Winix 6300 Plasmawave Air Purifier Review

Korean company Winix entered the North American air purifier market as a value brand.

Starting with value for the price as their major selling point, Winixes established themselves as economical air cleaners.

Korean rival Coway also launched in the US, but met resistance at higher price points.

Winix was forced to cut features to hold price in a tough overbuilt air purifier market.

6300 is the newest air purifier from Winix, based on the same chassis as all Winix models using the size 20 filter trains.

With a suggested retail of $219.99, up from the 5500's $199.99, we think 6300 could be another repackaging to disguise a price increase.

There is now saturation of all-alike Winixes, and the 6300 is making slower sales growth than its predecessors, many of which are still widely offered for sale.

Winix 6300 is available online at amazon.com, sylvane.com, and bedbathandbeyond.com.

Occasional short-term sales at Fry's Electronics, a big box retail electronics store, offer the best prices on the Winixes.

Minor changes distinguish the 6300 from the nearly identical Winix 5500, which was itself only slightly different from the original 5300.

With the introduction of 5500, Winix dropped some features, notably the remote, from the 5300.

5500 has the "washable HEPA" filter, which we predicted would never work ("washable HEPA" = "world-class oxymoron").

With the 6300s, Winix has reverted to a traditional NON-washable HEPA. (Surprise!)

There is also a bi-color molding, a two-tone silver and gray which boosts the "new model" image.

Winix offers little depth in its marketing, and there are no professional and only a few user reviews of the 6300.

Winix 6300 has Automation

Winix appears to have changed to a particle sensor from the odor sensor used on earlier models, but this is mentioned only obscurely on the Winix website. Winix WAC6300 air purifier

6300 has the same automatic operation, air quality displays, filter change light, sleep mode, remote control, and button locations as earlier Winix models.

Inexpensive odor sensors are novelty items, making good conversation pieces and little else.

Many user reviews of the odor-sensor based Winix automation lamented the lack of particle-based auto mode operation.

But, whether odor-based or particle-based, auto mode operation has very serious limitations when it comes to improving air quality.

We have completely stopped running air cleaners in auto mode, preferring to use a laser particle counter to determine air quality.

While this approach will not suit most Winix 6300 buyers, it has proven to us that auto mode will fail to deliver clean air.

Many Winix reviewers have noticed this shortcoming, saying the air quality indicator stays green almost all the time.

The remote controls the Plasmawave ionizer, but not auto mode, which must be switched from the front panel.

Auto mode is also the default setting when the 6300 is powered up.

6300 is Mid-Powered: CADR

Winix 6300 has a powerful fan, with four speeds ("Quiet Medium, High, Turbo").

AHAM tests yield the following Clean Air Delivery Rates;

Test
Rating
Dust248
Pollen251
Smoke235

AHAM also awarded 6300 a 350 sq ft room size rating.

6300's power ratings are identical to the 5300 and 5500 models.

Strong air delivery for the price is 6300's strongest selling point.

Winix advertises Winix 6300 for a 350 sq. ft. room and four air changes per hour.

This is the same as AHAM's room size recommendation.

These numbers are based on round the clock high speed operation, and are not valid in the real world.

Our room size estimate is 250 sq. ft., based on higher speed operation for considerable periods, and little reliance on auto mode.

Buyers who expect to use low speeds and/or auto mode should install in a smaller room.

6300 Filter Train

Winix 6300 is exactly the same chassis as 5300 and 5500, inhaling from the front and exhausting out the top.

6300 has only two filters.

First is the "Odor Control" carbon pre-filter.

There is no permanent fiberglass screen and cassette tray included with 6300s.

Disposable "carbon" filters are treated with "Sanitized" anti-microbial chemicals to discourage microorganism growth.

6300's use the carbon pre-filter as both particle prefilter and gas-phase pollutant adsorbent.

Almost no carbon resides in this filter, which is nearly translucent and offers little in the way of odor control.

To retain this minimal effectiveness, the prefilter is scheduled for quarterly replacement under normal household conditions.

Homes with pets, smoking, frying, or other odor emissions may need an air cleaner with more carbon.

6300's second filter is a NON-washable true-HEPA.

