29 Apr Winix WAC9500 Review
(4.5 / 5)
My Winix WAC9500 review hopes to give you every bit of information you need to buy right. I won’t say Winix WAC9500 is the best air purifier there’s on the planet. But I must say this: for the price, the WAC9500 delivers great value.
Still, it’s not the only air purification device the market offers. There are legions of options — more than I can mention in this Winix WAC9500 review. However, I’ll make sure to tell you about 3 Winix WAC9500 alternatives so you can pick the best deal.
I’ll cut to the chase and introduce you to what I like and don’t about this air cleaning device.
Let’s dive right in.
Unfortunately, the WAC9500 is unavailable at the moment. The image below is of Winix NK105 Wi-Fi True HEPA Tower Air Purifier, Large Room Capacity, Amazon Dash Replenishment Enabled.
But the Winix WAC9500 looks like this:
- Relatively affordable
- Stable; hard to topple
- Energy Star qualified; saves energy and money
- High CADR
- Washable prefilter
- Dust and smoke sensors
- Easy-to-use remote control
- Good for pets
- PlasmaWave Technology
- Control panel hard to master
- Small remote that’s easy to lose
- May produce ozone (luckily, you can control that)
- Some users have noticed a chemical smell
What about Specifications for Winix WAC9500?
Yes, I knew you’d ask about that. Without wasting time, here are the features:
- 5-stage filtration
- Sleep mode
- Nano silver antibacterial mesh
- Granular carbon filter for odor control
- Washable prefilter
- Smart sensors for odor and dust
- Winix PlasmaWave Technology
- True HEPA – removes 99.97% of pollutants
- CADR for tobacco smoke: 183
- CADR for dust: 182
- CADR for pollen: 194
- Weight: 24.3 pounds
- Dimensions: 16.5 X 9.9 X 21.9 inches
- Warranty: 1 year limited guarantee
Design of the Winix WAC9500
My review admits that the WAC9500 isn’t exactly cute. It’s made of ABS plastic, which is ok. But Winix should’ve done more to make it look a little better.
If you’re looking for a sleek, aesthetically pleasing piece, you’d better buy a different purifier.
But the WAC9500 does a really good job when it comes to purifying and sanitizing indoor air. If you’re willing to go past the looks, there’s no reason not to buy this air purifier.
The Focus of My Winix WAC9500 Review
I’ll focus on the benefits you’d derive from this device if you bought it. But, hey, you don’t have to buy it. My job here isn’t to persuade you to buy anything on Amazon. Rather, I strive to make sure you know as much as you should to make a smart buying decision.
Here’s how I’ll do it.
I will handhold you through every critical detail pertaining to the Winix WAC9500. I’ll help you look at the item as though it were sitting right in front of you. But I’ll do more than that. I will mention what I don’t like about this device so that you get the most balanced, helpful review possible.
Winix WAC9500’s 5-Step Filtration
I’ve decided to start off my review with the filtration aspect for a good reason. While shopping for an air purifier, its ability to purify air is the most critical quality to consider.
So how does Winix WAC9500’s 5-stage filtration work?
The 5-stage filtration helps users to easily control pet dander, mold spores, dust, odors, dust, pollen, and smoke. At least, that’s what Winix says their product does. But does it effectively accomplish all of these aims? We’ll very soon find out.
What Happens in the WAC9500’s 5-Stage filtration?
The 5-stage purification starts at the prefilter and proceeds to the rest of the filters. The following sections discuss in a little more detail what transpires at each stage.
Filtration at the Washable Prefilter
First, air passes on to the washable prefilter. Like in most other air cleaning devices, the prefilter here takes care of large contaminants. We’re talking of pollutants such as pet dander, pet hair, lint and other materials.
Good news: the Prefilter is Washable
The Winix WAC9500 uses a prefilter that’s washable. People who own a Honeywell air purifier can tell you that buying the prefilter 4 times every year isn’t fun.
I own a Honeywell — the HPA300. While I’m not ruing my decision, I’ve caught myself wishing it used permanent, washable prefilters and HEPA filters.
With the Winix WAC9500, you’re not always spending money replacing the prefilter. Well, you won’t exactly save a small fortune. But those dollars do add up in the long run.
Filtration at WAC9500’s Nano Silver Antibacterial Mesh
The Winix WAC9500 also features a nano silver antibacterial mesh. The manufacturer gives the mesh a CleanCel antibacterial treatment that enables it to eliminate bacteria and viruses.
The mesh sanitizes the air that goes through it, making it healthier for allergy and asthma sufferers. My Winix WAC9500 won’t say the filter addresses all the bacteria and viruses in the air, though. But when it comes to handling these particles, you’re better off with the device.
