Air purifiers come in all different shapes and sizes with varying capacities and smart features. But of all the models we’ve tried, there aren’t very many that are on the same level as the Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier. This South Korean company is arguably the most well-known manufacturer of air purifiers, humidifiers, and dehumidifiers, so there’s really no point in doubting the quality of any of their products. But even by Winix’s high standards, the 5500-2 is practically in a league of its own.
3-Stage Filtration, including a True HEPA Filter
The Winix 5500-2 uses the standard 3-stage filtration system that’s found in their 5000 and FresHome series. Air and pollutants sucked into the machine pass through three different filtration stages: an Advanced Odor Control (AOC) Carbon Pre-Filter, the True HEPA Filter, and PlasmaWave Technology.
The AOC Carbon Pre-Filter reduces household odors like cooking and food smells, pet stench, and tobacco smoke. It’s made of woven carbon fibers that absorb smells, pushing now-odorless air onto the next filter.
Any good air purifier model should come with a True HEPA Filter, as the 5500-2 does. True HEPA Filters can capture and retain particles as small as 0.3 microns in size with an effective rating or 99.97%. Only with True HEPA Filters can you ensure that your home’s air quality can return to more breathable levels.
PlasmaWave Technology is Winix’s proprietary electric oxidizing system that destroys any residual odor molecules, airborne allergens, and chemical vapors that make their way through the first two filtration stages. The result is fresh-scented, particle-free air that can safely be circulated in a room.
The only concern of electric oxidizing systems, including PlasmaWave technology, is ozone production. PlasmaWave Technology is CARB-certified, ensuring that any levels of ozone production of the 5500-2 (none according to Winix) is far below the tolerable threshold.
360-square-foot Coverage Area
The 5500-2 is not the largest air purifier, and thus should not be the sole air purifier in large rooms or entire apartments. The 5500-2 is designed to move and filter the air of 360-square-foot rooms at max. This should more than cover kitchens, bedrooms, office units, garage workshops, and any other single rooms at home.
Built-in Air-Quality Sensors with Auto and Sleep Modes
Even though the 5500-2 is certified by Energy Star, running it for longer than necessary can eventually add up to costly electricity bills. Thankfully, the 5500-2 has a built-in air-quality sensor that constantly monitors how polluted the air of a room is. As it detects the presence of airborne pollutants, the 5500-2’s motor will kick into high gear, sucking up and cleaning more air.
The 5500-2 has four different fan speeds presets, but with Auto-Mode engaged, it’ll automatically select a fan speed to efficiently reduce indoor pollution. At nighttime, to get a good night’s sleep, switch the 5500-2 from Auto to Sleep Mode for noise-free operations.
Reliable Filter Replacement Indicator
The Winix 5500-2 comes with an onboard Filter Replacement Indicator that shines a bright LED light when the True HEPA Filter needs to be replaced. The lifespan of this filter is roughly 12 months, but it depends entirely on how dirty the air is and which fan speed preset is most commonly used.
The best thing about this indicator is its accuracy in determining when the HEPA filter needs to be swapped out for a fresh one. When it turns on, you’ll know that the usefulness of the filter has expired; unlike many other models where you can squeeze another month’s worth of life even after their indicator has flashed.
Winix 5500-2 vs. Hathaspace
Remember how we said the Winix 5500-2 was “practically in a league of its own?” Well, the Hathaspac 6-in-1 Air Purifier is also a part of that league. Let’s take a side-by-side look at the two.
The Hathaspac uses a 6-stage filtration process to eliminate airborne pollutants in a room. In order, in suctioned air passes through a Nano-Cold Catalyst Filter, an Activated Carbon Filter (non-reusable), an Antibacterial Filter, a True HEPA Filter, and finally an ionizer and UV Sterilizer kills any remaining bacteria and microorganisms by deconstructing their DNA build at the molecular level. The result is clean air with a fresh scent and noticeably less airborne pollutants – not at all different from the Winix 5500-2.
The ionizing feature produces an extremely low level of ozone (9 parts per billion) which is not at all harmful to humans and pets. Of course, if you so wish, you can always turn the ionizing feature off when you’re at home.
One minor difference between the Winix and Hathaspac is the latter’s smaller maximum area coverage. Rated at 350 square feet, the Hathaspac is still a viable air purifier for bedrooms, kitchens, office units, and any single room in homes and apartments.
The Hathspac also has an auto-clean mode where smart sensor instructs the air purifier to deliver spin the intake fan at one of three available speeds. There’s also a sleep function that spins the fan at a low, noiseless speed as to not disturb the user’s sleep.
Overall, there’s nothing too different between the Winix 5500-2 and the Hathaspac. If your home could benefit from the WInix, then the Hathaspac could be an even replacement and perform just as well.
Winix 5500-2 vs. GermGuardian AC4825
GermGuardian is a popular manufacturer of indoor air cleaning appliances whose products include UV air sanitizers and humidifiers as well as air purifiers. Of all the air purifiers we’re comparing against the Winix 5500-2, the AC4825 is the simplest.
But simplicity should not be mistaken for low-quality. The AC4825 is probably the most appropriate air purifier to place in smaller rooms. Its coverage capacity is limited to only 167 square feet, meaning that it will not work as well in kitchens and office units. However, when used in bedrooms, it’ll provide a sufficient amount of cleaning power without overkill.
Like the Winix 5500-2, the AC4825 cleans the air using a 3-stage filtration process, starting with a carbon pre-filter, a True HEPA Filter, and finally, a germicidal UV-C beam that destroys bacteria and viruses at their core. The absence of an ionizer (no ozone production) makes it the safest air purifier to use is smaller spaces. The carbon filter and True HEPA Filter have an estimated lifespan of up to 8 months, whereas the UV-C bulb needs to be replaced every 10-12 months.
The GermGuardian AC4825 is convenience features that add to the user’s experience. Firstly, there are no smart sensors around the unit – thus no Auto-Mode – so users will have to manually choose between one of the three fan speed presets. There’s no sleep mode which further drops the noise production of the air purifier, but on its lowest fan speed setting, it is almost as quiet as the Winix 5500-2 on sleep mode.
Winix 5500-2 vs. Winix HR900
The final section of this article is pitting the Winix 5500-2 head-to-head with another Winix model – the HR900 for 300-square-foot rooms. Winix caters to several demographics, including pet owners. The HR900 is designed specifically to purify the hearts of dog and cat owners around the world.
The 5500-2 is great at eliminating pet odors and dander, but the HR900 takes it a step further. It uses a 5-stage filtration process that ends with a True HEPA Filter (99.97% effectiveness) and PlasmaWave Technology. The first three stages in order are an Ultimate Pet Pre-Filter, an Advanced Odor Control Carbon Filter, and a Washable Foam Pre-Filter.
The initial filters are all washable and have a lifespan of up to 12 months. Their main jobs are to trap odor molecules, pet dander, dust mites, and pet hair before they have a chance to clog the HEPA filter. This results in a longer-lasting HEPA filter that, though rated at 12-month usage, can go far beyond that with regular washing of the first three pre-filters every three months.
Like with every modern Winix air purifier, the HR900 is designed with smart sensors that constantly check on the air quality in a room. When it detects abnormally high levels of air pollutants, the air purifier will kick into gear on one of the four preset fan speeds. On sleep mode, the HR900 produces a soft purr that’s hardly noticeable.
Between the Winix 5500-2 and the HR900, we’d say that the former is a general-purpose air purifier that works well for homes with or without pets. The HR900 is better-suited for homes and apartments of pet owners with the inclusion of three odor-, hair, and dander-trapping pre-filters.