11 Winix Air Purifier Issues and How to Troubleshoot Them

Josh Mitchell

Written By

Josh Mitchell

Expert Reviewed By

Holly Curell

Last Updated On

“If you make a purchase using our provided links, we may receive a commission. Learn more here.

Key Takeaways

  • Most of the common issues ranging from loose mounting and ticking sounds to inefficient performance with Winix Air Purifier can be fixed yourself.
  • In order to prevent most issues from happening, it is important that you perform a thorough maintenance and change the filter regularly.
  • Winix Air Purifier comes with reset button which can sometimes resolve random issues.

I’ll say it until I can’t say it anymore – air purifiers are an excellent way to keep your indoor air fresh and clean. However, just like any other appliance, they must be cleaned and maintained.

Winix air purifiers, in particular, should be properly cared for to ensure their longevity and functionality. If they aren’t adequately maintained, common issues will start to arise.

Below I’ll go over a few common problems that arise with Winix purifiers and some preventative measures to keep these issues from occurring in the first place.

Troubleshooting Common Winix Air Purifier Issues

Below I will provide you with the most common and aggravating problems with Winix air purifiers and cover general causes and possible solutions.

Ticking Sound

The main issue I hear about these Winix purifiers is a ticking sound. There are a few reasons you could hear a ticking coming from your air purifier, but I usually start with the fan blades.

Look for debris in the fan and motor area, or make sure there aren’t any wires contacting the fan blades as they spin.

If that’s not the issue, there could be a loose mounting nut on the fan assembly itself. Remove the front and back cover to expose the nut on the rear side of the fan shroud and tighten it down.

Won’t Turn On

Sometimes these purifiers simply won’t turn on. If that’s the case, you need to make sure the power cord is plugged in. I know it sounds simple, but you wouldn;t believe how many times I’ve come across purifiers that aren’t plugged in properly.

Make sure it is plugged directly into the outlet and that the connection is strong. A worn or older wall outlet can cause a loose connection or a plug that wiggles in the socket.

If that checks out, ensure the circuit the outlet is on is strong enough to hold the amperage of the Winix purifier. Smaller circuits with multiple devices plugged in may not have enough power to operate the unit, or it can trip the breaker.

Won’t Turn Off

Opposite of the above problem, sometimes the purifier stays on when you try t turn it off. If the machine won’t turn off, there’s likely a wiring issue or a short circuit inside the unit. This is a more advanced repair and it’s best to take it to a small appliance technician for diagnosis and repair.

If it’s still under warranty, make a claim to save some money. If you think you can do it yourself, remove the front and back paneling and trace the electrical wires from the power cord to the fan motor yourself to see if you can find the issue.

Keeps Shutting Off

I’ve also dealt with Winixi purifiers that won’t stay on. If you’re constantly turning the air purifier back on, there are a few things you can check. First, this problem can also originate with a faulty power outlet or circuit.

Make sure your cord is in good condition and the plug is firmly in the outlet. If it wiggles or is loose, test it in another outlet. If it works in another outlet, you might need to replace your other outlet.

If the outlet is fine, though, run through the menu options on the air purifier setup screen and ensure you don’t have the timer mode turned on or the time set too low.

Remote Control Isn’t Working

There’s nothing better than having a remote for your your purifier. Being able to control it from the couch is amazing!

If the remote control suddenly stops working, check the batteries. I know, it’s a simple fix, but it’s usually the cause.

If you change the batteries and it’s still not working, ensure that the IR sensor on the remote and the main unit are clean and clear of any dirt, dust, or debris. If they’re blocked by anything, the signal may not get through.

Blinking Red Light

The red light on your Winix air purifier serves one or two purposes, depending on the model. In most models, the dual purpose is to indicate air quality and alert you when it is time to change the air filter.

On other models, it is only there as an air filter indicator.

In either event, if the light is a solid red, the sensors have detected poor indoor air quality (IAQ).[1] As the unit runs and the air is cleaned, this light will go out.

When the light is blinking, though, it means it is time to change the filter. Locate the filter area, remove the old filter, and exchange it with a new one.

Using your model’s owner’s manual, locate the air filter reset switch and press it to reset the light and timer, so you know when to change the air filter again.

