Today, we are going to be reviewing the Winix 5500-2 air purifier. At Home Appliance Review, we did purchase this product ourselves, and any opinion expressed in this review article is strictly our own. That being said, if you’re interested in this Winix 5500-2 review or you want to find out more about it, the link to it will be in below.
This unit is about 24 inches tall, about 15 inches wide, and about 8 inches deep. The unit weighs about 60 and a half pounds. Now, this unit features three different filters. Behind this front grille, there is a washable pre-filter. Behind the washable pre-filter, there is a carbon filter, and behind that carbon filter, there is a true HEPA filter.
Air travels into the unit through the front grille here, but also on the sides, there are large gaps here on each side of the front of the unit. Air travels in through the front, through the sides, and even a little bit through the bottom. There’s a gap here on the bottom as well. So, air travels through all those directions into the unit, past the pre-filter, past the activated carbon filter, past the true HEPA filter, and then up and out through the top of the unit. There’s an outlet up top here behind the control panel, so clean air exits out through the top here.
This unit features four fan speeds: low, medium, high, and turbo. The unit outputs at about 250 CFM, and this unit retails for about 150 dollars. What do we like about the Winix 5500 ash? We definitely like the high output, especially considering the price. This unit, again, outputs at about 250 CFM, meaning that it takes in 250 cubic feet of air every minute, and it is actually able to process that amount of air every minute at 250 CFM. This unit can be used in rooms up to about 300 square feet. Now, for good and proper air filtration, you really need two things. You need proper air filters, and you also need good output. This unit does give you very high output at 250 CFM.
Contents of Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier
Take a look at the retail box and packaging; everything looks great. You’ll notice this is for medium-sized rooms up to 360 square feet. On the side, we have some additional tech specs and features advertised: four-stage air filtration, smart sensors, auto mode, sleep mode, and we have their PlasmaWave technology.
Now let’s go ahead, now that we’ve seen the box, let’s open it up and look at the contents. Looking for a secure and reliable way to access the internet? Look no further than ExpressVPN. Protect your personal information and browsing history from prying eyes.
Here are all the contents. First up, we have product literature consisting of the Winix Filter Club and a full user guide and manual, walking you through all the important tech specs. This does come with a two-year warranty. Verified room size up to 360 square feet. Backside, we have all our usage instructions here: how to set up, control, clean, and maintain the air purifier.
Next, you’ll notice we have a small remote control with five buttons on it. Here’s a look at the backside. Pull this tab before use. If you’re wondering, this does use a CR2025 battery. And then, lastly, we have the air purifier itself. Let’s look at this in more detail.
Here’s a look at the top of the unit. You’ll see our venting up at the top, and we have a grip handle design right along the back and top. Then we’ll tip it forward a little bit; you’ll see our control panel here with their logo and branding, multiple buttons, smart sensor reset button, check filter light. This is your ambient light sensor, and your air quality indicator is front and center.
Here’s a look at the side of the unit, the bottom of the unit here, the other side of the unit, the back side of the unit with additional product info on the fret. You’ll notice that the front cover just gently pops off; it is magnetized up at the top, revealing our filter and pre-filter. We have some tape to remove, and then this should just pop right out, easy to wash and clean. And then we have instructions here to remove the plastic wrapper on the filter itself.
This is pretty heavy-duty, and you’ll see the inside and how everything looks without the filter installed. Once removed from the packaging, you’ll notice the filter’s actually in two parts: we have a washable carbon filter on top, and then we have our main filter. Follow how we have everything installed, want to keep those pull tabs up, and then this can just drop right in place on top, and then we want to go ahead and put our pre-filter right back there, and then we can take the top cover, line it up, and it’ll just snap right in place.
Winix 5500-2 controls
Plug it in and try it out. We have the unit plugged in. Let’s power it on. We have a nice startup chime and tune right there. Then moving right along, we’re currently in auto mode, but we can set that to sleep mode, and you’ll see all the lights are disabled, just the little moon illuminated. We can toggle back to auto mode; PlasmaWave is in blue. Then we have our air quality indicator. We can toggle PlasmaWave on or off, and then we have our different fan speed options. As soon as we press that, you’ll see auto mode goes away.
We have our second, third, fourth, which is our maximum fan speed setting. Go back to number one, and then we have our timer, one hour, four hours, or eight hours or back off. Check filter reset. Then we have our ambient light sensor and our smart sensor for the air quality.
Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier Test
Real Time Testing
Let’s talk about some real-world tests. We have some clean air here in the studio. We have the light illuminated blue; all is well there. And using our air quality monitor, you’re seeing the same thing here. The lower the score, the better. We’re getting between four and eight; that’s great. We can toggle through the other settings: HCHO 0.02, PM 2.5 1; that’s great. You want that to be low; you want all these values to be low. TVOC 0.09, and back to the AQI. Everything is accurate and adding up as you would expect.
