>>> UPDATE 12/7: We just published a list of air purifier deals we found for the holidays this year. Worth checking out before you make a purchase.
Choosing an air purifier is risky business. You might get one that is perfectly fine, but it just doesn’t suit your needs. It might be too loud, too big, not odor-reducing enough, too brightly-lit, not lit enough. The list goes on. Above all, an air purifier must make the air cleaner, fresher, and free (or close enough) of harmful allergens.
So, you’re considering the Winix 5300-2 and you want to know everything there is to know about it before you complete the deal. You’re in luck, as I’ve taken a close look at this model to figure out what’s good, what’s bad, what’s curious and most of all, whether or not it’s worth your money.
Just a bit of context, the Winix 5300-2 has taken the place of the original 3500 model. What kind of filtration does it use? Does it remove odors? Is it any good for reducing allergy symptoms? Is it quiet enough? Are there any extra costs to trip you up?
All the answers are here.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
What’s interesting about the Winix plasmawave 5300-2?
The Winix 5300-2 is a rectangular air purifier with a grey and black exterior. The control panel sits neatly along the top and has clearly-marked buttons so you know what you’re doing. Compared to other air purifiers (i.e. many Honeywell models) this one is larger and wider, as opposed to a tower-style construction. But that’s only the superficial stuff…what does it do and why is it interesting?
First, let’s look at the auto-adjusting fan and air-quality smart sensor. You can choose the “auto” mode which means the air purifier will switch the fan speeds for you, depending on the air quality. You see, there’s a “smart sensor” which senses and determines the quality of the air.
There are 4 fan speeds: low, medium, high and turbo. You do have the option to manually select which speed you like.
Speaking of the air-quality smart sensor, how do you know what state the air is in? Well, there is an LED light panel which has 3 possible colours: blue (good), amber (fair) and red (bad) according to the air quality. This gives you an idea of the condition of the air around you, and provides more context to help you choose which fan speed to use.
The ozone issue: like most Winix air purifiers, this one has the PlasmaWave technology. While the marketing states that “no harmful ozone” is produced, this actually means that some may be produced, but it falls well within the CARB standards for air safety. It’s important to know this, as asthmatics should be aware of any ozone in their home environment. While the amount of ozone may be tiny, it could build up over time, causing issues. It’s up to you whether or not you are comfortable with this. You can always switch off the PlasmaWave and avoid the issue all together.
What do other customers and reviews say?
The positive reviews take out a hefty 85% of the review section (71% in the 5-star section and 13% in the 4-star section). The 1 and 2-star review sections only have 5% each, which is hopeful. Now that we know where the votes lie, let’s figure out why they were awarded that way.
Removes odors: a huge number of customers have commented saying that various odors have been removed from their home since using this machine. Many of these customers mention that they (or someone they live with) smoke inside, and the strong tobacco/smoke smell has drastically reduced. This is great news for people living in old, musty or pet-occupied homes.
Very quiet: a very common comment is that this air purifier is very quiet on fan speeds 1, 2 and 3. Happy customers have been overjoyed at the quietness of the lower settings and have found the “sleep” mode pretty much silent for night time. The “turbo” setting is loud (comparatively), but that can be expected, and it’s only for short bouts of cleaning anyway.
Reduces allergy symptoms: the most impressive comment in the positive review section is that this air purifier really improves allergy symptoms. Tales of abated nose bleeds, reduced sneezing and eradicated breathing issues are dotted throughout the 4 and 5-star section.
Replacement filters are expensive: a few customers were unpleasantly surprised to learn the cost of the replacement filters. A one-year supply of filters is just too steep for some people. I’m not sure if they weren’t aware of the costs before they purchased the machine, or that they found they needed to replace the filters more often than they had assumed.
Plays a tune when switched on: a surprising comment nestled into the negative review section refers to a “tune” the machine plays each time it is turned on. This feature has proven to be very irritating for some people, and they wish they could disable the feature. I don’t think it’s a big deal, but I wanted to warn you, in case you find appliances with musical features obnoxious.
Lights are irritating: this machine has a light sensor feature which adjusts the control panel lights according to how much brightness is needed. However, some people have found that the lights on the control panel are still too bright for their liking. The “sleep” mode does switch the smart-sensor light off, but that’s not helpful if you want zero illumination when using the other modes too.
What are the technical specifications?
|Recommended Room Area||360 square feet|
|Clean Air Delivery Rate||dust – 243, pollen – 246, smoke – 232|
|Special Features/Settings:||The setting buttons are laid-out in a straight line along the control panel with corresponding labels and symbols. It might look a little complicated compared to simpler air purifiers, but it’s pretty easy. Here’s a quick rundown of each button so there’s no surprises.
On/off button: yup, this button turns the machine on and off. When you first turn the unit on, it will set the mode to “auto”.
Air quality indicator: so, this is not a button, it is a strip of light along the bottom-centre of the control panel. While the machine is running, it senses the quality of the air and changes colour accordingly. When it’s blue, the air quality is good, when it’s amber…the air is fair, and when it’s red, the air is bad.
You only really need to take notice of this if you are manually changing the fan speed. If the strip is red? Use the highest fan speed, if it’s blue? Use the lowest.
Mode button: above this button is the word “auto” and a moon symbol to indicate “sleep”. “Auto” mode is when the fan speeds change on their own, according to the air quality. “Sleep” mode switches the fan to “low” for extra quietness, and it turns off the air quality sensor light.
