Vornado AC550 marks the Vornado large room air purifier’s entry into the U.S market with a monster device that delivers on the performance, high fan power and of course, high power consumption. But could the Vornado AC550 be a must buy air purifier? Let’s find out in our today Vornado AC550 Review.
In Breathe Quality, we have reviewed all air purifiers under these sections. Also, we guarantee that:
- We do give honest reviews (both pros and cons) so anyone will guarantee to have the wisest choices.
- We do not (and never) exaggerate one product just to let you click the links and buy that product blindly.
- High fan power for low-range
- Double filter, higher performance
- Strong ACH rating
- Doesn’t have odor sensor
- High power consumption
Vornado is an U.S firm based in Andover, Kansas, that has manufactured a lot of household fans and air purifiers since 1945. In fact, the name of this company is a combination of “Vortex” and “Tornado”, hinting that the company is targeting appliances related to air circulation. The Vornado AC550 is the bigger version of the Vornado AC350, but is only the size upgraded? Let’s check our latest Vornado AC550 Review to see the answer.
Other Vornado’s Air Purifier Reviews:
Vornado AC550 Price
Vornado has finally upgraded their oldest model, delivering on its promise of debuting a new device with flagship specs on low-range budget, named Vornado AC550. Not only does it bring all the high-end specifications that one would expect from a thing like Vornado PCO375DC or Vornado PCO575DC, but it also covers a much larger room than these two flagships.
Of course, to achieve such large room coverage, the Vornado AC550 must sacrifice something to stay under low-range segment. We will discuss the downsides later in this review.
The Vornado AC550 has an official price tag of $209, which is at least $100 more expensive than the Vornado AC350, Vornado CYLO50 and Vornado QUBE50. For its size, you also should expect higher filter replacement cost.
However, the air purifier sometimes goes on sale, so you should check Breathe Quality’s deal to get the lowest price, which is sometimes as low as $194.
For the price, Vornado AC550 is competing against a lot of candidates for the best air purifiers list, like Winix C545, TruSens Z-2000 or Coway AP-1512HH. Will the latest budget air purifier of Vornado have a chance to win over these opponents?
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Vornado AC550 Design and Size
Design is usually a pretty subjective topic, but there are a few choices that are more preferred, and for an air purifier like Vornado AC550, it is wise to just copy the predecessor – Vornado AC500. The only change is its new white color, which is also applied for the smaller Vornado AC350.
Still, this is one of the most premium design, as Vornado AC550 stays in the V-shape, to indicate its brand name. Look from the front, the air purifier is bigger on top, and smaller in the base.
However, the Vornado AC550 stays firm on the ground, with the depth of the base up to 11.5 inches. It is necessary for an air purifier with 27.4 inches in height and 13 inches in width to stand tall. In fact, the Vornado AC550 is taller and bigger than even the tower air purifier in this price range, like Levoit LV-H133 or Oreck Air Tower. It is even bigger than a Blue Pure 211+.
The core of this Vornado AC550 is a bottom-to-top air flow system concept, with the identical stylish air outlet from the predecessors. Actually, I don’t prefer hiding the air inlet under the front plate, but the Vornado AC550 has a really high fan power, so anyway.
The top control panel, again, consists of electronic push buttons, but this time Vornado AC550 uses flat buttons instead.
Moreover, the Vornado AC550 is pretty chunky, with the weight of 15 lbs, and you’re sure to notice it. Nothing too ugly or too heavy, but you won’t want to move this air purifier more often.
Related post: Best air purifiers for bedroom.
Vornado AC550 Filters
Vornado AC550 keeps the same air filtration system with 3 stages from the previous Vornado AC350, but due to its bigger size, it now uses double the air filters. Also, the Vornado AC550 is certified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for its safe operation.
- Pre-filter – A preliminary filter covers the True HEPA filter, to trap the large objects of pollutants like fur, hair and large dust.
- Activated Carbon filter – A carbon sheet to remove odors and prolongs HEPA filter life.
- True HEPA filter – With the True HEPA filter, this air purifier can capture 99.97% of as small as 0.3 microns allergens, virus particles, pollen, mold and fungi particles.
