapped in a plastic bag that needs to be removed before starting it. If you fail to do so, you may damage the device.

Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier Review
Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier – Disassembled

At first starting by a default air purifier will start in auto mode with PlasmaWave turned on.

Before opening the air purifier, you need to unplug it from power. Remove the front panel by grabbing it at the top and gently pulling it forward. Once removed, you will see a bag with filters. Take them out and remove the plastic bag.

Now you can carefully install filters. They need to fit inside perfectly in proper order. First goes True HEPA filter then AOX Carbon filter and at the end pre-filter. Pre-filter is the first one that grabs air.

Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier Video Review

Check out the video review, which contains all tests in more detail. Also, we did some other tests that we exclusively recorded in the video. If you like to learn more about Winix 5500-2, watch the video.

Features

Winix 5500-2 air purifier is full of advanced features that I rarely find in other tested air purifiers.

Auto Mode

Not all air purifiers have the auto mode. This mode requires sensors to detect pollution, allowing the air purifier to switch fan speed according to the pollution levels. Auto mode can simply be turned on by pressing the auto mode button.

Auto mode will work best if you are regularly cooking, or you have an open fire and people that periodically smoke in the room because a smart sensor detects only odors.

PlasmaWave

Winix PlasmaWave is an advanced technology that is useful at removing harmful airborne pollution. PlasmaWave will start automatically at the first startup. But you can control it with a button on the control panel. If you hear a chirping or buzzing sound while PlasmaWave is on, that is perfectly normal and is a sign that large particles are passing through PlasmaWave.

Test PlasmaWave performance on your own and then decide if you like to use it or not.

Ozone may concern people with a fear of it. PlasmaWave releases ozone; however, I am sure it emits so little ozone that is well below the danger level. Or else this device would not be CARB certified.

Air Quality Indicator

Air Quality Indicator will visually tell you the air quality in the room as long as the air purifier on you will see a LED line that will emit light according to the level of pollution.

If the air is good, the light will be blue; amber light indicates fair air quality; however, a red light means air is poor.

Winix 5500-2 Air Quality Indicator - Three Different Lights
Winix 5500-2 Air Quality Indicator – Three Different Lights

Smart Sensor

A smart sensor is an advanced technology that detects air quality. Thanks to this sensor, the air quality indicator can change lights according to the pollution in the air, and auto mode can switch gears.

Unfortunately, a smart sensor only detects odor pollution and is basically an odor sensor. It can not detect other types of pollution, such as dust, pollen, and other neutral smell pollution. Many people buy an air purifier to remove particles that are not detectable with an odor sensor.

A smart sensor detects only odors and needs approximately 4 minutes to detect odor levels in the room.

Sleep Mode

You can choose this mode by pressing the mode button. In sleep mode, the air purifier becomes exceptionally silent. In fact, you will not be sure if it is actually working. You can enter sleep mode by auto mode as well. The auto mode detects light in the room, and auto mode will soon enter sleep mode as soon as there is darkness. Auto mode will think that it is time for sleep and will turn the sleep-mode on.

While in sleep mode, all light will be shut down except the sleep mode indicator, which will emit low light to make sure you know sleep mode is on but at the same time will not disturb your sleep.

Remote Control

Almost all options you can control with remote control from a fair distance. Batteries are included in the package as well as a wall mount.

Winix 5500-2 Remote Control
Winix 5500-2 – Remote Control

Filter Replacement Indicator

The True HEPA filter needs to be regularly replaced. Thanks to the filter replacement indicator, you can know when is the time to replace the filter.

Once you replace the filter, you will need to reset the filter replacement indicator by pressing the reset button with a needle.

Medium Room Size

I am positive that this air purifier can be used in small and large rooms. However, it is built for a 360 square feet room. In that room, it will be most effective.

Winix 5500-2 has many advanced features, and that’s what puts it above the competition.

Washable Filters

Both pre-filter and carbon filter are washable and need to be periodically cleaned. Every three months, clean them, but still, it is recommended to replace them every year.

CADR and CFM rating

CADR scores from dust are 243, pollen 246, and smoke 232. CFM score in sleep mode is 35.31, low speed 70,63, medium speed 91.82, high speed 123.60, and turbo mode is 240.14.

These scores show effectiveness at different speeds. You have noticed that the air purifier is seven times more effective on turbo mode than on sleep mode. This result suggests that you should always start an air purifier in turbo mode and let it run for some time at that speed. After that, you can turn on auto mode or manually choose a lower speed.

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Winix 5500-2 Filtration

Always buy the original Winix filter because only that way you can be sure the air purifier is optimally working.