For how large this unit is, it’s very quiet. We’re in the lowest fan speed setting. Let’s see the max decibel readout that we get with the lowest fan speed setting. We peaked at 45.1 decibels. Fan speed setting 2 yielded a max decibel readout of 49.1, so a slight increase. Honestly, it’s not really even that noticeable. Fan speed setting 3 definitely is more noticeable; we’re at 56.1 decibels. And then on the maximum speed setting, we’re showing 70.6 decibels; that one’s definitely noticeable, and it is moving a huge amount of air.
Now, how much air is it moving? Well, we just measured: 1280 feet per minute of air is coming out of this unit. That’s really powerful and very high compared to your traditional tabletop smaller room air purifiers.
Let’s have some fun with our smoke machine here; we’re going to blast it into the air intake to see how much of it any comes out the top, to get a few… The filter is going to do to trap some of that smoke. We have it on the lowest fan speed setting here; that’ll maybe give us the best chance to see some of it coming out. Let’s just go for it.
We didn’t see any come out of there; what the heck? That’s amazing. That’s awesome. We’re gonna crank up the fan speed setting now; we’re gonna try it again with the maximum speed setting here, see if that makes a difference. Look at that; we are just filling this thing with smoke, that’s a lot of smoke. Nothing coming out the top. Visually, it’s trapped just about everything. We mean, look at this; we’ll fill up the whole room with smoke, you can see how much we actually put into there, a pretty substantial amount. Nothing coming out the top; We mean, check that out. All of that, and none of that was coming out the top here; all that was being ejected right. And it’s all being trapped in there.
We’re gonna put some more smoke in the room, it pulling it back to the machine. So cool to visually see it being drawn to the machine, and you’ll notice our indicator light, the air quality has changed; it’s sensing all of those particles in the air, giving us the red light, letting us know that the air is not clean.
What we really like
The last thing that we’ll mention here has something that we really like about this machine is its value. This is probably the thing that we like the most about this unit. Again, you are paying about $150 here for a unit that outputs at approximately 250 CFM. It has that true HEPA filter, it has that activated carbon filter that is of a higher quality due to the fact that it actually contains activated carbon pellets. You have that washable pre-filter. You get all of that in this machine, and you only have to pay about $150 dollars to get that.
In terms of value, this is really one of the best value units out there on the market.
Related air purifier: Coway Airmega AP-1512HH
What we dislike
Can not turn off the display lights
Moving on to things that we dislike about this unit, the one thing that we’d probably dislike the most is the fact that you cannot turn off the display lights on top of the unit’s control panel here. There are LEDs that illuminate as you turn on different settings, and those cannot be turned off. The actual air quality display here, this horizontal bar here, it cannot be turned off. The plasma wave display here can be turned off, but at the cost of turning off the plasma wave.
You can turn that on and off, but you lose functionality if you turn off the light. The same is true for the fan speeds here. You can turn off the fan speed lights, but you have to set the unit to sleep mode to do that. And so, you lose the functionality of being able to manually control fan speed if you go to the sleep mode and you turn off the LEDs up here for the fan speed.
There are these white LEDs that illuminate that cannot be turned off without going to the sleep mode. And once you go to the sleep mode, you lose that functionality of being able to manually set fan speed, which we do recommend for specific cases. So, that LED illumination up there with the control panel, the fact that you don’t have the control to turn off the lights, that is definitely a negative for this unit. Now, there are many, many other models of air purifiers in the market that suffer from the same issue. So, it is not necessarily a problem specific to this model, but that is definitely the one thing that we don’t like about this model is that lack of control for the LED illumination.
The second thing that we don’t like about this unit is its lack of a longer warranty. This unit ships with only 2-year warranty. That is much less than the warranty that comes with most other air purifiers on the market. Most other units come equipped with a three-year warranty or a five-year warranty. So, for the fact that this unit does come with that one-year warranty, that is definitely a negative for it.
Our final thoughts in regards to this Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier reviews. This is definitely made for large spaces; you could use it in a small space as well. It’s portable; you have a nice handle up top, and it’s not too heavy given its size. It has one of the best filters we’ve ever used; not seeing any smoke make its way through the filters there. And we like the magnetic cover and panel; it’s just really clever and just seems to have a nice, simple yet thorough and thoughtful design. We like the indicator light being front and center here, you can easily get that visual indicator of your room and the air quality. The controls are super simple as well, and you can easily toggle on PlasmaWave.
We think it’s really cool, but we are not sure how effective PlasmaWave really is, if it’s a gimmick or not. But what We know is good is the filter here, so high-quality filtration. Bonus is picking up the PlasmaWave technology. Very simple and straightforward to use this device. If you’re going to use it on those higher fan speed settings, just know, three and four, they’re gonna be very or fairly loud, We should say; you will notice them in the room. But if you have it on one or two, chances are you’re not really going to notice it with the typical background noise in your house, office, things like that.