PlasmaWave button: use this button to turn the PlasmaWave on or off. PlasmaWave works like a filter to decompose odors and allergens.
Fan speed button: use this button when you want to manually select your desired fan speed. The options are 1, 2 ,3 and 4 (turbo).
Timer: above the timer button there are 3 LED lights labelled 1hr, 4hr and 8hr. This simply means that the unit will run for the selected amount of time before shutting off. You don’t need to use this feature, but you do have the option.
Check-filter and reset: the little symbol with a square and 2 arrows labelled “check filter” tells you when you need to replace the HEPA filter. When it lights up, take the filter out and throw in a new one.
This light is not for the carbon filter, it’s only for the HEPA filter. After you have dealt with the filters, you have to reset the check-filter button by pressing a tiny object onto the button and holding down for 5 seconds until the light turns off. (Paper clips are great for this task).
Light sensor: the white circle at the far end of the control panel is the light sensor. It judges the amount of light in the room and adjust the LED sensor lights accordingly.
Smart sensor/air quality indicator: the little cluster of holes next to the light sensor is the smart sensor which detects the level of odors in the air and judges the air quality. This is what tells the air quality sensor light to illuminate with a blue, amber or red light.
|Filter Type||this air purifier has 3-stage filtration. The 3 stages are:
1 – carbon filter for odors
2 – true HEPA filter
3 – PlasmaWave Technology breaks down odors and allergens
|Energy Usage||70 Watts, Energy Star Certified|
|Color||grey, with a shiny black control panel|
|Noise level||26 – 55 decibels|
Dimensions and weight
|Size||15.0 x 8.2 x 23.6 inches|
How do you use it?
Even though the control panel may come across as a little crowded and confusing, it’s actually an easy air purifier to use.
First, you must find a good place to set up your air purifier. The surface must be hard and flat, and there must not be any electrical appliances within 12-18 inches of the unit. Try to find a reasonably-shady place without a lot of sunlight streaming through.
Before you plug the unit in, make sure all of the filters have been unwrapped and all plastic wrapping has been removed. Slot the filters into place (keep the manual handy for extra help with this). Now, plug the unit in, turn it on and have a play with the control panel to get acquainted with the functions.
Use the auto mode, the sleep mode and the manual mode to see which suits you best.
Change the carbon filter every 3 months, change the HEPA filter once a year, and give that permanent pre-filter a good once-over with the vacuum cleaner once a fortnight.
How do you clean it? Is it easy to clean?
The exterior of the unit is very easy to clean. Use a damp cloth, a dry microfibre cloth, or the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to get rid of settled dust.
Now for the filters. The pre-filter should be cleaned every 2 weeks with a vacuum cleaner or dry cloth to get rid of excess dust. This extends the efficiency of the other filters, so it’s a good idea to keep on top of this task.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your preference) the carbon pre-filter and true-HEPA filter cannot be cleaned or washed, they must be replaced.
How Does It Compare to other models?
Winix 5300-2 vs c535
These air purifiers are pretty much the same, but the c535 is white and it has a remote control.
Winix 5300-2 vs 6300-2
The 6300-2 caters to larger rooms, up to 400 square feet (the 5300-2 has a maximum of 360 square feet). With the 6300-2, you get 8 carbon pre-filters in the box. The 6300-2 has 4-stage filtration instead of 3 (it has a mesh pre-filter, carbon pre-filter, true-HEPA filter and PlasmaWave).
Winix 5300-2 vs 5300
The 5300-2 is the updated version of the 5300. The 5300 has a very different aesthetic (pale silver) and a different control panel set-up.
Winix 5300-2 vs 5500-2
These two are pretty similar, but the 5500-2 has a remote control, (the 5300-2 does not). The odor-reducing carbon filter used in the 5500-2 is washable (the one in the 5300-2 is not).
What is the cost of replacement filters and where to get them?
You can buy a one-year supply of replaceable filters from the Winix website for $79.99. In this pack, you get one true-HEPA filter and 4 carbon pre-filters.
How often do the filters need to be changed and can’t they just be cleaned?
The pre-filter is permanent and must be cleaned every fortnight with a dry cloth or vacuum cleaner. You can rinse it out with water, but only use water, don’t use any soaps or detergents.
The HEPA filter and the carbon pre-filter cannot be washed, and they must be replaced. The carbon pre-filter should be replaced every 3 months for the best performance, and the true HEPA filter must be replaced once a year.
Are there other replacement parts, where do I buy them?
No, you shouldn’t need to worry about replacing anything other than the filters.
How loud is it?
Specifically, this air purifier clocks in at 26 – 55 decibels. Fan speeds 1, 2 and 3 are quiet and have been praised for their sleep-friendliness. Fan speed 4 (turbo) is loud, but it should be fine if you only use it for short cleaning bursts. The “sleep” mode switches the fan speed to 1 for the quietest performance.
What’s the warranty?
Winix provides a 2-year warranty.
What’s The Best Price For The Winix 5300-2 and where can I buy it?
The best deal is usually found on Amazon although just make sure you check their listing on any given day since prices change very often.
Verdict: Is This Air Purifier For You?
If you’re looking for a very quiet air purifier which can reduce odors, help with allergy symptoms and has true-HEPA filtration, this could be it.
However, if you don’t need true-HEPA, or you need something very cost-effective with no need to buy extra filters, keep looking. Try the Honeywell HFD-120-Q, the filters are washable.