Winix FresHome P450 (WACP450) Air Purifier Review by Garth Wernsman
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To these old ears the name Winix FresHome P450 sounds more like a classic airplane than a contemporary air purifier. They do have one thing in common, though. They both achieve their purpose with superb technology.
The Winix P450 is one of the latest models from this relatively new air purifier manufacturer. Here, Winix shows they’ve learned a lot very quickly.
Those lessons learned start with a slick, stylish case that makes for good furniture along with good function. The housing measures 18.9″ wide x 25.6″ high x 11.8″ deep, making this rectangular model possibly a bit large for those who are space constrained.
For everyone else, it’s perfect. It weighs 18.7 lbs, making it among the lighter high-power, moderate-to-large-space covering models around. The only potential problem with the design here is the location of the air intake; it’s on the side of the unit. That can work great if you put it in a place that has adequate room.
If you have to place it too near a wall, though, it can hinder the ease of air flow. Making the motor work too hard to draw in dirty air will necessarily reduce the efficiency of the purifier. On the upside, the front vent pushes fresh air directly into the room.
Power, CADR, Coverage Area and Noise Levels
Inside that case it packs both a lot of air-pushing power and air-cleansing ability. Four different fan speeds drive air at CFM (Cubic Feet per minute) rates of:
- Quiet: 50
- Medium: 110
- High: 175
- Turbo: 290
The results are CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rates) that are quite good, among the highest around at this price point.
- 343 Pollen
- 298 Dust
- 291 Smoke
Those numbers are on the high side of what the company has offered on models in the past, making this among the most powerful models it has offered to date.
Those levels will take care of the rated room area – up to 450 square feet – with room to spare, so to speak. For the math challenged, that’s a room a little over 21 feet on a side. So, even those with substantial living rooms can enjoy clean air all day and night. One qualification, though. Those CADR and coverage numbers invariably assume a standard ceiling height – 8 feet.
Fortunately, for all that air volume and cleansing ability, you don’t have to suffer with an unacceptable noise level from the P450. The volume is noticeable when running at Turbo (60 db), but just a whisper when on Low (27 db). Since the highest speed is really only necessary to clear out high concentrations, usually for only a short time, the sound intensity is unlikely to bother most buyers.
3-Stage Filter and Cleaning System
The Winix P450 can achieve that air quality because like the company’s other models it houses their superb filtration system. Even with only a 3-Stage system, while other models/manufacturers boast four or even sometimes seven, it works well due to a unique design.
Stage 1 isn’t anything dazzling. It consists of a carbon pre-filter that is much like the next guy’s. It works well by trapping the large particles that enter the unit, including cigarette smoke, cooking odors, and more. But that’s not the truly impressive part.
Similarly, Stage 2 is very good but not wow-inducing. It features a True HEPA filter that gets out 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 micron in size. That’s pretty standard these days and, in fact, those numbers are the bare minimum required to qualify legally for the “True HEPA” designation. The filter gets out small particles and even some larger bacteria, along with pet dander, mold spores, and more.
But Stage 3 is where a Winix air purifier comes into its own. This section features the company’s proprietary PlasmaWave technology. Far more than a buzzword, it merits a longer discussion.
A plate inside the unit generates positive and negative ions that are then expelled from the case. They combine with airborne water molecules to produce hydroxyl radicals (negatively-charged OH molecules).
Those hydroxyls are harmless to you (in the low concentration produced here) but effectively break down many common airborne lung, nose, and eye irritants. They also kill a variety of harmful microorganisms. That’s especially helpful to cleanse any air that doesn’t enter the unit and get filtered before it enters you.
That explanation may be interesting to you or it might put you to sleep, but one thing anyone who uses the P450 can agree on is this: PlasmaWave technology works – really, really well. It zaps disease-causing microorganisms, causes particles to become heavy enough to drop to the ground (and out of the airstream), and keeps the air fresher feeling overall.
The net result of all three stages is to produce air that is both physically healthier and also more pleasant.
Automation and Remote Control
A set of sensors inside monitor the quality of the air passing through the unit in order to automatically adjust the fan speed. Or, you can set it manually if you prefer. One automation feature is likely to be truly welcomed by those sensitive to noise; when you dim the room lights the fan automatically goes into quiet mode.
Also, the P450 comes with a small handheld unit that lets you adjust the settings from across the room. Since there’s so much automation built into regular use – the sensors, auto-adjusting fan speeds, and more – it’s not likely to be used much by most buyers. But for those who have difficulty getting around it can really be a godsend.
It would be difficult to choose one single air purifier that is the best model of any available, taking all factors (including price) into account. But given its quality, feature set, and mid-range price, the Winix FresHome P450 would have to rank near the top.