This Winix Plasmawave Review ROCKS!

The Winix Plasmawave Review That Tells ALL!

Plasmawave air cleaner by Winix is one of the most modern air cleaners in today’s market. Made by Winix (a Korean electronic corporation), this air purifier has risen fast to join the rank of premium air cleaner intended for medium-sized rooms (300 sq. feet or less). You can be assured that its quality and price is comparable to the long time leaders of premium smaller room air purifiers and competing brands, the Austin Air Healthmate Jr and Blueair 201.

But what makes Plasmawave air cleaner special ?

These air purifiers are special because not only they have the standard filtration stages (prefilter for coarse particles, HEPA filter for fine particles and carbon filter for gas absorption), but they also utilize Nano Silver mesh to ensure destruction of germs as well as the optional plasma wave technology.

The Technology Behind Plasma Wave Air Cleaner

Each Plasma Wave air cleaner model (except 5000B) has a 5-stage filtration system:

  • Stage I: Filtration through a washable antibacterial prefilter. This filtration stage arrests large particles, such as pollen, lint, pet hair, and so forth.
  • Stage II:True HEPA filter which captures 99% of particles at 0.3 micron size and bigger. In addition, it can also captures smaller particles than 0.3 micron with less efficiency.
  • Stage III: Washable Nano-Silver Mesh shield, full of silver particles which can kill bacteria on contact. In fact, testing conducted by Intertek ETL-Semko, an independent testing lab, shows that the combination of the nano-silver mesh shield and the antibacterial prefilter (Stage I) in plasmawave air cleaner is very effective in reducing the amount of various bacteria by 86-99% within 10 minutes of activation.
  • Stage IV: Washable Carbon Filter Mesh to capture some smoke and gases, including odors.
  • Stage V: Plasmawave technology which stimulates the production of hydroxyl radicals, the nature’s best detergent, in the air. It works wonders to clean up the volatile organic compounds, other gases, and germs found in most indoor environments.

Plasma Wave Technology – A Review

Plasmawave is a technology which partially charges air such that the air is turning from the gas state into plasma state.In the plasma state, air becomes both positively and negatively ionized and, in the presence of water vapor from the air, can turn into hydroxyl radicals. Hydroxyl radicals, like ozone, are unstable and highly reactive. These reactive radicals readily attack volatile organic gases, viruses, bacteria and other gases; either killing them or changing the chemicals into harmless air molecules. After the reaction takes place, the hydroxyl itself changes into water molecules.

Hydroxyl radical is often touted as the nature’s detergent and functions as the sink of many volatile organic gases in our air. Ozone, to some extent, does the same too. However, unlike ozone, hydroxyl radicals have a very short life, around 2-5 seconds, whereas ozone, while many claim to have the life span of 30-60 minutes, in reality often lingers for much longer than that.

In addition, ozone can irritate the respiratory system, especially in people with existing respiratory disease. This makes ozone generator, or ozone air purifier unsafe for home use. This also applies to ionic air purifiers which produce ozone continually as the by-product.

So, if you are looking for an ionic air purifier, rather than buying an air ionizer, which merely negatively-charges air particles, it’s better to buy the ones with plasma technology which indirectly produces hydroxyl radicals.

For your information, air ionizers basically work by negatively charging air particles, so then the suspended air particles can eventually fall down to the floor to be vacuumed. However, this method has its flaws, especially if not used in conjunction with other air filtration technologies:

  • if not vacuumed immediately, the particles can eventually lose their charges, hence they will be floating back into the air again.
  • the charged particles can stick to the walls around the air ionizer, instead of falling down to the floor, giving the black wall phenomenon.

With the hydroxyl radical production technology employed by the Plasmawave air cleaner, the suspended air particles are changed to other forms of chemicals permanently, rendering them harmless. In addition, the hydroxyl radicals are also capable of killing microorganism in the air.

The other positive thing about this technology is that it employs an active approach in cleaning up all ultrafine particles to increase the indoor air quality. Instead of waiting for the ultrafine particles to be suspended in the air and enter the machine, the machine produces hydroxyl radicals indirectly which go out and react with any particles in the air. It is also proven to be pretty powerful in attacking air particles which stick to furniture, carpet, and so forth.

There’s one potential drawback on this kind of technology though. Since hydroxyl radicals are very reactive, it’s best to switch on the plasmawave mode when there is nobody in the room. This is because they can potentially irritate your eyes and nose lining if you are happen to be sensitive.

Think about it.

