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You’ve come to the right place to learn everything you need to know about the Winix 5500-2 air purifier. This is a highly-rated and well-known model on the market. However, you need to know the ins and outs before you make a choice. We’ve researched the product to find the pros and cons to help you make an informed final decision. 

We get in-depth into the filtration system, design, maintenance requirements, overall performance and how it compares to its precursor model. The Winix 5500-2 has some impressive design and technology features which we discuss. 

Check Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier on Amazon (Link Opens in a New Tab)

Design, Specifications and Aesthetic 

The Winix 5500-2 has a boxy, rectangular shape with clean lines and a dark charcoal shade. The digital control panel sits across the top. It’s not bad looking and would blend in well to most living rooms and large bedrooms.

Size: 8.2 x 15.0 x 23.6 inches
Weight: 15.4 pounds
Noise level: 27.8 dB
Covering area: 360 square feet (medium-large rooms)
Energy usage: 70 watts
Recommended positioning: on the floor only
Warranty: 2 years

The Winix 5500-2 has a CADR of 243 for dust, 246 for pollen, and 232 for smoke. CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) refers to how effectively the air purifier cleans the air based on the volume of clean air it sends back into the room. 

How does it work?

The Winix 5500-2 is reasonably simple to use. The control panel and the remote control make selecting features fast and easy. Use the Auto feature which means the fan speed changes automatically according to the quality of the air. The Air Quality Indicator tests the air and displays a blue, orange or red light depending on how clean or how polluted the air is. 

You can also manually change the fan speeds, (there are 4 speeds, including “turbo”). If your air purifier is in a bedroom or quiet reading room, use the sleep mode which dims the lights and uses the lowest fan speed for super-quiet operation.

The Winix 5500-2 is pretty quiet and customers have been impressed with the low noise profile. The “turbo” fan speed is loud, but this speed is only intended for temporary use. The lower speeds are basically undetectable. 

Is it suitable for removing allergens and odors?

Yes. Thanks to the true HEPA filter, pet dander is effectively captured and therefore reduces your risk of experiencing pet-related allergies. The pre-filter catches larger particles such as pet hair and dust, leaving the HEPA filter clearer and more able to capture those tiny, nasty particles.

Other allergens such as pollen and dust are very effectively captured by the filters which means it is great for reducing allergy symptoms such as watery eyes and a dry throat. Pollen particles are between 10 and 40 microns, no match for a HEPA filter. 

The combination of the carbon filter and the PlasmaWave filter means that odors are reduced. Many happy customers have left positive reviews especially detailing the fact that the 5500-2 really did remove pet and food odors from the room. 

Key features

  • PlasmaWave Technology filter 
  • Odor controlling carbon filter: washable and replaceable 
  • Filter replacement light 
  • Air quality indicator: assesses the air and uses color to show good (blue), fair (orange) and poor (red) air quality 
  • Sleep mode: turns lights down, switches fan to the lowest speed 
  • Auto mode: fan speed changes according to the air quality indicator (faster when the air is more polluted, slower when the air is clean)
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4 parts filtration system:

  • Pre-filter to catch the largest particles
  • True HEPA filter
  • Carbon filter for removing odors
  • PlasmaWave Technology 

The HEPA filter is a true HEPA, not “HEPA-style”. It captures the required 99.97% of pollutants as small as 0.3 microns. Asthmatics and allergy-sufferers can be relieved. 

The PlasmaWave Technology uses an ionizing process to neutralize odors and harmful chemical pollutants.

Winix 5500-2 4 Steps Filtration
Winix 5500-2 4 Steps Filtration

Cleaning and maintenance requirements 

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The cleaning and maintenance requirements are pretty standard, but there are some extra costs involved to replace filters. 

How often to change the filters?

The HEPA filter and carbon filter should be changed once a year, at least. If your environment is particularly dusty the filters may fill up faster, so keep an eye on them. There is a “check filter” light, but this operates according to time and duration since the last change, and isn’t based on how dirty the filters actually are. 

Can filters be cleaned?

The pre-filter is permanent (you don’t need to replace it) and it should be washed once every two weeks at least. The carbon filter can also be washed, and Winix recommends to wash it once every 3 months. 

The HEPA filter cannot be washed, under any circumstances. It must be replaced. 

How to clean the filters?

Simply rinse them under warm water and leave to dry completely. Don’t use any products or detergents, water is sufficient. The pre-filter can be vacuumed for a quick clean, but if it looks really dirty, give it a rinse with water. 

How much are new filters and where are they available?

You can buy replacement filter packs (HEPA and carbon filters) from Amazon. There are a few different options. You can opt for a pack with one HEPA filter, four carbon filters, and a free cleaning brush. There’s also a smaller pack with one HEPA and one carbon filter. 


Pros:

  • HEPA filtration eliminates allergens 
  • Carbon filter removes odors
  • “Energy Star” certified 
  • Quiet on lower levels 
  • Auto mode with air quality indicator

Cons: 

  • Sleep Mode doesn’t cancel all lights 
  • PlasmaWave produces small amounts of ozone 
  • Remote has no backlight 

Review Verdict

The Winix 5500-2 is a comprehensive and effective air purifier with a pretty great price considering what you get. It is suitable for you if you have allergies, you have pets in the home, and you want fresher, cleaner-smelling air.

If your intended room is large (360 square feet) and you like the idea of remote control, you’ll like this option. You can expect drastically reduced dust, improved allergy symptoms, cleaner-smelling air, quiet operation and plenty of tech features.


Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Winix 5500-2 emit ozone?

Winix states there is “no harmful ozone” emitted by the PlasmaWave. In saying this, there are very minimal amounts present, as it is an ionizer after all. However, the levels do comply with the CARB (California Air Resources Board) guidelines for safe ozone levels for home-usage. The Winix 5500-2 is safe to use.

Is it suitable for bedrooms and nighttime usage?

Yes. The Sleep Mode dims the lights and switches to the lowest fan speed for a noiseless, undisturbed sleep. However, if you are extremely sensitive to light at night, be aware that there are still a few tiny lights on when in Sleep Mode.

Can the PlasmaWave be turned off?

Yes, the PlasmaWave can be switched off by pressing the PlasmaWave button on the center of the control panel


Top 6 Tips for Using and Maintaining the Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier

  1. Always place the air purifier at least 12 inches away from any electronic items such as TV’s so the air purifier can function at its best. (Signals from other electronic items can mess with the air purifier functions)
  2. Don’t simply rely on the filter-change light. Check the filters regularly, and mark on your calendar each time you change a filter. If you have pets or you smoke in your home, be vigilant with your filters 
  3. Crank up the fan speed to turbo when you are cooking and cleaning so the air purifier can catch any odors or disrupted dust, then take the fan speed back down or use the Auto mode 
  4. Stock up on filters when they are on special/discounted to reduce your overall maintenance costs over time 
  5. Make sure the air purifier is situated on a completely hard and even surface so that it is stable, safe, and won’t create irritating vibrations or unnecessary noise 
  6. Be aware that other users have found the Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier stops working after a few months, or the Auto mode ceases to function properly