The air quality in my part of the world gets pretty bad during wildfire season, so I decided to pickup a Winix C545 air purifier, mostly based on the Wirecutter review. Here’s what I found:
- It’s really quiet on low and medium, and only starts getting noticeable on high. I’m sensitive to noise, and it works for me. At low speed, it’s usable in the same room as you video conference in without anyone else noticing. It’s also suitable for sleeping – for kids and adults. Definitely quieter than air conditioners and dehumidifiers.
- Design-wise, it blends into the room. Our kids ignored it from the start and have never pushed the buttons.
- Price is reasonable – you can get one for $129-$200, with the average price being around $178. A good chunk of that price goes toward the included HEPA filters.
- It has a bright blue light when the air quality is good, but that light (thankfully) automatically switches off when the lights are out.
- You can instantly tell when air is good, slightly off, or bad, via the LED indicator light on top which glows blue, yellow, or red.
- Air purification works quickly for cooking smells, wildfire smoke, and flatulence.
- The WiFi feature is mostly a gimmick. You can check filter status via your phone, and turn on/off the purifier, but I find it easier just to open it up and look at the filter every month. You can vacuum out the filter screen easily. I disabled the WiFi shortly after I got it. If it had HomeKit support, I might have left WiFi on, but it doesn’t.
- We liked the C545 so much, we got second one – a refurbished one for $89 – for our downstairs bedroom. I found that it’s almost the same as new, with the exception of one problem: Once every couple of months, it refuses to notice when the room light has been turned off. You have to unplug the purifier and plug it back in for it to automatically shut the blue light off again.
Overall, recommended if you have air pollution or a wildfire season in your area. You can occasionally find them at Costco, Amazon, and Winix direct (for refurbished models). Warning: they sell out fast during wildfire season, so get one off season.