There has been tremendous pressure on builders to market "permanent" true-HEPA filters.

Bigger outfits than Winix have tried and failed to fulfill this consumer fantasy.

We do see near-HEPA performance from washable filters in, for example, Dyson vacuum cleaners.

But the vacuums are pricey, and have cyclonic dirt separators that sieve out particles down to .5 micron, protecting the Dyson "washable HEPAs" from loading.

Winix models with no prefilter screen are destined to have HEPAs replaced annually.

In high odor environments, Winix HEPAs can pick up odors and need earlier replacement, another reason we discourage their use in smoking and pet situations.

Winix NON-washable HEPA filter number 115115 is included with 6300s at purchase.

Replacement HEPA, packaged with four carbon odor filters, has a MSRP of $79.99, and goes for about ten bucks less at amazon.com.

6300 has a "replace filter indicator" that lights up after about one year of normal use.

User reviews mention difficulty in finding the filter light's reset button, which is behind the front cover.

Winix offers their more expensive filter sets as "upgrade options."

This has created enormous owner confusion, especially regarding the wash-ability of Winix HEPA filters.

6300 can be used with Winix's 119110 or 115122 filter sets.

Winix filter number 115122 is the washable size 20 HEPA, MSRP $79.99 without carbon prefilters.

The 115119 prefilter four-pack is $49.99.

For a paltry $119.99, 6300 can be upgraded with the size 20 cassette 119110 option.

This "Ultimate Filter Cartridge" has the fiberglass pre-filter screen.

Buyers who want the Winix size 20 washable fiberglass permanent prefilter screen at the outset must purchase Winix 9500, 9000, or 5000.

The washable 115122 HEPA comes with Winix 5500s, but we continue to expect it to vanish.

So the Korean value proposition is starting to slip a bit.

These cost-cutter Winixes are best suited to buyers who aren't afraid to cut their own prefilters from carbon cloth, polyurethane foam, and fiberglass window screen, as filter costs will add up pretty fast otherwise.

Winix 6300 Plasmawave Ionizer

Winix PlasmaWaves emit dual-polarity ions which combine with water in the air, making hydroxyl radicals.

Hydroxyl radicals are strong oxidizers, capable of breaking down odor/gas molecules, and can digest some very fine particles.

PlasmaWave oxidizers work outside the air purifier, though Winix has avoided making the questionable claim, used by rival plasma ionizer vendor Sharp Electronics, that the ions work "throughout the room."

The PlasmaWave ion streamers are generally a bit less powerful than the competing Sharp Plasmaclusters.

6300 has no negative ion only capability, users must choose both polarities or nothing.

Winix Emissions

Winix concedes that new 6300s can out-gas strong odors, with no finite time period for wearing off.

This is mostly out-gassing from the anti-microbial coating on the carbon pre-filters.

This odor seems to vary with each batch of pre-filters, and may last up to two weeks after each pre-filter change.

Some user reviews have reported repeated odor out gas issues, while others have no issues.

Winix employs a brushless direct current (BLDC) motor that has very low noise emissions.

But 6300 is a strong blower, and the air rushing through will make some sound.

6300's low setting is very quiet, and we can sleep with the second speed ("medium"), but high and turbo make lots of rushing air and may be too loud for most folks to sleep near.

The frequency pattern is pleasant, with a few reviews mentioning a whistling sound, which we think is air sneaking past misaligned HEPA filters.

Our 5300 has a cycling noise, as power is intermittently delivered to the fan on low/quiet speed, that can get annoying when trying to concentrate on work with the Winix running close by.

There are also variable reports of PlasmaWaves making slight electric crackling noises when the ionizer is on.

These noises appear to be present on some, but not all, PlasmaWaves.

A few reviews from light sleepers report annoyance from this sound.

Readers may have seen high ozone air cleaners listed as "CARB Compliant," producing less than 50 parts per billion ozone.

6300 produces trace amounts of ozone, maybe 2 to 3 parts per billion, which is negligible.

But the remote is required to control Winix's plasma-ion streamer, which we would turn off at bedtime or when sitting near the 6300.

Numerous user reviews express annoyance at the "quiet" mode's failure to completely dim the display for nighttime use.

