Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier – Real Review & Smoke Test (2023)

Winix 5500-2 is an extraordinary air purifier equipped with a True HEPA filter and is one of the hottest products Winix ever made. Being at the top of the market for years is not an easy thing to do, for many air purifiers but not for the Winix. What singles the 5500-2 model out is its filtration technology, reliability, and trust that has been spread among many users over the years.

The Winix 5500-2 is an affordable air purifier intended for medium-sized rooms up to 360 sq. ft. It features a simple design, and its black color makes it particularly neutral in any environment. Additionally, it is equipped with many functions and advanced features that I cover in detail 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 5500-2 air purifier. Pre-Filter, AOC Carbon filter, True HEPA filter, and Winix PlasmaWave technology make this air purifier effective in combating air pollution.

Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier - Smoke Test
See how long it takes Winix 5500-2 air purifier to clean all the smoke from the glass box.

In a Hurry? Here’s a Quick Summary of the Winix 5500-2!

  • Coverage: The Winix 5500-2 air purifier is designed to effectively purify the air in rooms up to 360 sq. ft., making it suitable for medium to large-sized spaces.
  • Real-time Air Quality: Equipped with a smart air quality sensor, the 5500-2 continuously monitors and tracks indoor air quality in real-time.
  • Four-stage Filtration: The 5500-2 utilizes a four-stage filtration technology consisting of a washable pre-filter, activated carbon filter, True HEPA filter, and PlasmaWave technology.
  • Advanced Features: The air purifier comes with many advanced features, including PlasmaWave technology, an air quality sensor, auto mode, and a light sensor.
  • Warranty: Winix provides a 2-year warranty for the 5500-2 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. (33 m²)
CADR Smoke 232 / Dust 243 / Pollen 246
Ionizer PlasmaWave
Power Consumption 70W
Warranty 2-year
User manual PDF


The Winix 5500-2 is a well-designed air purifier made of high-quality material. Many consumers find this air purifier design a bit outdated, but for me, it’s acceptable. The simple design with neutral black color allows positioning this air purifier in almost any room.

The air intake is on the front panel and also on each side. The good thing is that the air, once filtered, is released on top of the device. This feature is beneficial because air will not flow directly into you if you stand in front of it.

Opening and closing a front cover on the Winix 5500-2.
Opening and closing a front cover on the Winix 5500-2.

On top of the front of the air purifier is situated the control panel, which features many options and will grant you ultimate control. Above the control buttons, there are LED indicators, which indicate what features are active at the moment. Also, there is a very long LED indicator just below the PlasmaWave Button, and its purpose is to light in different colors, depending on the current air quality.

Behind the control panel is a handle for more effortless transport. Winix 5500-2 is also easily transported because it is not too heavy.

Control Panel – Initial Operations

The Control panel uses buttons instead of the touch panel. In other words, that means you will need to push a button, and just putting your finger on a button will not work. 

However, the buttons are easy to press, and that will not present any problems for you to control the Winix 5500-2 air purifier.

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

As soon as you plug it in, all the 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 that can be used to control the device:

Power Button

Pushing the Power button will either turn the air purifier on or off.

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

Mode Button

You can switch between auto mode and sleep mode by pressing the Mode button.


There is also a PlasmaWave button, and once it is on, there will be a light saying so.

Fan Speed Button

Pressing the Fan Speed button will turn on manual mode, and then you will be able to choose the desired fan’s speed. Each press on a button will change the fan speed.


To choose how long you want the 5500-2 to work, you need the Timer button. You can choose a different time, and the air purifier will automatically shut down after the picked time passes. This Winix allows you to set the timer to 1h, 4h, or 8h. 

Size and Dimensions

Winix 5500-2 is a light air purifier; it has only 14.7 lb. Its handle is quite helpful when transporting it from room to room. Regarding its size, it’s a pretty large air purifier with dimensions of 8.2 x 15.0 x 23.6 inches.

Such a giant air purifier may present a problem finding a sweet spot in the room. Just make sure it is 12 – 18 inches away from the TV, Radio, and other electronic devices, and move it at least 4 inches from the wall.

What’s in the box?

When buying the Winix 5500-2 air purifier, you get an air purifier, a pre-filter, AOC Carbon Filter, a True HEPA filter, remote control, and a user manual in the package box.

Setup and Installation

Before the first startup, you need to prepare the device and install the filter. Filters are inside the air purifier wrapped in a plastic bag that needs to be removed. 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.

Firstly, be sure that the air purifier is unplugged 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 AOC Carbon filter, and at the end, a Pre-filter.

Additionally, you have to prepare the remote controller by pulling out the plastic protection that keeps the battery safe from wearing.

Features Overview

Winix 5500-2 air purifier is full of advanced features that I rarely find in other tested air purifiers. It is not a smart air purifier and can’t be connected to the app, but it has all the other features that a modern air purifier should have.

I particularly like the air quality sensor, auto mode, and remote controller.

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 “Mode” button.

Winix 5500-2 smart sensor detects only odors, so you will find the auto mode most practical option if you regularly cook or smoke in the room.