Two Lights Blinking

Some newer model Winix purifiers are equipped with two filter lights, one for the white HEPA filter inside the unit and the black pre-filter. When both lights blink, one filter is clogged or needs to be replaced.

This will happen when too much pollution, particles, air in the interior or exterior environment, or even if the ground is excessively soiled.

Larger particles are too small to see with the human eye but can quickly clog filter material. Replacing the correct filter and pressing the filter reset button for 5 seconds will stop the lights from blinking. If you fail to change the right filter, they will begin blinking again in a few minutes.

Image from winix.com

Fan Isn’t Running

Winix air purifiers are designed to prevent internal damage if something goes wrong. Because of that, sometimes the fan will slow down or stop working when the filters are too clogged to move enough air.

If you notice your fan is moving but it is slow, replace the air filter and see if the problem corrects itself. If this doesn’t solve the problem, the issue is mechanical and will need to be fixed by a trained professional in small appliance repair or by making a warranty claim with Winix.

Fan speed will be the largest factor here. Slow fan speeds mean a clogged filter or faulty power supply. Intermittent speeds or fans not moving at all is most likely a motor or power supply issue.

Make sure the power button isn’t stuck and works properly and that all electrical connections are secure.

Sleep Mode Isn’t Working

Sleep mode is an excellent feature on these Winix purifiers. When sleep mode is activated, it will only turn on when the sensor detects that the room is dark. If you leave lights on, or there is a glare on the sensors, it may not activate.

Dust and debris can also reflect light from far away.

To get sleep mode working again, make sure it’s activated and you haven’t set auto mode instead. Next, use a damp cloth to wipe the sensor area to ensure there aren’t any dust particles built up. You also want to ensure the room is dark enough to activate the sleep mode cycle.

You can use auto mode along with sleep mode, but you need to start auto mode first. The manual will have a full operational breakdown to show you, step by step, how to ensure the proper settings.

Smells Bad

A Winix air purifier that smells bad is counter productive. Fortunately, it’s an easy fix, and you probably just need to change the carbon pre-filter.

Even if it seems like it’s too soon to change it, the filter can quickly become overwhelmed with bad odors when used in smokey, dusty, or odor-rich environments.

You’ll need to change this carbon filter more often depedning on your indoor environment to maintain freshness and reduce the bad smells.[2] When you service your unit, make sure to use hot water or room-temperature water.

Cold water may not evaporate fast enough and can leave deposits behind, which may contribute to household odors.

Other contributors to the smell could be stale food, water leaks, pets and pet dander or messes, smoking, mold particles or spores and mildew particles.

If you maintain the operation of your purifier and wash your filter in soap and water, you can eliminate the build-up of these particles and keep the smells from re-entering your air.

Image from winix.com

On But Doesn’t Seem Effective

If your unit is running but it doesn’t seem like it’s moving a lot of air, or the air it moves isn’t good quality, there can be a few things going on. The most common, of course, is the filter and the cleanliness of the machine itself.

After checking the air purifier filters and cleaning the unit (see below for more details) it may still not operate as you think it should. If this happens, a reset may be the solution.

The reset procedure is the same on most models, and we detail it for you further below. However, a full reset can solve most non-filter issues, including unit effectiveness.

How To Clean A Winix Air Purifier

A clean winix air purifier is essential for it to properly function. You should regularly clean them to ensure proper functioning and longevity.

Fortunately, cleaning the purifier is preety simple:

  • Start by turning off the air purifier and unplugging it from the outlet. It’s best to do this in a well-ventilated room.
  • Remove all the filters from your unit, including the primary internal HEPA filter, activated carbon filter, and mesh pre-filter. Only the pre-filter can be cleaned, while the other two filters must be replaced.
  • True HEPA filters typically lasts 12 months before needing replacement, while the carbon filter should be changed every 3 months (90 days).
  • Carefully use an air compressor or a leaf blower to blow out any dust particles and debris from the pre-filter. A soft brush or handheld vacuum cleaner can remove stubborn debris if the filter is heavily clogged.
  • Safely discard the old filters and open the new filters. Set them aside and proceed to the next stage.
  • Some models may have a filter replacement indicator that indicates a clogged or dirty pre-filter. If yours does, cleaning the pre-filter is sufficient, and it can be rinsed with room-temperature water. Make sure it’s completely dry before reinstalling it.
  • Check your air purifier’s owner’s manual to determine if your pre-filter and carbon filter are washable.

