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12 Common Winix Air Purifier Problems (and How to Fix Them)

By
Updated on January 29, 2024
Written by
Marie Cookson
Based in Manchester, Marie is one of the writers at HouseFresh and our resident dust expert. She works together with our in-house researchers and our Managing Editor to produce in-depth articles offering practical advice on how to tackle indoor air quality issues.

The South Korean company Winix has been producing quality home appliances such as air purifiers for almost fifty years. Their purifiers come with HEPA, activated carbon filters and their unique PlasmaWave® technology designed to reduce contaminants without producing any toxic ozone. We’ve written a detailed review of their 5300-2 unit and it’s among our top six best air purifiers under $200.

As with all devices, however, problems can arise. But don’t worry because we’ve got some top tips on how to fix the most common issues, such as what to do if your purifier is stuck in sleep mode. 

You’ll also find advice about the correct rated power and ideal room size for each unit and how to contact Winix customer support.

Problem 1: My Winix Air Purifier Won’t Turn On

This is one of the most common problems, yet it can be easily fixed in most cases. 

❓ Have you examined the power cord?

This must be properly plugged into the outlet. Occasionally, the cord itself can become damaged, needing to be replaced.

❓ Are you using the right outlet?

One of your wall sockets may be faulty, so try unplugging the cord and using a different outlet.

❓ Is the power rating correct?

The power rating is often the main reason your Winix purifier won’t turn on. This rating is how much electricity is required for the purifier to work. If the power outlet isn’t rated to handle the purifier, you may not have any power. 

Use our handy table below to find your purifier’s power supply.

Winix Air Purifier ModelPower Supply Rated Power 
C535120V/60Hz70 W
A231120V/60Hz55 W
A230120V/60Hz55 W
5500-2120V/60Hz70 W
9800120V/60Hz95 W
5300-2120V/60Hz70 W
AM80120V/60Hz65 W
AM90120V/60Hz65 W
HR900120V/60Hz90 W
D360120V/60Hz65 W
XLC120V/60Hz90 W
XQ120V/60Hz90 W
6300-2120V/60Hz70 W

Once you know the power outlet of the device, simply plug it into an outlet that’s able to provide that amount of power. Turn on the purifier again; hopefully, you’ll be good to go. 

❓ Are there lots of devices plugged into one circuit?

If too many appliances or devices are plugged into one circuit, your purifier may not turn on. It’s best to avoid using extension cords and just plug the purifier directly into the power outlet. 

Equally, if you use the wrong extension cord, it may overheat and potentially lead to a fire.

Problem 2: My Winix Air Purifier Is Stuck in Sleep Mode

Sleep mode is one of the best things about Winix purifiers and allows you to save energy (and money). But it can be frustrating when your device is always stuck in that mode. Luckily, there’s often a simple solution.

❓ Have you turned the unit off and on?

Follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the purifier and unplug it from the power outlet
  2. Wait five minutes before plugging it into the wall socket 
  3. Turn the purifier back on and leave it in sleep mode for another five minutes
  4. Set the unit to your preferred mode, e.g., auto 

Problem 3: My Winix Air Purifier Keeps Turning Off by Itself

There could be a few reasons your device keeps doing this…

❓ Is the power cord securely plugged into the outlet?

The purifier may shut off if the cord is loosely plugged in.

❓ Is there a power outage in your area?

Be sure to check that there is power going to and from your outlet, as there may be a power outage in your neighborhood. 

❓ Is the purifier set to sleep mode?

It’s pretty common to put your air purifier in sleep mode accidentally. You must press the Mode function to return it to your preferred setting, such as low, medium, high, or auto. And, of course, sleep mode for when you want it to sleep! 

If you’ve tried all of the above solutions with no joy, you may need to contact customer support to resolve the issue fully. 

Problem 4: My Winix Air Purifier Produces an Unpleasant Smell

It’s normal for a plasticky smell for a couple of days when your purifier is brand new. Yet If it starts smelling like burning plastic or produces any other strange, nasty odor, check these causes:

❓ Does the pre-filter need cleaning?

Unpleasant odors can indicate the pre-filter is dirty. Follow these steps for effective cleaning:

  1. Open the front panel
  2. Remove the pre-filter
  3. Use a soft brush to loosen the dirt
  4. Use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of the dirt
  5. Reinstall the pre-filter back inside your device
  6. Close the front panel

❓ Do you need to replace the filters?