The rest of the stuff is pretty standard fare, so I will jump quickly to the performance test. I tested the Vornado AC550 in a room of 200 square feet, and this time, I compared it with performance of the Medify MA-Smart, Elechomes UC3101 and Oreck Air Response Large. As you can see, the Vornado AC550 has a good efficiency, trapping 99.9% of any particles down to 0.3 microns, in just 1 hour.
There is no difference for the filter replacement, as Vornado AC550 still uses the MD1-002 air filter. However, as it uses double the air filters, you will pay double the original cost of the AC350, up to $78 for the HEPA filter. It only lasts for 1 year, though.
Related post: Best air purifiers for allergies.
Vornado AC550 Room Coverage
The Vornado AC550 has the largest room coverage in all Vornado family up until now, and it is recommended for 335 square feet by the manufacturers.
The ACH of Vornado AC350 is 5X to 8X. It has lower CADR rating than the flagships Vornado PCO300 or Vornado PCO575DC, but it can exchange air in your room up to every 7.5 minutes. And such high ACH rating is done in a room of 200 square feet.
The CADR of Vornado AC550 is 218 Dust/ 205 Smoke/ 245 Pollen (cfm). This is the highest CADR rating in the whole Vornado family, which is able to compete with any other air purifiers in the same price range. Together with high ACH rating, the fan power of Vornado AC550 is truly impressive.
Related post: Best large room air purifiers.
Vornado AC550 Sound
To reduce the noise of this high fan power, Vornado cuts off the rpm speed of the Vornado AC550, at only 608 rpm. In fact, the Vornado AC550 has a noise level of only 35 decibels (db) on lowest speed, which is lower than the noise in library.
On highest speed, the rpm speed is just 1220 rpm. Precision engineering allows the radial blower to operate quietly, so its highest noise level is just 55 decibels. It is acceptable for such high fan power, but if you choose the Quick Clean mode, the noise can reach 65 decibels.
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Vornado AC550 Power Consumption
One of our most FAQs is “Do air purifiers use a lot of energy?” In fact, air purifier must be used for a long time to be efficient. And power consumption is one important criteria to review if this air purifier is good or not.
Sadly, the Vornado AC550 isn’t the flagship of the company, so it doesn’t have the Energy Smart feature. Its power consumption is really high, up to 145 watts, which is like the Honeywell HPA300 with higher fan power.
If you run the Vornado AC550 for 8 hours per day, it would cost you $52 each year.
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Vornado AC550 Additional Features
The best part? Vornado AC550 utilizes a dust sensor to monitor air quality and automatically adjust output to create ideal room filtration. This Smart Sensor feature also tells you the current air quality status in the control panel.
The Sleep Mode of Vornado AC550 is also improved. It will sense no light or low light conditions, then automatically adjust the fan speed to the lowest. Actually, it will override the Auto Mode, not to allow the air purifier to change to higher fan power. Also, the control panel illumination automatically dims to not interfere with ambient environment lighting.
Finally, we still have the LED indicator for filter replacement, separate for both HEPA and carbon filters.
Vornado AC550 Customer Service
As an U.S firm based, Vornado gives the best customer service to any local customers. If you are from outside the U.S, don’t worry as they have subsidiaries in 12 different countries in the world.
The company not just back you up, they also hear from you. If you have any feedback, feel free to contact Vornado. You can live chat with them, from Monday to Friday, within their chat hours. Or else, you can call them directly via phone at 800-234-0604 or via fax at 316-733-1544. If they are out of office, I recommend you to email them at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, depending on your product.
To guarantee your satisfaction, unopened air purifiers are free to return within 30 days. Remember that the shipping costs are non-refundable. You should check their FAQs page for more information.
Most of Vornado air purifiers are covered with a 5-year warranty, including of the Vornadobaby products, against material and workmanship defects, from the date of purchase. The flagships of Vornado, however, increase the satisfaction guarantee to 10 years. Not so many companies would dare to extend the warranty duration like Vornado.
Once we started using the Vornado AC550 extensively, we will find out that its strengths overshadow the weaknesses. High fan power with strong air flow assists the air purifier to clean your room quickly, in a much larger room than other Vornado air purifiers.
Largest room coverage in Vornado family.