An Outstanding Budget Purifier
Following the success of the original 5500 model; WINIX introduces an improved version. Like the original, the Winix 5500-2 offers some great features at a very attractive price. Unlike the original the 5500-2 now provides consumers with better build quality, a seeker design, and more filtration options.
What we like
We really have to applaud WINIX for making some legit improvements to an incredibly popular purifier. Many other companies tend to resist changing a product that already sells well. Especially when the product that sells well is at the lower end of the price range.
This machine packs proven filtration into a feature-rich package… at a really attractive price. While the purifier’s MSRP puts it in a price range where you’d start to consider splurging for a higher-end purifier; the street price puts it up against lower-end budget purifiers. We think of the 5500-2 as a “Goldie Locks” purifier. It’s not a power house with all the bells and whistles, but it’s not a featureless budget model with lackluster features and specifications. Bottom line – it’s just right.
- True HEPA Filter
- “Washable” Carbon Filter
- Automatic Fan Speed Adjustments
- Air Quality Indicator
- Filter Replacement Notification
- Four Speed Fan
- Remote Control
- Sleep mode (senses room lightning and adjusts display brightness accordingly)
|Specifications & Features|
|Coverage||360 Square Feet|
|Footprint||8.2" x 15"|
|Noise (Low)||~27.8 dB|
|Energy Consumption||70 Watts|
|Clean Air Outlet||Top|
|Filter Life||Up to 12 Months|
As you’ll see in any of our reviews… evey machine has a few quirks. Let’s see what stands out in the 5500-2.
First off, in our opinion, the term “washable” isn’t really a good descriptor of the machine’s carbon filter. When WINIX advertises that you can wash thier carbon filter… they really mean that you can rinse of some of the dust (not odor and not VOCs). You can also vacuum the filter to remove dust. Whether you wash, rinse, or vacuum the filter it doesn’t last forever. WINIX recommends replacing it every 12 months (with a “wash” every three).
The next quirk we have to mention involves the fan speeds. They’re not linear. From one to two to three is pretty evenly spaced… but the fourth fan speed is a pretty huge jump.
Third, we’re still not 100 percent sold on any ion generator. This purifier is certified by a number of governing bodies, but we still err on the side of caution. The good news, in our opinion, is that WINIX allow you to turn off the feature and use it as a standard, yet effective, purifier.
Finally, this is probably pretty common with all electronic devices but we think its kind of funny that WINIX recommends keeping the machine at least 12-18” away from your television. It only needs to be four inches away from a wall, cabinetry, or furniture. But, if you have the urge to put this next to you fancy OLED television – don’t under any circumstance let it get too close. You should also keep it out of direct sunlight or it won’t function properly… sort of like a vampire.
About The Filters
The Filtration system in the WINIX is a pretty standard setup save for the trademarked PlasmaWave® Technology. But, the filters you’ll receive with this unit are actually pretty impressive. They’re a good size and are pretty affordable. In most settings the carbon filter and HEPA element will last about 12 months. And, at that replacement interval it will take years to spend more on filters than the machine itself.
In the WINIX marketing material they advertise three stage filtration but we’d probably disagree and say that the machine has four stages of filtration; even though we’d only use three of them.
Here’s what you get… filter-wise.
1. Pre-filter. WINIX provides a pretty standard fare pre-filter. But, don’t mistake that statement for us saying it’s not important. A pre-filter is all but completely essential. WINIX recommends that you vacuum this component every 14 days, and it should never need to be replaced.
2. Activated Carbon Filter. The WINIX carbon filter uses granular pellet shaped pieces of activated carbon. These are suspended in the inbound airstream with a diamond shaped grid. Is it the best setup… probably not. But it should work pretty well at capturing VOCs and Odor. We typically prefer the woven carbon elements you’ll find in other purifiers… but at the end of the day all that really matters is that it has a good amount of activated carbon.
3. True HEPA filter. HEPA is an absolute must have for smaller particle mechanical filtration. If you’re just trying to reduce dust and pet dander… it’s not necessary. However, we highly recommend getting a HEPA filter because it will remove so much more and keep the air in your home or office as clean as possible. The included filter is a good size for the price.
4. WINIX PlasmaWave® Technology. A lot of people swear by this feature… we’re not entirely in love with the idea. On paper it sounds great but at the end of the day we’d be more than happy with the three previous filters in the same machine.
Replacement filters come in a kit and include both the HEPA filter and the activated carbon filter element. They’re priced well below one hundred dollars and are actually one of the more common air purifier filters. We’ve even seen them at Costco.
Replacing the filters (once ever 12 months or so) is really straight forward. Remove the front panel, pull out the three filter elements. Then toss the HEPA and Carbon filters in the trash. To install new ones you first place the HEPA element into the machine. Next comes the activated carbon filter, followed by the pre filter. Finally, replace the front panel and reset the filter change indicator.
Ideal Room Size and Use
The WINIX 5500-2 is sized for rooms as large as 360 square feet (about 33 and a half square meters). It’s not for huge rooms like an open concept kitchen / family room. But, it is sized right for bedrooms, standard offices, and play rooms. We probably wouldn’t use it in a bathroom unless you have a really spacious one. But at the end of the day 360 SF is a good size for a purifier at this price point.
Is the WINIX 5500-2 better looking than the 5500? Slightly. Is it the best looking machine you can buy? Not even close. But the good news is that it doesn’t look dated, cheaply built, or out of place. Plus, if you live in a high end loft or modern home you probably have the disposable income to buy a better looking (and performing machine) anyway.
Value and Performance
While the WINIX 550-2 isn’t a standout in any category… it is an excellent value. This machine provides great quality and filtration for the money. It isn’t dated from a tech perspective and it isn’t one of the machines that try to kill your bank account with frequent filter changes. It’s a great buy… and we would never hesitate to give this machine a recommendation when asked.
WINIX 5500-2 Warranty and Support
The product warranty is a standard one year from date of purchase warranty. That’s not the best in the business… but the purifier is pretty affordable so it’s not like you’ll be out a ton of money if the purifier breaks in five years.
We haven’t heard or read of any poor customer support experiences. And if you buy through a reputable retailer like Amazon, Costco, etc. you’ll be covered. Questions appear to be quickly answered online and WINIX doesn’t have a bad rap when it comes to phone support.
This is a good purifier at a good price. The filters last for a pretty long time compared to other units on the market. Plus the filters are pretty affordable when it does come time to swap them out for a new set.
The other thing we like about the filters is that they’re large enough to work well but are small enough to not take up too much space in your trash or local landfill.
Overall we really like this machine and are very happy to see that WINIX made an update to an already super popular and effective purifier.