Winix PlasmaWave 5300 Review
- Filtering Capability:
- Value vs Price:
- Durability (+Filter replacement):
When it comes to affordable whole-home air purification, it doesn’t get much better than this model. Featuring an elegant and durable 3-step cleaning process, the PlasmaWave 5300 has quickly become one of our most recommended units. What exactly makes it so functional and versatile? The secret sauce is Winix’s Filter Series and PlasmaWave Technology combo. Collectively, they tackle airborne particles, allergens and a broad a array of pollutants in slightly different ways; read on for all the details:
As with a lot of air purifiers, stage 1 is a activated carbon pre-filter. Activated carbon is said to be “activated” because is contains millions of microscopic pores that literally absorb a myriad of household pollutants and odors. From your common dust and pollen to cigarette smoke, it’s a critical first phase in most purification efforts. As an additional perk, when it gets packed with debris, most pre-filters can easily be washed, dried and put back in the unit (most folks clean them every few months or so). Stage 2 includes a true HEPA filter. The HEPA traps all the smaller particles (bacteria, viruses, mold, etc) that get by the pre-filter. The PlasmWave 5300 comes with a HEPA filter that can remove up to 99.97% of impurities 0.3 micrometers (µm) in diameter. That gives it a HEPA class rating of H13 (pretty darn good for a model at this price). The 3rd and final PlasmaWave Technology stage is a bit more proprietary. It gently produces positive and negative ions, which in turn attract a larger category of bacteria/viruses and chemical vapors. Once trapped, the particle and ion combo form a cluster which eventually gets collected by either the carbon or HEPA filter. All told, an elegant process not often seen, even in units at double the price.
Overall, this unit’s assortment of features packs quite a punch. The bars below give its relative performance vs ALL other air filters (0 – 100% scale).
No fuss, no muss, this control panel is very intuitive and easy-to-use:
- Indicator light lets you know when it’s time to replace the carbon pre-filter.
- The PlasmaWave 5300 has 4 fan speed options, including a turbo (fastest/loudest rotation). Simply press the “Speed / Mode” button to toggle between each speed.
- By default, the unit ships in Automatic mode (vs Manual when the light is turned off). Auto (which is our preferred setting) adjusts the fan speed based on the “Air Quality” level. The lower the quality, the stronger the fan speed the system sets. Another nice perk of auto is the power savings as, on average, your fan will draw less current. “Sleep” mode dims the control panel lights and never exceeds the low fan setting (to keep the noise down).
- The Air Quality gauge lets you know how bad the air currently is. Low (green) denotes healthy and clear, while High (red) indicates poorer conditions. In Auto mode, this gauge dictates the speed of the fan. If you’re on manual, it’s a handy reference to determine how/when to adjust your settings.
- The internal sensor that feeds the Air Quality gauge.
- Toggles between the various speed and mode options.
- Power button 🙂
Pros and Cons
- Tons of value for the cost
- Established brand
- Multiple household applications
- Purifies one large room at a time
- Not practical for industrial use