If you’re allergic to mold, you should consider using this air purifier. That’s because the CleanCel antibacterial treatment helps prevent mold growth. But no one should ever say that just having this device around will eliminate every trace of mold.
It’s best to address mold using other means.
Afterward, you can introduce this air purifier to control future mold growth. In case you’re interested, I’ve written a detailed article on different types of mold. You can follow the link I’ve given here to learn more.
Filtration at the True HEPA Filter
At this point, the air contains particles that are no larger than 0.3 microns. One micron is equal to 1/1,000,000 meters. That’s microscopic — you can’t see these particles. But you don’t want them to end up in your healthy lungs.
Luckily, the true HEPA filter sucks in fully 99.97% of the pollutants remaining in the air. Fine dust particles, mold, various bacteria, certain viruses, pollen and other allergens get eliminated.
Note that some bacteria and viruses are smaller than 0.3 microns. You really shouldn’t expect 100% efficiency from the true HEPA filter. That said, the Winix WAC9500 is a great device to have around when the flu season comes around.
Filtration at the Activated Granular Carbon Filter
The activated carbon filter of the Winix WAC9500 handles odors and smoke. With this device, you’ll worry less about cooking odors, organic odors, and chemical odors, and VOCs. Smoke from wildfires won’t bother you as much as it would if you didn’t have the purifier.
But have you read any other articles I’ve written about True HEPA filters? You’ll have noticed I tread carefully around the “HEPA filters remove odors and smoke” claim. The next section deals with this claim in a little more detail.
The granular carbon filter is also washable.
You’ll want to wash it when it comes time to wash the prefilter.
That’s usually after three months or so.
Does the Activated Granular Carbon Filter Tackle Odors?
Winix says that the carbon prefilter also removes odors. I don’t own a Winix, but I can still say something about true HEPA filters since I’ve use them.
My Winix WAC9500 review would be misleading if I didn’t say HEPA filters aren’t great with gaseous pollutants.
But I’ve also come across many reviews claiming that these filters work like magic when it comes to eliminating odors.
In my experience and according to available research, no filter eliminates odors efficiently. I don’t know what anecdotal evidence you’ll see if you buy this air puffier. But I don’t expect that you’ll get amazing results as far as odors removal is concerned.
How Winix WAC9500’s PlasmaWave Technology Works
If you look at the remote that comes with the Winix WAC9500, you’ll see the “PlasmaWave” button. You’ll see it immediately below the power button.
The PlasmaWave Technology technically makes the device an ionizer. When it’s on, it should help you address smells.
The technology works by clumping together pollutants, making them bigger and heavier. That makes it easier for the other filters to eliminate contaminants from the air.
But Does Winix WAC9500 Produce Ozone?
Winix says this device doesn’t produce harmful ozone levels. But some users have complained of experiencing a bit of irritation in the lungs.
While researching for this review, I gathered it’s best to not turn the ionizer on when you’re around. You can even choose not to use the ionizer altogether. Note: running the device on auto mode tends to turn the ionizer on.
Also, the ionizer turns on immediately you crank up your WAC9500. If you don’t want to use it, use your remote to turn it off. You can use the on-device controls to do the same.
The Winix WAC9500’s Control Panel
The Winix WAC9500 features a nice looking electronic control panel. But most users and especially technophobes find it hard to use the panel.
If you like little challenges and tinkering with things, you won’t have problems mastering the control panel. In this Winix WAC9500, I give the device a rating 2 out of 5 in terms of ease of use.
I bet you’ll find it easier to control your WAC9500 using the small remote that comes with the air purifier.
Now let’s look at the control panel a little more closely.
There are Only 2 Buttons to Control the Winix WAC9500
With the WAC9500, you won’t see more than two on-device buttons. The device comes with only the Function and Timer buttons.
Most users take a while before figuring out what each button does and how to use it. I’ll give an example of what I mean when I say it’s challenging to master the control panel.
My research found that it’s quite difficult to turn off the ionizer via on-device controls.
Don’t lose that remote control. But the on-device controls aren’t anything you can’t learn with a little determination.
The WAC9500 features an easy-to-read LED display. The display shows you the level of contamination you have in your home. The LED display also lets you see what either the Function or Timer button is doing each time you press it.
The WAC9500 comes with a smart dust and pollen sensor.
Here’s what happens if your room is full of dirty air. The sensor automatically kicks the device into the right air gear, purifying your room in no time.
How Well Does the Smart Sensor Work?
While researching for my review, I discovered that the WAC9500’s sensors for dust and pollen aren’t always accurate. That’s especially the case if you’ve set the device to the auto mode.