These radicals are aggressive in attacking bacterial cells. Human beings are made from cells, so these radicals can attack the most sensitive outer cells in our body, especially our eyes and nose lining. In this respect, a plasmawave air cleaner is less safe than the ‘ole’ air ionizer. But it is definitely safer than using air purifiers which produce ozone as the main cleaning agent. And it’s more efficient than both an air ionizer or ozone generator in cleaning up gases, odor, smoke and germs.


Other Strong Features of the Plasmawave Air Cleaner

In common with other Asian-based air purifier, this air purifier not only delivers clean air, but it also loads the machine with modern conveniences.

Here are the bell-and-whistles of the Winix Plasmawave air purifier which are not often found in other air purifiers:

  • Odor and dust sensor which automatically adjust the setting of the machine depending on the level of dust or odor present.
  • Light sensor which automatically puts the machine to the sleep mode when the light is off. (select model only)
  • Auto sleep mode which automatically dim the light in the control panel as well as adjust the machine to the lowest setting.
  • Filter change sensor which is based on real filter usage.
  • Remote control .
  • Timer option.

Other Features of Plasmawave Air Purifiers

  • Comparable in prices and quality to premium air purifiers intended for 300 sq.feet and less (i.e $300 or less).
  • Safe. The Plasmawave air cleaner has negligible (below background) ozone emission and the material does not outgas.
  • Ultra-quiet operation. Although the decibel value is not specified, users have reported that these air cleaners are quiet enough to use in the bedroom. In fact, noise is only noticeable at the highest setting.
  • Energy Star compliant. This air purifier only consumes 6 W at the lowest speed, and 50W for the highest speed.
  • Easy-to-change filter.

The Drawbacks of Winix Plasmawave Air Cleaner

  • As alluded previously, the plasma wave technology has its weakness. It is not very safe to use the plasmawave mode in a place where somebody is present. Although the machine itself is fine if you don’t want to use the plasmawave option for curbing the particulates such as pollen, dander, dust and certain germs, its ability to clean up ultrafine particles such as smoke, gases, and odors becomes reduced compared to that of the premium class of air purifier. This is because the amount of carbon filter in the Winix Plasmawave air cleaner is not high enough to deal with these ultrafine particles adequately and therefore, the plasmawave option has to be used in conjunction with the carbon filter in order for this air purifier to have its maximum effect. In contrast, all premium class of air purifiers rely on either high amount of carbon filter or Super HEPA (such as in IQAir air purifier) which has a very good efficiency to capture ultrafine particles. These mechanical filters are completely safe. They do not produce ozone, or ionized particles out of their machine. Therefore, if you want to use Winix Plasmawave air cleaner, be sure to use the air ionization mode (plasma wave mode) when the room is empty to ensure for the maximum safety.
  • This machine only has a one year warranty, in comparison to many premium air purifiers which have a five-year warranty.
  • While the Winix Plasmawave 5000 model is pretty much comparable in price with other good air purifier out there, the Winix Plasmawave 9000 is a little bit on the expensive side considering the only upgrade for that model is the light sensor and more timer option.
  • Washable prefilters and carbon filters will eventually need replacing. Actually, in the air purifier world, there is no such thing as permanent filter. Yes, a filter might be vacuumable or washable, but its efficiency will inevitably decrease with use. So, eventually such filters need to be replaced.

Winix Plasmawave Air Cleaner Models

Winix Plasmawave air purifier is currently available in 2 series, the 5000 and 9000 series. Each series has at least 2 models to choose from:

  • Winix Plasmawave 5000, available in 5000, 5000s and 5000B models.
    Winix Plasmawave 5000 and 5000S have 5-stage-filters as outlined above, whereas the 5000B model has only three filters: carbon prefilter, HEPA filter and Plasmawave technology. They also serve different room size. Winix Plasmawave 5000 and 5000B serve 270 sq.feet rooms, whereas 5000S serve 180 sq.feet room.
  • Winix Plasmawave 9000, available in 9000 and 9000S models.
    These models have the same filtration stage as the 5000 and 5000S, but it has light filter which is unavailable with the Winix Plasmawave 5000 models. It also has more timer options. The Winix Plasmawave 9000 is suitable for 280 sq.ft room, whereas the 9000S is good for 210 sq. feet room.

All Winix Plasmawave air cleaner, except the 5000B model, are suitable for people with mild to moderate allergies, and those with asthma. They are also good for people who wants to address mild odor problems, but it might not work well if used in an environment when there’s a continuous cigarette smoking or pet since these air purifiers, even with the plasmawave option, are not particularly strong in curbing out gases.

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