This article is dedicated to the comprehensive air purifying creation which is the Winix WAC9500. This reasonably high-end air purifier has a lot of features and technology to explore, as well as some pros and cons experienced by users.

What kind of filtration does the WInix Wac9500 Air Purifier use? What’s the deal with PlasmaWave? Is it safe? How well does the Winix Wac9500 deal with pet hair and dust? Are the filters expensive to replace? How does it compare with other popular air purifiers?

What Interesting About The Winix Wac9500?

The look: to me, the Winix Wac9500 kind of looks like a mini fridge. It has a silver outer construction and a large, rectangular shape. It’s not really the most attractive machine compared to sleeker models out there from other brands such as GermGuardian. However, it’s not fair to judge it by its looks; if it performs exceptionally then I think we can forgive a clunky aesthetic…but that’s yet to be determined. 

The filters: the filtration system is pretty thorough. It has a true-HEPA filter, a washable carbon filter for odors, a washable pre-filter for catching large particles such as pet hair. The pre-filter has been treated with the CleanCel Antibacterial treatment to stop bacteria from growing.  And finally, it has PlasmaWave technology, a method of neutralizing pollutants, bacteria, and odors in the air by releasing hydroxyls (an oxidant).

It is marketed as producing “no harmful ozone”, but it does produce a small amount. It is marketed as “no ozone” because it produces a small enough amount to get past regulations. If you’re concerned about the Plasmawave/ozone issue, you can simply switch the Plasmawave feature off. 

The tech features: the control panel and display on the Winix 9500 is pretty full and flashy. One of the key features is the Smart Sensor which assesses the air at all times and adjusts the fan speed accordingly. I.e. if the air is clean, the fan speed will be on low, but when allergens or pollutants are detected, the fan speed will be adjusted to higher/faster speeds.

This feature is activated by the “auto” mode, otherwise you can manually change the fan speeds. There is also a “sleep” mode which dims the control panel lights and switches the fan speed to the lowest setting for quietness.

What do other customers and reviews say?

At first glance, the customer reviews for the Winix wac9500 are very promising indeed. 74% of the votes are in the 5-star section, with a tiny 5% in the 1-star section. These numbers are a relief as the price isn’t exactly a pittance.  

Positive:

Reduces pet hair and dust: lots of happy reviewers have raved about the reduction in household dust and visible pet hair since using the 9500. Some have said their dusting and vacuuming requirements have heavily reduced, and their home is generally cleaner and less inundated with wandering pet hair. 

Reduces allergy symptoms: so many customers have written reviews explaining how their pet-related stuffiness, sniffles, and sneezing have been greatly reduced since installing this air purifier. They’ve experienced clearer eyes, more restful sleep, and less odor. Sounds pretty good to me.

Quiet on most settings: the quietness of the 9500 has been praised many times over, with customers noting that it’s quiet enough to be totally discreet at night. The “turbo” mode is a little more audible but still pretty quiet. 

Negative:

Winix wac9500 keeps turning off: a few customers who left low-star reviews have found that their winix wac9500 keeps turning off randomly, much to their understandable annoyance. 

Expensive filter replacements: the filter replacements are a sore point for some customers, as they are pretty expensive, running well over $100 on the Winix website (currently out of stock). You cannot purchase individual filter replacements (i.e. a spare HEPA), you have to get the whole cassette and replace everything in one go every year. 

What are the technical specifications?

General

Recommended Room Area 283 square feet
Clean Air Delivery Rate? (CADR) Pollen 194, dust 182, tobacco 183
Special Features/Settings
  • Air quality sensors to asses the air and change fan speed accordingly
  • Low, medium, high, and turbo fan speeds
  • Remote control
  • Timer
  • Sleep mode
  • Plasmawave on/off button
Filter Type True HEPA, pre-filter with CleanCel Antibacterial treatment, carbon filter, plasmawave technology
Energy Usage Energy Star qualified
Color White and silver
Noise Level (Db) Very quiet on lower speeds, slightly audible on Turbo speed

Dimensions and weight

Size 16.5 x 9.9 x 21.9 inches
Weight 24.3 pounds

How do you use it?

It’s an easy machine to run once you figure out all of the different buttons and display symbols.