So few air cleaners go 100% dark that we are wondering if there may be a legal precedent that precludes a real lights-off feature.

Taping over the lights is a common solution.

6300 Utility

6300 burns 90 watts of electricity on turbo, 70 watts on high, and just 6 watts on low.

This combines with the high CADR ratings to yield an EPA EnergyStar rated Dust CADR/Watt ratio of 4.1.

The threshold for EnergyStar certification is 2.0 CADR/Watt, and most air cleaners are below that, so 4.1 is fairly frugal.

Winix 6300's dimensions, at 16.3 by 8.5 by 21.7 inches, say "middle-sized air cleaner".

6300 weighs 15.7 pounds, is a bit boxy, and has no molded-in handle, making carrying awkward.

6300's power cord is just under seven feet long, and Winix suggests installing it at least two feet from walls, drapes, and furniture.

Exhaust air is directed upward, slightly forward and to the right.

Some user reviews notice a cooling effect of all this air, and we sit closer to our Winix in the summer.

Warranty

Built in Korea, the 6300 has above-average quality control for an off-shored product.

Winix offers a one-year warranty with 6300s.

"Defects in materials and workmanship" does not include wearable items, including filters and the remote, which are not warranted.

Winix U.S. customer service is US-based in the Chicago suburbs;

Winix Inc
120 Prairie Lake Rd.
Unit E
East Dundee, IL 60118

Winix 6300 Plasmawave Air Purifier Review - Conclusions

Pros

strong blower
end of "washable HEPA" experiment?
good particle removal
big empty filter bay perfect for DIY filter substitution

Cons

price escalation disguised as upgrade
poor odor/chemical adsorbtion
expensive filters replaced frequently
out-gassing anti-microbial filters not for chemically-sensitive

Judgment

Despite the numerous issues and creeping price inflation, we still like Winix 6300 better than all Holmes, Hunter, and Bionaire models.

Most Honeywells are far less powerful, only the noisy Honeywell 50250 can compete with Winix 6300 on CADRs.

Users dealing with persistent odors might need a purifier with more carbon.

Winix 6300 will replace the 5500 on our "Top 10 Air Purifiers List," but only because the "washable" HEPA has been discreetly dropped.

Winix 6300 Review Rating

Each of ten factors gets up to 10 points, 100 is perfect and very unlikely.

1. First do no harm; minimal out gassing, no ozone.

Score: 7 of 10, Winix anti-microbials make initial break-in odors.

2. Serious gas and odor removal is a requirement if health benefits are expected: Units with real carbon VOC capability rank higher.

Score: 7 of 10, weak carbon prefilter and Plasmawave oxidizers do not deal with heavy odors.

3. Quality construction; case, gaskets, seals, and precision fitting eliminate bypassing and assure high efficiency at filtering sub-micron particles.

Score: 7 of 10, No seals on economy filters which replaced cassette tray system

4. The design maximizes the lifespan of each filter stage by allowing independent filter replacement. Ideally this is combined with electronic filter monitoring.

Score: 10 of 10. Filters can be purchased independently, at higher prices.

5. Unit has long filter life, low maintenance requirements, and reasonable operating costs.

Score: 7 of 10, 6300 dropped the washable HEPA, but filter costs are high.

6. Purifier produces low noise levels and meaningful air flow rates relative to noise.

Score: 10 of 10, Good sound-to-power ratio.

7. Manufacturer has a track record, with many units in the field and a reputation for supporting what they sell. Warranty period and average service life are long.

Score: 8 of 10, Winix is now an established player, but warranty is same as filter life, both short.

8. Purifier is a value in terms of price/performance ratio.

Score: 8 of 10, but value proposition is less attractive as design ages and price creeps up.

9. No dirt; unit and manufacturer should be devoid of class-action suits, high returns, recalls, consumer complaints, and legitimate negative consumer reviews.

Score: 9 of 10, Poor handling of previous model down scaling left a mark on Winix.

10. Unit is stylish, portable, comfortable, and convenient for consumer use.

Score: 10 of 10, Handy remote, a key feature dropped from 5300, is present on Winix 6300.


Air-Purifier-Power Numeric Rating; 83



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