The Winix PlasmaWave 5300 air purifier shares design roots with the well-regarded Sharp PlasmaCluster. A close examination, though, shows there’s nothing second hand – or second rate – about the way this home air purifier works.
That top notch performance starts with its air cleaning capacity. The AHAM’s Clean Air Delivery Ratings (CADRs) for the PlasmaWave 5300 are: Smoke: 235, Dust: 248, and Pollen: 251. Note the different numbers for different particle types. Very respectable figures.
What they mean, for example, is that the Winix 5300 can clear 235 cubic feet per minute of smoke from room air. So, it takes only a few minutes to clear a 350 square foot room with an average height ceiling. At, say, 18 feet x 18 feet that would be a pretty good-sized home office or bedroom.
One reason it can do that are the four separate fan speeds. Luckily, even at the top speed, the Winix PlasmaWave 5300 is one of the quieter units around. Set it up in your home office and you’ll hardly notice it above your computer’s fan, even when running at top speed.
That doesn’t happen often. Turbo mode starts automatically when the unit senses ‘bad’ air, such as a heavy concentration of smoke or pollen. Once cleared, it automatically downshifts again to normal running speed to maintain that pure air quality.
The 22″ high x 16″ wide x 9″ deep case features good seals. What goes inside gets filtered. A look inside when you change the filter will show there’s no dust around the sides, evidence that there’s no air bypass. You will see quite a lot on the excellent True HEPA filter inside. It filters a minimum of 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns. That will eliminate all but viruses which are in the range of 0.020-0.250 microns.
Another major component is the carbon mesh filter. Carbon has a large surface area and is weakly reactive with a wide variety of common household molecules. That’s a fancy way of saying a lot of things tend to stick to it. It’s also impregnated with anti-microbial compounds that help destroy flu viruses and other airborne microorganisms.
The next filtration stage adds another important layer of air purification: the ionizer. A voltage applied to plates inside the unit creates ions. Those spread out in the air to combine with naturally present water vapor. That produces hydroxyl radicals (negatively-charged OH ions).
Those hydroxyl ions oxidize, and therefore kill bacteria, viruses, mold spores, and more. They also help disintegrate many common VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). If your interior holds paint fumes, cleaning product vapors, and more the ions simply decompose them into CO2 and other harmless molecules.
If the slight clicking noise bothers you (some people are sensitive to low background noises), it’s easy to turn the ionizer off and on. Just turn it on as you leave the room and let it work. Turn if off when you return.