winix plasmawave review

How Did the Winix PlasmaWave Slip Through the Cracks? Review

If you do a casual search on Amazon for the broad subject “air purifiers” , you’ll quickly come across the Winix Plasmawave pretty fast. 

Winix PlasmaWave 5500-2

is the latest greatest air purifier by the company and it generally gets outstanding reviews.

Check the Price of the Winix Plasmawave 5500-2 on Amazon Here

The first thing you notice right off the bat is the fact that it says it creates no harmful ozone.

Now I know that there are air purifier companies that make ionic air purifiers that do not list any type of ozone production simply because the amount of ozone created is below the federal limit of .005 parts per million.

And if it is a negligible amount of ozone and it doesn’t cross over the Federal limit, then who am I to say that there needs to be a disclaimer.

But that’s not the case with the Winix PlasmaWave, It actually says it creates no HARMFUL ozone.

Plasma wave technology is one of the best air cleaning technologies available. But any type of technology that creates ions is going to create at least a small amount of ozone.

And it’s not like you can hide the smell of ozone either. It’s hard to say it doesn’t create ozone when you can smell it pretty easily.

And many of the reviews for the Winix PlasmaWave say they can smell ozone coming from the machine.

The keyword here is “harmful”. The Winix plasma wave advertises that it creates no harmful ozone.

It doesn’t say it doesn’t create any ozone at all. Just not a harmful amount. 

ozoning a house

I think it’s pretty obvious why, ozone is a word that strikes fear and so many people’s minds that having an air purifier that says it creates ozone is like signing a death warrant for it.

Is Plasmawave Technology Harmful?

PlasmaWave uses electricity to get rid of pollutants in the air. A process that generates both positive and negative ions. When it does this, a tiny bit of ozone is made. Ozone can be bad to breathe in large amounts. But PlasmaWave makes such a small amount of ozone that it is not dangerous.

The Food and Drug Administration says up to 50 parts of ozone per billion (ppb) of air is safe. PlasmaWave makes only 3 ppb. That is far below the safety limit.

So even though a tiny bit of ozone is made, the amount is negligible. The benefits of cleaner air outweigh the minuscule ozone produced. PlasmaWave air purifiers let you breathe cleaner air without worrying about harmful ozone levels.

Are Carbon Filters Washable?

The second thing about the Winix advertisement that is a little misleading is the fact that it says it has a washable carbon filter.

Activated carbon filters that are used in air purifiers have to go through the activation process in order for gases and odors to bind to them. The problem is that the activation process involves heating the filter to around 1000°.

Carbon filters are very much like a sponge with thousands of pores that adsorb gases and binding them to the walls of the pores.

Getting a Activated Carbon filter wet can:

  • Reduce Absorption: The activated carbon’s ability to absorb pollutants and odors will be significantly reduced or even eliminated. The water will clog the pores where the adsorption process happens.
  • Mold Growth: Wet conditions can foster mold and mildew growth within the filter, releasing harmful spores into the air you breathe.
  • Damage: The fabric or mesh casing might degrade or tear depending on the material and exposure to water.

Once the area of the carbon is used, it can only be replaced and washing it with soap and water will not reactivate it. 

The carbon filter in the Winix plasma wave is more like a container that has carbon granules in it. So it does lend itself to vacuuming and brushing any debris off of it.

But saying that it has a washable carbon filter is misleading.

Technically they can say these things, because like I said before, the amount of ozone being generated by the Winix is not enough to be dangerous or considered unsafe, nor does it cross over the federal limit. 

And though you cannot wash the carbon filter in the Winix with water, it can technically be vacuumed and brushed off.

So yes it comes down to semantics. But they are hardly the the only air purification manufacturers using advertising like this. I would venture to say that they’re are very few ionic air purifier salesmen freely giving up their ozone emissions.

Is Plasma Wave Effective?

But then again…There are very few competitors that can compete with the Winix PlasmaWave on Performance.

Winix PlasmaWave might have slipped through the cracks being that it is an electronic air purifier with ionic technology that somehow made it to the forefront and is sitting on the front row as one of the best air purifiers available.

Plasma Wave  technology stands out for several reasons:

  • Advanced Ionic Technology: Utilizes bipolar ionization to produce positive and negative ions. These ions actively seek and neutralize airborne pollutants such as viruses, bacteria, mold, and allergens.
  • Eco-Friendly Approach: Mimics natural air purification processes found in the Earth’s atmosphere, providing a chemical-free solution to air purification.
  • Effectiveness: Studies have demonstrated its capability to neutralize a variety of pollutants. However, its efficiency can be influenced by environmental factors and pollutant types.
  • Comparison with Other Methods: Unlike traditional HEPA filters and UV light purifiers, Plasma Wave technology requires less maintenance, as it doesn’t rely on filter replacements, making it a cost-effective option.
  • Research and Practicality: Ongoing research is essential to validate the practical effectiveness of Plasma Wave technology in various settings and ensure that its theoretical benefits translate into real-world improvements in air quality.”
    You can read more on Sciencedaily.