A brief rundown on how to use the Winix wac9500:

  • Find a spot for it at least 7-feet away from TVs and radios (electric waves can mess with the air quality indicator function)
  • Make sure the unit is on a steady, flat surface with plenty of clear room around all sides
  • Take the front panel off the unit and remove the filter cassette, remove all plastic wrappings from the filters
  • Pop the filter cassette and front panel back in place, plug the unit in, and turn it on
  • To use the timer: press the timer button until you get to the unit of time you want, out of a choice of 1, 4, and 8 hours
  • Use the “function” button to select the mode or fan speed you want, i.e. “auto” mode or “turbo” speed
  • The symbols on the display panel are easy to decipher, they basically tell you the quality of the air, the fan speed in use, the mode in use etc.
  • Wash the pre-filer and carbon filter every 3 months, and when the “change filter” indicator lights up each year, change the entire cassette

How do you clean it? How do you wash the front filter?

The cleaning requirements are pretty minimal. The outer unit can be simply wiped down with a damp cloth to remove gathered dust. The front/pre-filter and carbon filter are both washable. To wash them: vacuum the filters to remove the bulk of the gathered dust. Rinse the filters out with plain, warm water, wring and leave to dry for at least 48 hours before popping back into the cassette. 

How Does It  Compare to other models?

Winix wac9500 vs wac5500

  • The wac5500 is best for rooms up to 350 square feet, the 9500 is for rooms up to 283 square feet
  • Both models have true-HEPA, carbon, and Plasmawave filtration
  • The 5500 doesn’t have Cleancel treatment, the 9500 does
  • Both models have an auto mode with a smart sensor which assesses the air quality
  • They both have a feature which dims the lights when darkness is detected
  • NOTE: the 5500 model has been discontinued and has been replaced by the 5500-2

Bottom Line

The 5500 has been discontinued so it’s no longer an option. But check out the comparison with its replacement, the 5500-2 below.

Winix wac9500 vs 5500-2

  • The 5500-2 is best for rooms up to 360 square feet, the 9500 is for rooms up to 283 square feet
  • The 5500-2 is cheaper than the 9500
  • Both models have true-HEPA, carbon, and Plasmawave filtration
  • The 5500-2 doesn’t have Cleancel treatment, the 9500 does
  • The 5500-2 is black, with a tidier, more modern display panel than the 9500
  • Both models have a timer with 1, 4 and 8 hour options
  • Both models have a clean filter signal
  • Both models have remote controls
  • Both models have an air quality indicator and an auto mode
  • The 5500-2 uses the H replacement filter pack, the 9500 uses the B filter replacement pack which is more expensive than the H pack

Bottom Line

I think the 5500-2 is nicer looking and it’s cheaper than the 9500. It doesn’t have the CleanCel treatment, but it has all of the other cool features.

Winix wac9500 vs 6300

  • The 6300 got the boot and was replaced by the 6300-2, but you can still buy the 6300 in some places
  • The 6300 is cheaper than the 9500
  • The 6300 has a larger recommended room area of 350 square feet, the 9500’s RRA is 283 square feet
  • The 6300 doesn’t have a timer, the 9500 does
  • The 6300 doesn’t have the CleanCel treatment on the pre-filter which the 9500 has
  • Both models have 4 fan speeds, auto mode, sleep mode, a remote control, air quality indicators
  • The 6300 has a carbon pre-filter and an HEPA filter, the 9500 has a CleanCel pre-filter, carbon filter, and HEPA filter
  • Both models have Plasmawave technology

Bottom Line

The 6300 has been discontinued so it would pay to choose the 9500 as you’ll be able to get replacement parts far more easily. The 9500 also has the added benefit of the CleanCel treatment.

Winix wac9500 vs fellowes ap-300ph (both made by Winix)

  • Very similar in aesthetic: both square, large, silver, with almost identical control panels and displays. That’s because Fellowes air purifiers are manufactured by Winix
  • The Fellowes ap-300ph is best for rooms up to 300 square feet, the 9500 is for rooms up to 283 square feet
  • The Fellowes ap-300ph has an HEPA filter, and a carbon filter with antimicrobial treatment. The 9500 has a separate pre-filter carbon filter, and the PRE-filter has the antimicrobial treatment
  • Both models have Plasmawave technology (renamed as PlasmaTrue with fellowes air purifiers)
  • The 9500 has one cassette to replace all filters, the ap-300ph has separate replacement HEPA and carbon filters
  • The Fellowes ap-300ph is cheaper than the 9500, and the replacement filters are cheaper per year as well
  • Both models have an “auto mode”, an air quality indicator, manual fan speeds, and a filter change indicator
  • The Fellowes ap-300ph doesn’t have a timer feature, the 9500 does

Bottom Line

Interesting question considering they’re so similar and have been made by the same company. The Fellowes is cheaper and has cheaper filter replacements. Apart from that, they’re very similar in function.