A clean winix air purifier is essential, but you should be sure it’s cleaned correctly. And once it’s clean, you should keep the air purifier clean. Consult the specific instructions provided by the manufacturer for your Winix purifier model to ensure proper and safe maintenance procedures.

Stage 2: Cleaning The Fan

With the panels open and the filter removed, you have access to the fan shroud and housing. Using a damp cloth, wipe away the debris and build-up on the fan blades through the shroud. Be sure to also wipe the housing and surrounding areas.

Grab your air compressor or leaf blower again to free the larger pieces from the unit. How much force air is needed can vary depending on how clogged the material is. Once it’s blown out, you can use a vacuum cleaner to remove loose debris.

Wipe down once more with a damp cloth to collect the smaller particles. Using a dry cloth, dry the inside of the unit to prevent damage to the fan motor.

Place the true HEPA filter and activated carbon filters back in place and reassemble the air purifier, except for the front panel and pre-filter. It is time for stage 3.

Stage 3: Cleaning The Unit

Using a clean, damp cloth, you want to wipe the entire unit down from top to bottom. Make sure you get around the sensors, control panel, and all vents and louvers. For stubborn dust particles or debris, you can use a cotton swab.

Wipe down the front panel completely, ensuring you get both sides, and then wipe the entire unit again with a dry cloth to mop up any excess water.

Replace the front panel and pre-filter, and your Winix air purifier is clean. You can return your air purifier to its rightful spot in your home and plug your appliance back in.

It’s also a good idea to keep the area your unit is in clean. So, grab your vacuum cleaner and vacuum the area around the purifier.

How Do I Reset My Winix Air Purifier?

If you need to reset your Winix air cleaner, you’ll cycle the power and press the reset button on the machine. The location of the reset button will vary, but it’s commonly located near the filter replacement indicator. Your model’s manual will have the exact location and show you how to adjust it.

To reset your air purifier, turn the unit off and pull the plug from the wall outlet. Wait 3 to 5 minutes to clear the internal battery before plugging it back in.

Locate the reset button pinhole and use a paper clip to press it for about 5 seconds. There wil be an audible beep once it has reset, and the filter replacement indicator should flash (model dependent).

Other Winix Air Purifier Troubleshooting Questions

How Long Should I Run My Winix Air Purifier Per Day?

You should typically run your Winix air purifier 8 to 12 hours per day. However, it is safe to run it all day, and auto mode will only run the purifier when it’s necessary.

What Does The Sensor In The Winix Air Purifier Do?

Winix units have three primary sensors: a remote control sensor on the display panel, an internal monitor that assesses air quality, and filter sensors on the control panel for filter-related issues and replacement reminders.

What Do The Colors Mean On The Winix Air Purifier?

The colors on a Winix air purifier indicate different levels of air quality. Green signifies good air quality, yellow indicates moderate air quality, and red represents poor air quality.

Do Any Winix Air Purifiers Have Carbon Filters?

Yes, some Winix air purifiers have carbon filters. A permanent HEPA and pre-filter are standard on all Winix models, and most models also include an activated carbon filter for odors.

Do Winix Purifiers Use PlasmaWave Technology?

Yes, Winix purifiers utilize Plasmawave technology. This technology helps to neutralize pollutants and create clean air.


As long as it is properly maintained, your Winix air purifier will have your home smelling and feeling fresh in just a few hours of operation.

Always replace the HEPA and carbon filters regularly and keep your air purifier clean. A clean winix air purifier is an effective purifier. As with any appliance device, though, there will be times when something isn’t working right.

However, with the steps I’ve outlined above, you should be able to troubleshoot and correct most issues that arise to continue enjoying the clean air.


  1. https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25112027/
  3. https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/what-hepa-filter
Was This Article Helpful?

Josh Mitchell


Josh Mitchell
My name is Josh and I am obsessed with home appliances. From portable AC units to heaters and air purifiers, I enjoy testing, learning and using these devices to improve the air quality inside my family home.

My Favorite Home Appliance?

Midea U Shaped Window Air Conditioner

See Our Editorial Processes

Meet Our Team

Share Feedback