Still, sensors are a cool feature to have on an air purifier. To get good results, you’ll want to choose the High or Turbo speed for some time before going auto.
4 Air Cleaning Speeds
I’ll tell you about something you’ve been itching to hear — fan speed.
The air cleaner features 4 speed settings namely Low, Medium, High, and Turbo.
At Low and Medium setting, you won’t notice anything louder than a whisper. In fact, this purifier is among the quietest on the market on these settings.
On high, the noise is still tolerable.
And as you’d expect of any air purifier, the Turbo setting is a bit noisy. But it’s unlikely you’ll want to choose the Turbo setting during normal use.
I’d say that this device’s Turbo setting is quitter than Honeywell’s HPA300.
Winix WAC9500’s Built-in Timer
The timer is another cool WAC9500 feature. It lets you program your air purifier to turn off after 1, 4, or 8 hours.
This feature gives you convenience.
Maybe Winix should also introduce other timing options. People who work 12-hour days would probably prefer a device that’d allow them choose 12+ hours.
Let’s talk about how soundly you might sleep at night with the WAC9500 humming in your room.
The sleep mode automatically gets the device into the lowest gear (speed). The Low setting dims the lighting emanating from the control panel. With the sleep mode on, almost everyone would fall asleep easily and enjoy peaceful sleep all night long.
The sleep mode doesn’t turn off the light completely, though.
Are you the sort of person who can’t sleep with any level of lighting on? If yes, you may want to pick a different air purification device.
WAC9500’s Filter Change Indicator
Earlier in this review, I remember mentioning that this purifier uses washable filters. But that’s not saying you’ll never need to do filter replacement.
It’s just that you won’t change your filters as often as owners of certain other air purifiers do.
The prefilter is washable and permanent. Simply wash it once every 3 months and that’s it.
As for the true HEPA and granular carbon filter, you’ll need to replace them once every 12 months.
The WAC9500 features an accurate filter-change indicator. When it’s time to change the filters, a light comes on. Note: the filter-change indicator doesn’t tell you when you should wash your filters.
Replacing Filters is Damn Expensive
One complaint I’ve constantly heard from Winix users is that the replacement filter can be a bit pricey. Even worse, finding the right replacement filter can be quite a hassle.
I, too, think that a filter that costs almost 50% of the unit’s price is damn expensive.
So, make sure to pick the right filter.
The correct filter size is 21, Model 21WC. The standard Winix replacement filter comes as a single set that includes a HEPA filter, carbon filter, prefilter, and antimicrobial coating.
But you probably won’t need to insert all of them at the same time. Consult the filter-change indicator to know what to replace. Usually, you’ll replace no more than 2 filters.
Can I buy Knockoffs?
Yes, you can.
Unfortunately, you’ll contend with fit issues. If you’re not the handy type, I’d say just buy the right filter and relax. But it’s possible to save money through using cheaper HEPA filters if you can improvise.
The WAC9500 comes with a “very easy to use” remote control. Lots of WAC9500 owners prefer to operate their device using the remote control instead of the on-device controls.
Whether it’s changing fan speed or turning the ionizer off, the remote’s got you covered.
But while using the remote is easy and fun, it’s very easy to lose.
Maybe Winix should invent a way of ensuring users don’t easily misplace or lose the remote. The company can, for example, use magnetic force to attach the gadget firmly to the purifier when not in use.
The CADR for Winix WAC9500 is pretty good. The numbers are way above the lowest recommended value of 100. Shun any purifier whose CADR is 100 and below.
For tobacco smoke, the CADR is 182. It’s 183 for dust. And 194 for pollen.
As mentioned in lots of other places on this site, the higher the CADR, the better. The CADR values for the WAC9500 compare closely to those of Honeywell HPA200 True HEPA Allergen Remover 310 sq. ft.
ACH and Purification Coverage for Winix WAC9500
ACH means Air Changes per Hour. The WAC9500 is designed to purify small and relatively large rooms. It covers spaces as large as 284 sq. ft. Ready for the bad news I am about to share with you? The Winix WAC9500 doesn’t efficiently clean a room as large as 284sq. ft. Note that that’s the manufacturer’s recommended room size for the air purifier.
My research reveals that the device won’t purify any room larger than 200 sq. ft. well. If your room measures more than 14X14 feet, you’ll want to look for a more powerful air purifier.
The manufacturer indicates an ACH of 5, but my research compels me to depart from that claim. My research indicates its ACH is more like 4 times per hour in a room that’s 284 sq. ft.
How the Winix WAC9500 Works
The device sucks in contaminated air from all sides. Then, it forces the air through the 5-stage filtration process discussed above. Once the air is crisp clean, the WAC9500 lets it out via the top.