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

Many people are not familiar with the PlasmaWave option, therefore skeptical and avoid using it. Actually, you shouldn’t be worried because the Winix is CARB certified and absolutely safe to use.

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 Sensor

An air quality sensor is an advanced technology that detects air quality in real-time. Thanks to this sensor, the air quality indicator can change lights according to the pollution in the air, and auto mode can switch between fan speeds.

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. I recommend the Winix 5500-2 to those customers who are looking for an air purifier that will help them fight against the odors like wildfire or cigarette smoke.

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

Air Quality Indicator

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

If the air quality is good, the Indicator will light 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

Sleep Mode

You can switch to 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 actually works. 

An additional and significant feature of the Auto mode is that it detects light in the room and, if there is darkness, the air purifier will switch to sleep mode immediately. 

While in sleep mode, all the lights 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 the sleep.

Remote Control

Almost all options this air purifier has, 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

The remote control is a helpful addition to this air purifier. It allows you to control almost all options this air purifier has.

With a remote controller, you can turn on/off the air purifier, change fan speeds, switch to Turbo or the Auto mode in one press.

Winix redesigned a remote controller, so it looks a bit different than the one in the image above.

Filter Replacement Indicator

The True HEPA filter needs to be replaced every 12 months. Thanks to the filter replacement indicator, you undoubtedly know when it is time to replace the filter.

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

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

Washable Filters

Both pre-filter and carbon filters are washable and need to be periodically cleaned. I suggest cleaning the pre-filter every 2-3 weeks and a carbon filter every three months. 

Also, you should replace the carbon filter every year because it loses its efficacy over time.

Room Coverage

It is optimistic because the Winix 5500-2 air purifier can be used in small and large rooms. However, it is intended for a 360 square feet room. In that room, it will be most effective.

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

CADR scores for 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 (let’s say 10 minutes) 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 Technology

I recommend buying the original Winix filters because only then you can be sure the air purifier will provide optimal performance.

The Winix 5500-2 uses a four-stage filtration technology that is consisted of a pre-filter, AOC carbon filter, True HEPA filter, and PlasmaWave technology.

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

The first three stages of filtration are must-use, but the last one, the PlasmaWave, can be switched on/off. I especially like the fact that the Winix 5500-2 uses a True HEPA filter and that the overall quality of its filters is very high.

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.

Check Filter Price On Amazon

Washable Pre-Filter

Pre-filter is the first level of filtration, which means all large particles such as dust particles, hair, pet hair, and similar are caught on it. 

This filter looks like a mosquito net, it gets dirty fast and requires regular cleaning. It is suggested to clean it every two weeks. Regular vacuuming of the pre-filter will keep the efficiency of the air purifier on a high grade and will also prolong the life of the True HEPA filter.

Washable AOC Carbon Filter

The Winix 5500-2 uses a large carbon filter, which is made of carbon pellets. This filter is the most deserving for a fabulous performance on removing odors. When talking about carbon filters, air purifiers usually come with fibrous filters coated with carbon or with pellet-based carbon filters. The thing is that the more carbon the filter has, the more efficient it is. 

The pellet-based carbon filter can adsorb more odors than the fibrous filter. So, that’s what makes the Winix 5500-2 a very good choice for reducing odors. Additionally, it is washable, so you can basically wash it and refresh it in that way.

True HEPA Filter

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

This filter is the third stage of filtration, and it is the most significant part of Winix’s filtration process. This filter helps you get rid of allergens, virus particles, pollen, mold, and fungi particles. 

Keep in mind that the True HEPA filter is not washable!

How To Replace Winix 5500-2 Filters?

The True HEPA and ACO Carbon Filters need to be replaced approximately every 12 months. Since Winix 5500-2 air purifier has a filter indicator, you will know precisely 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

If you have any trouble or feel uncomfortable replacing the filters on Winix, follow the guide I prepared below. 

Depending on the environment where you use the air purifier, the filters can get dirty much faster and require replacement much earlier than recommended 12 months.

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 cable into the unit and then use a thin object, such as a paper clip or a needle, 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

Personally, I like when an air purifier has many different fan speeds. Having 5 different speed options makes the Winix 5500-2 air purifier a consumer-friendly device because it gives the option to every consumer to adapt the fan speed to their own needs.

The Winix 5500-2 is very quiet on sleep mode, and that’s why I recommended using it in a bedroom or any other similar room. On peak speed or so-called “turbo mode,” the 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 remarkably silent like the first and the second speeds. So, again, I would say that having this many speeds is a huge advantage for the Winix 5500-2 air purifier. Check all noise results in the table below.

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

Performance Tests

The Winix 5500-2 is one of the best air purifiers I have ever tested. It is a device that I would choose to use every day. I really fancy this air purifier, so along with the traditional tests I performed, I have used it every day for a bit.

You are probably wondering what my opinion is after using it in a real-life environment for some time? I will be short and say that the Winix 5500-2 is an excellent air purifier, and I’m overall very proud of the performance it showed in my kitchen, where I used it every time I was preparing meals, and guess what, it worked much better that than a hood in my kitchen.