Winix wac9500 vs germguardian ac4825

  • Very different aesthetics: the GG ac4825 is slim, tall, and with a black, silver and blue color scheme
  • The GG ac4825 has an HEPA filter, carbon filter, and UV-light (the Winix has PlasmaWave and an antimicrobial treated pre-filter)
  • The GG ac4825 is best for rooms up to 167 square feet, the 9500 is for rooms up to 283 square feet
  • The GG ac4825 is cheaper than the Winix 9500
  • The GG ac4825 has 3 speeds, the Winix 9500 has 4
  • The GG ac4825 doesn’t have an auto mode or an air quality indicator, both of which the 9500 has
  • The GG ac4825 filters (one combination filter which includes HEPA and charcoal) should be changed every 6 months, the filter replacements are cheaper per year than the 9500 replacements

Bottom Line

It depends on the size of the room you are purifying. For small rooms, go for the germguardian ac4825 as it is cheaper and nicer looking. You can get a 2-pack deal on the germguardian ac4825 so you could put one in a bedroom and one in a living room (for example). 

Winix wac9500 vs Germguardian ac5250pt

  • The GG ac5250pt is for rooms up to 180 square feet, the 9500 is for rooms up to 283 square feet
  • Both models are designed especially for homes with pets and both have anti-bacterial treatments for killing bacteria (GermGuardian has PetPure, Winix has CleanCel)
  • The GG ac5250pt has an optional UV-C light, the 9500 has an optional PlasmaWave, both of which produce small amounts of ozone
  • Both models have an HEPA filter and a charcoal filter for odors
  • The GG ac5250pt has 5 fan speeds, the Winix 9500 has 4
  • The GG ac5250pt is much smaller than the Winix 9500, and has a different color scheme. The GG is tall, slim, with black, silver and blue colors. The Winix 9500 is large, square, and silver
  • The GG ac5250pt doesn’t have air quality indicator, the Winix 9500 does
  • The GG ac5250pt is cheaper and the filter replacements are cheaper per year
  • Both models have a timer

Bottom Line

It depends what recommended room size rating you require, and the extent of your budget. Personally, I think the GermGuardian is the better option in terms of price and aesthetics, and it has great filtration features.

Winix wac9500 vs Oransi Max

  • The Oransi Max is suitable for rooms up to 600 square feet, the Winix 9500 is for rooms up to 283 square feet
  • The Oransi Max is similar in shape and size to the Winix 9500, they’re both large and square
  • The Oransi Max is white with a black panel and discreeter controls and displays than the Winix 9500
  • Both models have an air quality indicator
  • Both models have a “auto” mode which works in conjunction with the air quality indicator
  • The Oransi Max has 4 filtration stages: pre-filter, HEPA, carbon and anion. The Winix 9500 has 5: pre-filter, CleanCel treatment, carbon filter, HEPA filter, and PlasmaWave
  • Anion is an ionizer which can be turned off (like PlasmaWave)
  • Both models have a filter replacement indicator
  • Both models have 4 fan speeds
  • The Oransi is more expensive than the Winix 9500

Bottom Line

The Oransi Max is more expensive than the Winix 9500, but it caters to almost double the room size. It has a fresher aesthetic with a white outer shell. The filtration systems are similar between the two, but the Oransi doesn’t have anti-bacterial treatment.