While I was researching for this review, I learned something you should know.
You shouldn’t place this device nearer than 7 feet from your TV.
That’s because the electromagnetic waves from the TV would interfere with how your device functions.
Also, you’ll need to position it about 2 feet from the wall. Why? The device draws in air from all sides. Placing it too close to the wall would suppress air circulation.
Winix WAC9500’s Energy Consumption
The WAC9500 would save you lots of money in the long term. It’s an Energy Star-rated option. It consumes very little energy — as little 6 watts on sleep mode.
I’ve come across comparable air purifiers that gobble up as much as 80+ watts! People who shift to this device from power guzzlers say they notice a sharp decrease in their electric bills.
Negative Reviews from Users
I’ve spent quite some time digging around. And I’ve come across a few negative reviews of the WAC9500.
The most frequent complaint is that the replacement filters are damn expensive and hard to find. I’ve also seen other reviews saying that the device is quite noisy especially on High and Turbo modes.
Also, some users have complained of hearing an unpleasant noise inside their device. And it made them think there was a mechanical problem. Usually, though, the noise happens when the PlasmaWave Technology is at work. Turning the PlasmaWave Technology off typically discontinues the voice.
Few consumers have also said they’ve noticed a chemical smell emanating from their device.
Luckily, the smell doesn’t last.
There’s not one perfect device under the Sun, and the WAC9500 is no exception. Honestly, I don’t think the shortcomings should prevent anyone from buying this device.
How the Winix WAC9500 Stacks Up Against Comparable Models
WAC9500 vs. Winix C535
If you’re looking for a more affordable Winix, you’ll want to check out the Winix C535. It has a solid build pretty much like the WAC9500.
But Winix C535 looks a whole lot better than WAC9500. Looks aside, Winix C535 also uses Winix’s famous PlasmaWave Technology.
The Winix C535 comes with features that are almost similar to those of the WAC9500. But unlike the WAC9500, the Winix C535 uses a 4-stage filtration.
And at 15.4lbs, it’s also lighter than WAC9500. The two options consume about the same amount of power, between 6 and 65 watts. It’s pretty much a cheaper version of the WAC9500.
WAC9500 vs. Winix 5300-2
It’s also quitter than WAC9500. It can clean a room as large as 360 sq. ft. That means it suitable for medium-sized to large rooms. Compare that to 284 sq. ft. possible with the WAC9500. Also, unlike the WAC9500, the 5300-2 features intuitive, easy to use controls.
One notable difference between the two is that the Winix 5300-2 has no remote control.
Most importantly, the Winix 5300’s AHAM-verified CADR stands at 232 for smoke, 243 for dust, and 246 for pollen. That’s significantly higher than for WAC9500 (182 for smoke, 183 for dust, and 194 for pollen). The two consume about the same amount of energy. Also, the Winix 5300-2 is cheaper than the WAC9500.
WAC9500 vs. Winix NK105
If you’re looking for a Wi-Fi-enabled Winix which also allows you to control it using an app, pick the Winix NK105. Just like its sibling WAC9500, this device features a comprehensive air filtration as well as the PlasmaWave Technology.
But its design differs starkly from that of the WAC9500. The design is slender and tower-like. It appears less bulky and it’s easier to carry around. While its weight is 17lbs, I think it’d be easier to topple owing to its design.
And like the Winix 5300-2, it can clean a space as big as 360 sq. ft. The device should be a great choice for people who value convenience. The Winix NK105 costs more or less the same price as the WAC9500.
Winix WAC9500 review: Final Thoughts
The Winix WAC9500 is a great air purifier in many respects. First off, its CADR is great. Also, it sits solidly where you place it. You won’t easily knock it over.
In addition, it consumes very little energy. Plus, it’s affordable. Most importantly, it uses an insanely effective 5-stage filtration. What’s more, it uses the famous PlasmaWave Technology. Finally, it uses washable filters.
But not everything is exciting about this Winix.
First, it’s a little noisy on the High and Turbo mode. Also, the filters are a bit expensive and you won’t easily find them. Luckily, you can easily obtain knockoffs and improvise.
In addition, it’s a little heavy compared to most air purifiers I’ve seen. Finally, some users have noticed a chemical smell. Fortunately, the odor usually disappears with time.
I’d recommend the Winix WAC9500. If you love pets, this one is a great choice for you. With the device around the house, pet dander, pet hair, and pet odor won’t be much of a problem. But you’ll need to get a little creative when it comes to filter replacement. I’ve rated it at 4.5/5. Unfortunately, the WAC9500 is unavailable on Amazon. But you can check out similar products on amazon.
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