When filters absorb as much dirt and other substances as possible, they’ll produce a dusty smell. Replacing them should eliminate any odors. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Remove the air intake cover by placing your hand on top and pulling it away from the purifier 
  2. Clean the air intake screen with a vacuum, then gently detach it from the device by placing your fingers on top of the hinges 
  3. Pull away the activated carbon pre-filter from the purifier 
  4. Remove the True HEPA filter similarly and throw both in the garbage 
  5. Insert a new HEPA filter, making sure that the arrow on the top of the filter points away from you and towards the purifier
  6. Insert a new activated carbon pre-filter into the space before the HEPA filter
  7. Finally, reattach the air intake screen and cover it by pressing them firmly back into position

Problem 5: The Air Quality Indicator Stays Red

The Winix indicator shows various lights to mean different things:

  • Green = air quality is good
  • Orange/Amber = air quality is fair and there are increasing airborne pollutants
  • Red = air quality is poor

If the red light is always on, check for these issues:

❓ Is the red color at the center of the control panel?

If this is the case, the air in your room is unhealthy. Simply leave the purifier on and increase the fan speed to its maximum settings. This will ensure that the purifier treats the toxic air faster. Once the air stabilizes, the indicator light should change to green.

❓ Have you replaced the filter?

More often than not, a permanent red light means it’s time to change the filter. After doing so, be sure to reset the purifier. Hold the reset button next to the filter indicator light down for five seconds until you hear a beep. 

The red light should go off, but if this doesn’t work, try unplugging the unit for a few minutes, then plug it back in and try the reset button again.

Problem 6: My Winix Air Purifier Has Two Blinking Lights

There are probably a couple of reasons for this:

❓ Is there a fault with the filter?

Sometimes the purifier starts working in auto mode when you turn it on before flashing two fan lights. Yet then it stops working all of a sudden. This is due to either a faulty white inner HEPA filter or an outer black carbon pre-filter.

Once you’ve identified which filter is defective, you can replace it. After changing the filter, don’t forget to hold the filter light reset button for about five seconds.

❓ Is the purifier malfunctioning?

This is the worst-case scenario; unfortunately, you’ll have to return the unit and request a replacement.

Problem 7: My Winix Air Purifier Makes an Unusual Sound

If your unit makes a noise such as ticking, crackling or buzzing, it’s likely because of one of these causes:

❓ Is it the PlasmaWave® function?

The occasional chirping or buzzing sound is from large particles passing through the PlasmaWave®. Don’t worry, though, because this is normal, and your device is working correctly. But if you don’t like the sound, you can always turn this function off via the control panel.

❓ Is there something inside the unit?

Turning the purifier upside down should enable you to remove anything that might have been caught inside (avoid opening the unit, though).

❓ Are the filters dirty?

If it’s simply that the filters need replacing, the strange noises should stop after you’ve done this. 

Problem 8: The Fan of My Winix Air Purifier Isn’t Working

Many users have experienced problems with the fan on the C545 model. The filters are the most common reason it isn’t working or is functioning at a slower speed. However, this isn’t always the case, so let’s look closer.

❓ Do the filters need replacing?

If the filters are clogged with dirt or damaged in some way, this could affect the fan’s functionality. Be sure to change them asap.

❓ Has a fuse blown?

A power surge can damage the fuse, so your device will stop receiving power. Take care to inspect the fuse for any kind of damage. If so, you’ll need to replace the fuse.

❓ Are there issues with the motor?

Occasionally, the motor used to rotate the fan blades can become damaged. If this is the case, it’s best to organize replacement components. Be sure to get the ones that are compatible with your purifier.

❓ Have you set the purifier to automatic mode?

Simply press down the manual fan button and set it to your preferred speed. The fan should then go back to working manually.

❓ Is the unit faulty?

Sometimes, the purifier itself is faulty. You can contact Winix customer support for advice, although you’ll likely need a replacement unit. 

Problem 9: My Winix Air Purifier Won’t Turn Off

This can be just as frustrating as when your device doesn’t turn on. 

❓ Have you unplugged the unit from the power outlet?

Rather than trying to press the off button multiple times (and getting more frustrated!), it’s best to unplug it directly from the outlet. Be sure to wait a few minutes and plug the unit back in. Next, turn on the purifier but set it to sleep mode for approximately two to five minutes. Finally, run the purifier as normal and hopefully, you’ll be able to turn it off in the usual way. 