Winix wac9500 vs Winix U300

  • The u300 has a shiny white exterior as opposed to the silver of the 9500
  • The u300 has a control panel on the top of the unit as opposed to the front face like the 9500
  • The u300 is best for rooms up to 300 square feet, the 9500 is best for rooms up to 283 square feet
  • Both models have the same 5-stage filtration system: pre-filter with CleanCel treatment, carbon filter, HEPA filter, and PlasmaWave
  • Both models have an air quality indicator, auto mode, sleep mode, remote control, 4 fan speeds, and a light sensor
  • The u300 is very, very slightly cheaper than the 9500
  • Both the u300 and the 9500 use the same filter replacement cassette (Filter B)

Bottom Line

I’d go for the u300 for its updated, modern design. It’s basically the same as the 9500, with the same filters, same tech features, same filter replacement requirements. The only difference is the recommended room size (and it’s only a 17 square feet difference at that).

Winix wac9500 vs Winix u450

Note: The WInix u450 is exactly the same as the u300 (above) except that it is designed for rooms up to 450 square feet

  • The u450 has a shiny white exterior as opposed to the silver of the 9500
  • The u450 has a control panel on the top of the unit as opposed to the front face like the 9500
  • Both models have the same 5-stage filtration system: pre-filter with CleanCel treatment, carbon filter, HEPA filter, and PlasmaWave
  • Both models have an air quality indicator, auto mode, sleep mode, remote control, 4 fan speeds, and a light sensor
  • The u450 is more expensive than the 9500 due to the larger room recommendation
  • The u450 uses the Filter F replacement cassette, the 9500 uses replacement B

Bottom Line

If you have a very large room, the u450 would be ideal. In terms of technology and features, you’re getting the same regardless of whether you choose the u540 or the 9500. Let the price, room size, and aesthetic preference help you to make the choice.

What is the cost of replacement filters and where to get them?

You can find the Winix wac9500 replacement cassette on Amazon. The price is pretty hefty, but it will last you for one year. The cassette includes all of the filters for the wac9500: pre-filter, true-HEPA filter, and the carbon filter. The pre-filter and carbon filter can be washed and reused every few months, and the true-HEPA must be replaced each year.

Note: do be aware that the replacement filter A pack is too big for the 9500. A few customers have purchased it only to find it doesn’t fit. Stick to the wac9500 cassette which is the Winix 114190 Replacement Filter B. 

How often do filters need to be changed and can’t they just be cleaned?

It’s a mixed bag. Some filters can be washed, others must be replaced and cannot be washed.

The pre-filter and charcoal filter can be washed and reused when needed, but the HEPA filter must be replaced.

  • The pre-filter and charcoal filter must be washed every 3 months
  • The true-HEPA filter must be replaced every year
  • You need to buy the whole filter cassette and replace the whole thing yearly (as opposed to switching out individual filters at different times)

Are there other replacement parts, where do I buy them?

No, the only parts you can purchase are the filters. If you have a faulty part or need to find a replacement for something, contact the manufacturers directly.

How loud is it?

Word on the street (or, the review sections) is that the wac9500 is very quiet on the sleep mode, low speed, and medium speed, but a little more audible on the high speed. Turbo speed has been described as a fan-like sound.

In short – it should be completely fine for most people, unless you have an extreme sensitivity to background noise.

What’s the warranty?

1-year limited warranty

Can I buy it from other retailers such as Costco, Sears, Best Buy or Bed Bath and Beyond?

  • Costco: no sign of the wac9500 as of now, they only have the C555 and the C535 models
  • Sears: yup, they have the wac9500 currently, and as of now, it’s on sale
  • Best Buy: not as of now
  • Bed Bath & Beyond: no trace of the wac9500 as of now, but they do have four other Winix models

What’s The Best Price For The Winix Wac9500 and where can I buy it?

Amazon often has great discounts and sales on the Winix Wac9500, so keep checking in to get the best price. Check out Sears as well, at the time of writing, they have the wac9500 on sale.

Verdict: Is This air purifier For You?

The Winix Wac9500 is a great air purifier with a comprehensive filtration system and some pretty cool features. The smart sensors keep you informed of the quality of the air in your home and if you want, you can let the air purifier take care of it for you by using the “auto” mode. It’s not the prettiest or sleekest air purifier on the market, so you might want to keep looking if aesthetics are important to you.

It’s reasonably expensive, and the filter replacements hike the cost up too, so you’ll need a reasonably high budget. Do take note that it has Plasmawave which emits small amounts of ozone. This has been deemed legally safe, and the feature can be switched off, but it’s good to know what you’re getting.

Good luck with your selection!

Click Here to See the Winix Wac9500 air purifier on Amazon