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

Keep in mind that the 5500-2 air purifier is built for a 360 square feet room, and there is a PlasmaWave technology option that additionally improves the air quality.

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

The Winix 5500-2 is a powerful air purifier that removes dust 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 other respiratory problems linked to air pollution.

Also, you need to understand that the Winix 5500-2 air purifier is 3.5x more effective on turbo speed than on first speed. Therefore, I recommend using it on the fourth speed for quite some time to bring the air quality to the desired level. After that, you can switch it on to a lower speed.

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

320 sq. ft. Room Test – Auto Mode On

The first test was performed in a room with slightly smaller dimensions than the recommended one. I used the device on auto mode with a PlasmaWave on, and the Air Quality was improved by 93%. The 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

In the second test, 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, and after 60 minutes of work, 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 some smaller air purifiers, but still, it is energy-star certified. At first speed, it uses only 6.4W, on standby mode, only 1.2W.

The highest operating cost on Winix 5500-2 is filter replacement because the new filter is a bit expensive. Therefore, I recommend following all the advice to prolong the filter life and efficiency.

Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier - Operating Costs
Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier – Operating Costs

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 cost you only 1.2$. But if we do the same on the fourth speed, the bill will be 5$. Although this is not a high cost, there is a significant difference between the third and fourth speeds. Below is the table where you can see the exact power usage.

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

Customer Service and Warranty

​​Winix is a reliable company that provides adequate after-sales service and support. I had many questions regarding the Winix air purifiers, and because of that, I have contacted them many times. The first thing worth mentioning is that I received replies quite fast and always got in-detail answers to each question.

I found its Facebook page as an easy way of contacting them, and recently, it has integrated chat support on its website. 

I got my pre-filter damaged, and as there was no place to buy it separately, I contacted Winix to see what to do. They immediately offered to send me a replacement pre-filter free of charge.

The Winix 5500-2 comes with a 2-year warranty. What’s more, the Winix doesn’t have its service so, if you ask them for a breakdown repair, they will send you a replacement device instead of repairing it.

Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier – Video Review

Watch the video review in which we recorded all the tests performed on this air purifier + an exclusive test in a smoke box.

FAQ on Winix 5500-2

Does the Winix 5500-2 produce ozone?

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

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

You can wash only the activated carbon filter and pre-filter as they are washable.

What is PlasmaWave technology?

PlasmaWave is a technology that 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 every 12 months or even more often, depending on how dirty the air is in your house.

Is the unit effective for wildfire smoke?

Yes, the Winix 5500-2 is very effective for wildfire smoke. It has a pellet-based carbon filter that will fight well against wildfire smoke.

Is the unit Energy Star rated?

Yes, the Winix 5500-2 is an Energy Star rated air purifier.


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


  • Modern design
  • Robust and durable
  • Ideal for allergies
  • Low price
  • Washable pre-filter
  • Washable AOC carbon filter
  • CARB, 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


  • The smart sensor detects odors only
  • In the user manual, there is no exact number on how much ozone is released
  • Expensive replacement filters

Final Thoughts

Winix 5500-2 is one of my favorite air purifiers that is a pretty large device with lots of features built-in. Although it’s intended for rooms up to 360 sq. ft., it works perfectly in small, but also in rooms larger than intended

Enriched with many speed options, it will allow everyone to find the one that suits them best, but you should keep in mind that the Winix is the most efficient at top speed.

What really makes Winix stand out is the four-stage filtration system, which involves the innovative PlasmaWave technology option. 

All in all, with its remarkable performances, Winix 5500-2 air purifier is my absolute recommendation for buying, and I guarantee that you’ll be extremely satisfied with this air purifier.

If you have any questions regarding this air purifier, feel free to ask it in the comment box below.



Review Breakdown





Operating cost


Value for money


Ease of use


5 responses to “Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier – Real Review & Smoke Test (2023)”

  1. imnotbob

    Good to know. Would be nice if they were upfront about that in the product description. They market it as an air quality sensor, which I guess is kind of true in a sense.

  2. imnotbob

    Hi Milan. Great in-depth review. How do you know the sensor only detects odors?

  3. Nick

    Hey Paula,
    I don’t think your basement would be a good place for the filter as the high humidity may saturate the filters over time. With that being said, I think your bedroom or your main room would be fine. I have mine in my bedroom and my only complaint is that it’s quite bright on any mode but night mode, but I would prefer it to be at a higher fan speed. Hope you find this helpful!

  4. Paula

    Enjoyed reading your report!
    My home was flooded back in 2020 and now i’m having health problems. I just installed a uv light into my HVAC system.
    My rancher home is 900 square feet. The 7 ft flood was in the basement, got out most of the mold but salt deposits still on floor. Using a large dehumidifier and it is difficult to get humidity down to 45-50. Mostly 60-70.
    Got the house air ducts cleaned last year but I get lots of dust from the AC/Heater gas blower system.
    Where is the best section of the house to put this air purifier? Basement, my bedroom or main room has cathedral ceilings?

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