Problem 10: The Remote Control Isn’t Working

The remote helps you control multiple settings of your Winix purifier. If this has stopped working, it’s likely to do with the batteries.

❓ Are the batteries inserted correctly?

Make sure you’ve properly fitted the batteries inside the remote.

 ❓ Do the batteries need replacing?

Yes, it may seem like a no-brainer, but it could just be that you need to replace those old batteries. 

Problem 11: The Winix Smart App Isn’t Connecting

The Winix app enables you to track, monitor and control your device, but you may experience connection problems. 

❓ Have you tried closing and reopening the app?

You can try uninstalling and reinstalling the app if this doesn’t work.

❓ Are there too many Bluetooth devices around the location of your purifier?

This may also cause connectivity issues.

❓ Is the operating system supported?

For iOS this should be 10.0 and up and on Android 5.0 and up.

❓ Have you disabled any VPN networks?

Be sure to do this before connecting your device.

❓ Is your smartphone and router in the best location?

These should be placed within a 32 ft. radius of the purifier.

Hopefully, you should be good to go after trying these methods. Check out the Winix troubleshooting page for any other app problems. 

Problem 12: My Winix Air Purifier Isn’t Working Effectively

You might find harmful particles like smoke and unpleasant odors floating around your space, even after using the purifier for the recommended time. 

❓ Are the blades clogged with dust?

If there is excessive dust, clean the blades with a cloth and leave to dry.

❓ Do you need to change the airflow settings?

Try setting the unit to high airflow. 

❓ Could it be the filter?

As with most Winix problems, it may simply be that you need to replace the filter.

Is Your Winix Air Purifier in the Ideal Room Size? 

Check your device to determine the best room size for your purifier.

Winix Air Purifier ModelIdeal Room Size in Square FeetIdeal Room Size in Square Meters
C53536033.44
A23123021.36
A23023021.36
5500-236033.44
980050046.45
5300-236033.44
AM8036033.44
AM9036033.44
HR90030027.87
D36036033.44
XLC62057.59
XQ69864.84
6300-2360 33.44

Contacting Winix Air

You can get in touch with Winix in various ways to access their customer support. They’re open Mon-Fri 9:00am – 6:00pm CST, and you can reach them by phone on (877) 699-4649 or email at info@winixinc.com. You can also fill out their online form.

If you prefer postal mail, you can write to them at Winix America Inc. 220 North Fairway Drive, Vernon Hills, Illinois 60061.

For general questions about your purifier, check out their FAQ section.

Find the Manual for Your Winix Air Purifier

Click on the link for your particular model.

Ideal Room Size in Square MetersUser Manual
C535Manual 
A231Manual
A230Manual 
5500-2Manual 
9800Manual 
5300-2Manual
AM80Manual
AM90Manual 
HR900Manual
D360Manual
XLCManual
XQManual
6300-2Manual

SOURCES

Ashton, D. 2022. HouseFresh. 6 Best Air Purifiers Under $200. housefresh.com

Air Purifiers and Dehumidifiers. 2022. Winix Air Purifier Troubleshooting – 5 Common Problems Solved in 2022. airpurifiersanddehumidifiers.com

Booth, D. 2022. HouseFresh. Winix 5300-2 Review. housefresh.com

HVAC Seer. 2022. How To Clean Winix Air Purifier & Filter [Step By Step Guide]? hvacseer.com

Johnson, T. 2022. HVAC Guides 101. Winix Air Purifier Red Light Stays On and Other Common Problems. hvacguides101.com

Lee, M. 2022. DIY Smart Home Hub. 6 Methods To Resolve Winix C545 Fan Not Working. diysmarthomehub.com

Mills, I. 2022. Fresh Air Devices. Winix Air Purifier Troubleshooting (Top 5 Problems). freshairdevices.com 

Robertson, A. 2022. Clean Crisp Air. Winix air purifier troubleshooting – complete guide. cleancrispair.com

The Indoor Haven. 2021.Winix Air Purifier How to & Troubleshooting Guide. theindoorhaven.com

Winix. 2021. Frequently Asked Questions. winixamerica.com  

Winix. 2021. Air Purifiers. winixamerica.com  

Winix. 2021. Welcome to Winix Smart! winixamerica.com  

About the author

Marie Cookson

Based in Manchester, Marie is one of the writers at HouseFresh and our resident dust expert. She works together with our in-house researchers and our Managing Editor to produce in-depth articles offering practical advice on how to tackle indoor air quality issues.