Personally, it is the Plasma Wave function that the controversy is all about, that would make me purchase this air purifier over the other top air purifiers like the Levoit or the Blue Air.

There are scores of air purifiers listed on Amazon alone. You can look on the Walmart app and see another huge list that is not on Amazon.

But they all have one thing in common, or should I say three?
They all use a three-stage filter that combines a pre-filter for large debris, a carbon filter for gases and odors, and a true HEPA filter for contaminants and particles floating in the air.

Winix uses the same 3 Filter set up as all the rest. But…

The plasma wave function of the Winx 5500-2 will actually eradicate bacteria and germs as well as viruses. 

Having the plasma wave option on an air purifier is the exact reason I would want to own an air purifier.

Yes I am aware that too much ozone can cause breathing difficulties in too high of quantities.

But I am prepared to turn the Winix plasma wave function on and leave the house if needed. I’m also ready to let the house air out if I were to need to.

And one of the biggest points is, the PlasmaWave function can be turned on and turned off whenever you want it or vice versa.

There’s one other thing that I like about the Winix PlasmaWave that most of the other top Air purifiers do not have.

The HEPA filter is completely separate from the carbon filter. 

Most every popular air purifier these days comes with a Hepa and carbon filter combined into one. And though I can see the convenience in it, the real truth is that I don’t always need or want both filters replaced at the same time.


What is the Winix air quality indicator?

The Winix air quality indicator is a light that shows the quality of air currently in your room.

What are the air quality indicator colors?

The air quality indicator colors on a Winx PlasmaWave are Blue, Amber, and Red. When the light is shining Blue, your air quality is good. When it is shining Amber, you have normal to Fair air quality. Red means poor air quality.

What does it mean when the Winix air quality indicator stays Blue?

Blue is the best you can do. It means your air quality is very good.

How often should I replace the filter in my Winix 5500-2?

The filters in the Winix 5500-2 should typically be replaced once a year. However, this can vary based on usage and air quality. Regularly check the filter condition and replace it if it appears heavily soiled or damaged.

Can the Winix 5500-2 purifier remove pet dander and allergens effectively?

Yes, the Winix 5500-2 is effective at removing pet dander and common allergens. Its HEPA filter captures 99.97% of airborne particles, including pet dander, pollen, and dust mites.

Is the Winix 5500-2 suitable for large rooms? What is its maximum coverage area?

The Winix 5500-2 is designed for medium to large rooms and can effectively purify the air in spaces up to 360 square feet.

Does the Winix 5500-2 feature a sleep mode for quieter operation at night?

Yes, the Winix 5500-2 has a sleep mode which reduces its operation noise for a quieter environment, making it ideal for night-time use in bedrooms.

How does the PlasmaWave technology in the Winix 5500-2 work to clean the air?

PlasmaWave technology in the Winix 5500-2 generates hydroxyls to neutralize viruses, bacteria, odors, and gases, effectively breaking down pollutants at a molecular level without emitting harmful ozone.

Can I control the Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier remotely or via a smartphone app?

The Winix 5500-2 does not have built-in smart connectivity for remote control via a smartphone app. It is operated using its physical control panel or the included remote control.


Is Winix’s PlasmaWave advertisement misleading?

I do believe that it is meant to misconstrue on a couple of points. Being that it says it creates no harmful ozone but that’s only when the plasma wave function is not on or they’re really trying to say that it doesn’t create enough ozone to be considered harmful.

And it says it has a washable carbon filter. But washable in this case can only really mean vacuuming or brushing it off. It will still have to be replaced.

But on another level, I have to agree that this air purifier is much better than most of the most popular brands listed at the top of the page right now.

Without exception, all the air purifiers use the exact same technologies: true HEPA, activated carbon, and a pre filter. Winix PlasmaWave 5500-2 actually gives me the option of using a Plasma Wave Bipolar  that the other air purifiers do not. And it’s not like I can’t turn the function off when I do not need it.

And did I mention that the HEPA filter in the Winix PlasmaWave is separate from the carbon filter. A big plus when you don’t need or want to switch out both filters at once.

Published by

Dennis Reed

Dennis Reed Owner and Author @