Winix 5500-2 - Pre-filter, AOC Carbon Filter, and True HEPA Filter
Winix 5500-2 – Pre-filter, AOC Carbon Filter, and True HEPA Filter
Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier - Replacement Filter

Winix 5500-2 Replacement Filter

Always buy genuine filters for the best performance. As soon as the filter reset indicator is on, you are ready to change filters. Do it as quickly as possible.

View Filter Price On Amazon

True HEPA Filter

I have talked about the True HEPA filter many times. It is a powerful filter that removes 99.97% of airborne particles from the air larger than 0.3 microns.

Winix 5500-2 is a large air purifier that features large filters. A carbon filter is large, which means it can remove odors fast. Though, to keep it effective for a longer time, you should wash it every three months. You can also use a vacuum cleaner on it.

Washable AOC Carbon Filter

Winix 5500-2 is a large air purifier that features large filters. A carbon filter is large, which means it can remove odors fast. Though, to keep it effective for a longer time, you should wash it every three months. You can also use a vacuum cleaner on it.

Pre-Filter

Pre-filter is the first level of filtration, which means all large particles are caught on this filter. Because of that, this filter gets dirty fast, which then requires regular cleaning. It is suggested to clean it every two weeks. Pre-filter is an essential part of the filtration method because it keeps other filters cleaner and, in such a way, prolongs their filtering life.

How To Replace Winix 5500-2 Filters?

Filters need to be replaced approximately every 12 months. Since Winix 5500-2 air purifier has a filter indicator, you will exactly know when to replace filters. Replacing the filter is as simple as the first startup setup.

Winix 5500-2 Replacement Filter
Genuine Winix brand replacement for the Winix 5500-2 air Purifier

First, you need to open the front panel by grabbing it at the top and pulling it forward. Press the tabs near the top on the pre-filter to release them. Now you can remove the AOC carbon filter and true HEPA filter.

Take the new filter out of the bag. First, insert the True HEPA filter, after that the AOC carbon filter, and pre-filter in the end. Put the front panel back in its place and seal the air purifier. Before starting it up, you need to reset the filter indicator by pressing it for 5 seconds with a needle.

Total time: 10 minutes.

Step 1

Firstly turn the unit power off. Immediately after that, remove the front panel by grasping its upper edge and gently pulling forward.

Firstly turn the unit power off. Immediately after that, remove the front panel by grasping its upper edge and gently pulling forward.

Step 2

Remove the pre-filter by pressing the tabs near the top, and after that, pull out the old AOC Carbon and True HEPA filters.

Remove the pre-filter by pressing the tabs near the top, and after that, pull out the old AOC Carbon and True HEPA filters.

Step 3

It would be good to vacuum the inside of the cover, the pre-filter and the air inlet to remove unwanted dust.

It would be good to vacuum the inside of the cover, the pre-filter and the air inlet to remove unwanted dust.

Step 4

The last step is to remove the new filters from the protective plastic wrap and then insert it into the device. The True HEPA filter goes first, and after it is the AOC Carbon filter.

The last step is to remove the new filters from the protective plastic wrap and then insert it into the device. The True HEPA filter goes first, and after it is the AOC Carbon filter.

Step 5

After replacing the filters, turn the power onto the unit and then use a thin object, such as a paper clip, and press the “Reset” button for 5s to reset the filter reset indicator.

After replacing the filters, turn the power onto the unit and then use a thin object, such as a paper clip, and press the

Noise Test

I have tested noise on Winix 5500-2, and I am happily representing results. Winix 5500-2 device has four speeds and sleep mode. On fourth speed or so-called “turbo mode” device is several times louder than on first speed.

Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier in a Bedroom.
Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier in a Bedroom

Many people will find noise at the highest speed irritable. On the other hand, sleep mode is extremely silent, and everyone can sleep while sleep mode is on. Check all noise results in the table below.

Speed Value (dBA)
Speed 1 42.7 dBA
Speed 2 44.9 dBA
Speed 3 50.3 dBA
Speed 4 (Turbo Mode) 66.4 dBA
Sleep Mode 40.6 dBA

Performance Tests

I have tested Winix 5500-2 performance in different situations. All the tests I did are real-life tests, and I did not test it in a laboratory.

Keep in mind that the 5500-2 air purifier is built for a 360 square feet room. Also, you must understand that there is a PlasmaWave technology that can drastically improve air quality.

Winix 5500-2 Performance Test.
Winix 5500-2 – Performance Test

Dust is removed almost instantly, and you will notice that just after a few minutes from turning it on. Winix 5500-2 can help people who suffer from allergies or have any other respiratory problems linked to air pollution.

If the room is full of dust, first use turbo mode to clean all the dust and then turn it on auto mode.

Also, you need to understand that Winix 5500-2 air purifier is 3.5x more effective on turbo speed than on first speed. Because of that, it is recommended to use it on the fourth speed for some time to bring the air quality to the desired level. After that, you can switch it at a lower speed.

