Whether you realize it or not, the quality of your home’s indoor air is of great importance. Every time you open a window to let fresh air in, you’re also inviting airborne pollutants into the comfort of your home. Whenever you or a pet sneezes, the germs will go flying across the room, multiplying in numbers, waiting for their next victim to infect. To improve the quality of indoor air, you’ll need the help of an air purifier.
In this article, we’re going to compare two highly rated air purifiers – the 5500-2 from Winix and the AP-1512HH from Coway. Both of these models have been praised for their high-quality performance and sleek designs, so if you’re looking to pick either one of these up for your home or office, which should you get? Let’s find out together.
Winix 5500-2 and Coway AP-1512HH
Residential air purifiers are not designed to eliminate airborne pollutants and odors from an entire home. They’re made to certain specifications to handle a certain amount of area, though most models are made for single-room use only. Both the Winix and the Coway have a maximum coverage area of up to 360 square feet. This is more than enough for the standard kitchen, attic, bedroom, crawl space, and apartment.
Winix 5500-2 and Coway AP-1512HH
If you’re in the market for an air purifier, the most important consideration to make besides the coverage area is whether the appliance comes with HEPA-grade filters. HEPA filters trap 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. If you have pets, live with a smoker, or keep your windows open all day long, the only true way to eliminate every airborne pollutant is by using HEPA filters.
Luckily, both of these models come with HEPA-grade filters. But as is standard with most models, the HEPA filters installed in both of these models need to be replaced periodically. There’s no chance of washing and reusing them after they’ve become clogged with tiny particles.
Remote controls are a convenient way of giving commands to your air purifier. Not every air purifier can be controlled via a remote, so if you don’t feel like getting up to push buttons, then the Winix is for you. With the remote, you can turn the unit on and off and select which mode to activate.
Unfortunately, the Coway does not come with a remote control, nor is one sold separately. Your only hope of making use of this appliance is by getting up, walking to the unit as you groan and grumble, and push buttons as they did in the ancient times.
Conclusion: In our opinion, being able to control an air purifier via a remote is super-convenient but not exactly a must-have feature. The convenience of the remote really depends on where you place the appliance, how often you move it from room to room, and how frequent you misplace it. If the Winix’s remote is lost, you can use the buttons on the unit’s control panel.
Different air purifier models offer different filtration stages. The most common stages are pre-filter and the main filter – or in this case, HEPA filters.
The Winix offers three filtration stages. The first is Advanced Odor Control which uses a carbon filter to trap odors from pets, failed cooking attempts, and cigarette smoke. The second stage is the HEPA-grade filter (99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns). The final stage is Winix’s proprietary PlasmaWave Technology which, according to the manufacturer, works more efficiently than standard ionizers at breaking down pollutants.
The Coway goes beyond Winix’s 3-stage system by adding a filter between the pre-filter and the HEPA filter. The four stages in the Coway are a pre-filter for trapping large particles, an odor filter designed specifically to capture odor-causing particles, the HEPA filter (99.97%, 0.3 microns, yadayada), and a bipolar ionizer that breaks down airborne pollutants.
Conclusion: Even though four stages does sound better than three, we found on a practical level that these two appliances perform fairly equally at suctioning odors and minuscule airborne pollutants. The first two stages in the Coway (pre-filter and odor-trapping filter) work identically to the first stage of the Winix, so when comparing these two air purifiers, more filtration does not translate into better air quality.
Winix 5500-2 and Coway AP-1512HH
Even though the weight is probably the most prominent factor in determining whether an air purifier is portable or not, it’s not the only variable to consider. Other factors include the footprint and height of the air purifier.
In terms of weight, both the Winix and Coway weigh less than 20 pounds, so carrying them up or down a flight of stairs shouldn’t cause you to topple over. The Winix takes up 15 x 8 inches of floor space and measures about 23 inches tall. The Coway has a footprint of 17 x 10 inches and is roughly 18 inches tall.
By any standard, the Winix and the Coway can both be categorized as lightweight and portable. If you need to move your air purifier from room to room, then either of these units could be the portable solution you’re looking for.
Another feature that adds to the convenience of using an air purifier is its timer. By using this feature, you can set the unit to run continuously for a preset duration of time before it shuts off automatically. Unfortunately, the Winix doesn’t have this feature so you’ll need to babysit the unit after the indicator shows alerts you that your indoor air quality is perfect. Of course, you can use the remote control from a distance to turn on or shut the unit off so a timer would probably be redundant.
The remote-less Coway comes with a timer feature that runs for one, four, or eight hours. The time comes in handy when running the unit all night while you sleep. When you awake, the quality of your bedroom’s air should be within tolerable levels.
Conclusion: The timer feature is another “nice to have but not necessary” feature. It ultimately comes down to how often you use your air purifier and whether you want it to run while you’re away at work or asleep. In these cases, the timer with preset activation times would be ideal to have.
After comparing the two models, we can safely conclude that both the Winix 5500-2 and the Coway AP-1512HH Air Purifier have a lot of overlapping specs. First of all, they’re both designed to purify rooms as large as 360 square feet. Next, they’re both lightweight and don’t take a lot of floor or air space. Also, in terms of performance, the 3-stage Winix is practically identical to the 4-stage Coway, and they both use HEPA-grade filters.
When comparing their differences, in our humble opinion, the thing that puts the Winix 5500-2 slightly above the Coway is its remote control. This really does help increase the convenience and accessibility of using an air purifier or any other home appliance.