320 sq. ft. Room Test – Auto Mode On

As you notice, this room is smaller than the recommended one. I used auto mode with PlasmaWave on. I must admit that the results would be better if the sensor can also detect airborne particles.

However, the air purifier still did a great job. Air quality was improved by 93%. AQI was lowered from 289 to 21 in just one hour.

# Starting Baseline After 60min
PM 2.5 239.7 15.8
PM 10 335.6 22.2
Particles 347639 23013
AQI 289 21

320 sq. ft. Room Test- Turbo Mode

Now I have used turbo mode with PlasmaWave on to see the difference between results. In only 7 minutes, the air purifier managed to drop air quality below 50, which is a sign of good air. In only 30 minutes, Winix improved air quality by 94%. AQI dropped from 141 to 9. After 60 minutes, the Winix improved air quality by about 96%.

# Starting Baseline After 60min
PM 2.5 108.5 3.8
PM 10 151.9 5.4
Particles 157413 5625
AQI 141 5

These are fantastic results. By this testing, I agree that it is best to use it at the fourth speed for at least 10 minutes because, in just 10 minutes at the highest speed, Winix can do a lot. After 10 minutes on turbo mode, you can turn it on auto mode or on some lower silent speed.

Operating Costs

Winix 5500-2 is a large air purifier that has 70W power. It consumes more energy than small air purifiers, but still, this air purifier is energy-star certified. On first speed, it uses only 6.4W, on standby mode, only 1.2W.

Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier.
Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier

The highest operating cost on Winix 5500-2 is filter replacement because the new filter is a bit expensive. Because of that, it is highly recommended to follow all the devices to prolong the life of the filter.

If we do the math on energy consumption and say that the air purifier will work on the third speed for 30 days, Winix will only spend 1.2$ on the electricity bill. But if we do the same on the fourth speed, the bill will be 5$. Still low, but there is a significant difference between third and fourth speeds. Below is the table where you can see exact power usage.

Speed Power Usage (W)
Speed 1 6.4W
Speed 2 8.8W
Speed 3 13.2W
Speed 4 (Turbo Mode) 57.9W
Sleep Mode 3.7W
Stand-by 1.2W

FAQ

Does the Winix 5500-2 produce ozone?

It produces ozone, but not more than allowed. PlasmaWave technology meets the CARB (California Air Resource Board) AB 2276 standard that is the most rigorous American certification benchmark for indoor air cleaning.

Should I wash the Winix 5500-2 air purifier filters?

Not all filters in the Winix 5500-2 are washable, you can wash only the activated carbon filter and pre-filter as they are washable.What is PlasmaWave technology?

What is PlasmaWave technology?

PlasmaWave is a technology characteristic for the Winix air purifiers. It uses electricity to produce Hydroxyl ions which break down chemical pollutants present in the air.

Can I use my Winix 5500-2 air purifier 24/7?

Yes, you can use it 24/7, but I suggest turning it off sometimes, especially when you are not at home or if you felt the air is clean enough.

How often should I change the Winix 5500-2 filters?

You should change filters on the Winix 5500-2 approximately every 12 months.

PROS AND CONS

To revise, here are the advantages and disadvantages of 5500-2:

Pros

  • Modern Design
  • Robust and Durable
  • Ideal for Allergies
  • Low Price
  • Washable Pre-Filter
  • Washable AOC Carbon
  • ABR, AHAM and Energy Star Certified
  • Remote Control
  • Lots of Advanced Options
  • Extremely Effective in 360 Square Feet Room
  • Air Quality Level Indicator
  • Extremely Quiet in Sleep Mode

Cons

  • Smart Sensor Only Detects Odors
  • In User Manual There is No Exact Number on how Much Ozone is Released
  • Expensive Filter Replacement

Final Thoughts

Winix 5500-2 is a large air purifier that may not fit in a small room. It is built for a medium room, but I am sure it can work very well in a large room as well. This model has many features and excellent options. The cool but simple design allows you to use it in any spot in the room.

Winix, as a company, has lots of experience in building powerful air purifiers, and Winix 5500-2 is exceptionally effective. You will get a two years warranty for this product.

9.6

SCORE

Review Breakdown

Performance

9.8

Noise

9.6

Operating cost

9.2

Value for money

9.6

Ease of use

9.7

Update Log

June 21, 2021 – I improved the filtration section with adding the filter replacement process.

February 20, 2021 – I improved the article and fix typos. Besides, I added a rating, FAQ, and some additional product info.

July 15, 2020 – Winix 5500-2 Video Review – Embed from Air Purifier First YT Channel.

June 4, 2020 – We have completely updated the Winix 5500-2 review with all new important things: noise tests, filter tests, performance tests, operating costs, etc.

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