How Do Ozone Air Purifiers Work?

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Ozone air purifiers or generators as they are mostly called, have the capacity to destroy just about every organism in an air space including mold spores, lingering cigarette and tobacco residues, and odors.

But how do Ozone Air Purifiers work?

Ozone air purifiers work by creating high levels of trioxygen by either:

  1. Corona discharge. A type of thunderstorm simulation that creates a high voltage arc between two dialectics.
  2. UVC. A type of sunlight simulation that uses ultraviolet light with a wavelength of 254 nanometers do split oxygen.

Ozone is oxygen with a third molecule. Or O3. This extra molecule is highly reactive and oxidizes anything it comes in contact with. After it reacts,  it reverts back to oxygen. Or O2.

What does ozone smell like?

It is most recognizable as the effect of a lightning storm that charges all the particles in the air as it rolls through.

And this is also why many people say that the smell of ozone reminds them of an after a thunderstorm scent.

The smell of ozone can also be compared to the smell of bleach or antiseptic.

The result of a thunderstorm is freshness. Pure air has the same effect on you as drinking a glass of water that has all the necessary minerals that you are craving.

Why are ozone generators considered dangerous?

It is because ozone is so effective at oxidizing every pollutant in the room, it will also oxidize the tissue in your lungs.

You may argue that if we were not breathing dirty air all the time that ozone would have no effect at all on your lungs. Because there would be no pollutants in your lungs to oxidize.

But obviously that’s not how it is and that’s not the world we live in, so

Ozone can be very dangerous to breathe and that is why it is not considered safe to use as the typical air purifier you leave on while you go about your daily household business.
And definitely not while you’re sleeping. 

Air purifier vs. Ozone generator

Air purifiers use filters to filter out contaminants in the air.

Ozone generators on the other hand, create high levels of ozone in a short amount of time as a means of odor abatement.

Air purifiers are considered safe because they are basically a fan pulling air through filter

Ozone shock treatments are performed only after a area is cleared of people, pets, or any plant life.
That’s worth saying again. They are not intended to be operated in the vicinity of people, of animals, or plants.

How long does it take ozone to dissipate after you use a ozone generator?

The best answer is to err on the safe side and give it a few hours to ensure your safety.

As you may guess, the answer varies with both strength of the generator and the length of time it is operated.

That being said, ozone has a short life and most experts agree that it will revert back to breathable oxygen in about 30 minutes.

Do ozone generators remove cigarette smoke odor?

Yes. Ozone will oxidize the over 4000 chemicals that make up cigarette smoke and eliminate the lingering smell.

Cigarette and cigar odors tend to travel to every nook and cranny they can find.
And because of the tar residue that that is part of tobacco smoke, it adheres to everything, especially carpets, drapes, and furniture.

That’s why cigarette and smoke odors seem so hard to get rid of and keep lingering on for years.

Ozone will travel in a similar path as cigarette  smoke and break down the the molecules that are causing the odor, even the molecules that have glued their self to your furniture.

Automobiles that have been used by smokers that smoked inside their vehicles can have a very persistent third hand smoke presence.

Detailers use ozonators to return a vehicle back to a new car smell that people love.

Does ozone kill bugs?

Yes. Ozone will kill bugs when it is used but it is a temporary solution at best.  It does not take the place of a regular exterminator or a plan to keep bugs from coming back.

Ozone is primarily used as an odor remover.

And though any bugs that get trapped in the area while the room is being treated with ozone will be killed,

Once the ozone has dissipated, the bugs will be back. Most bugs will just run away while the room is being treated, and come back when the coast is clear.

Does Ozone kill bed bugs?

It is the same with bedbugs as any other bugs, If they are trapped in the room with the ozone, they will die.

But when the ozone is dissipated they will come out of every outlet and nook and cranny.

Ozone is not a good solution for bed bugs.

Ozone Mold

A Ozone generator will kill any exposed mold or fungus in the room it is operated in. Any airborne mold spores will be a goner.

But similar to the effect you get with insects is what you get with mold.

If you have a problem with mold before you use the ozonator, you will still have a problem afterwards.

Ozone will only treat the symptoms.
It will not do any physical cleanup or identify and fix the original problem.

Nor will it travel through to the inside of the wall cavities, where a great deal of mold can be found.

Mold is primarily a moisture problem inside of the house or building. Until you find the source of the moisture and fix it, any type of cleaning is just going to be a temporary fix.

How to use an ozone generator at home.

Ozone generator safety precautions

  1. Do not operate around people, animals, or plants.
  2. Use caution tape to clearly identify the area as a “Do Not Enter” zone.
  3. Let the ozone completely dissipate before re-entering the area. At least 30 minutes.
  4. Outlet Timer. Use a timer to turn the unit on and off. most ozone generators come outfitted with a timer, but if yours does not have one, you can use an outlet timer
  5. Remove flammable gases. Though ozone is not flammable, it can help accelerate a fire if one were to break out.
  6. No smoking in the area.

Getting the best results out of a ozone generator.

1.Use the appropriate size generator for your area.

Too small of an ozonator will not accomplish much and only make the air unbreathable.

Using to large of an ozonator will increase the amount of time you will need to wait before re-entering the area.

2.  Vacuum the carpets. getting the smell out of the carpets will be much easier if there is not debris and dust all over them.

3. Mop floors and wipe down surfaces.
The same principle as vacuuming the floors. Ozone will have a much easier time getting rid of deep smells if it doesn’t have to get through a film of dirt or grime.

4.  Center the ozone machine in the middle of the room.

5.  Start small. It is always better to use the machine for a shorter time then check the results.
6. You can always run it again and turn it up a little if you need.

The problem with ozone not dissipating the way it should can linked to too much ozone being blasted for too long.

According to some experts, you can get into an arena where VOCs begin to break up and form other types of gases when exposed to heavy ozone too long.

This is not result you’re after. It is much better to start small then have to deal with a problem like that.

Ozone Generator Applications

1.  Hotel rooms.

A smoking room can be transformed into a non-smoking room.

A non-smoking room that has been smoked in can be restored.

Cooking smells. Many hotels come with kitchenettes that can produce strong lingering odors. A ozone generator can oxidize the strong odors and return the room to freshness.

Bacteria, germs, and viruses.
The amount of traffic a hotel room sees can leave all sorts of nasty germs. Ozone can sanitize everything in the room.

2.  Vehicles

Cigarette and cigar odors can permanently saturate the inside of a car or truck.
Auto detailers can use a ozone generator to completely remove the smell of third hand smoke from the inside of the cab of the vehicle.

3.  House flipping and rental remediation.

The smell left behind from a tenant or previous owner that was a inside smoker,  can leave a big imprint on a property that is being flipped or rented.

Ozone can remove the smell of smoke from walls and floors leaving the house free of smoke smells

4.Mold remediation.
Selling or renting a house with mold issues will bring down the value drastically.

Once the source of the mold is identified and fixed, an ozone generator can be used to clear out mold spores as well as the musky smell left behind.

Will ozone work on cat urine?

The answer is mostly no. Cat urine typically gets deep down into the carpet underneath the floorboards.

Ozone is a topical oxidizer and doesn’t get underneath the carpet or inside the walls.

There are different oxidizer solutions you can put on cat urine if the problem is not too extreme.

But you should be prepared to rip the carpet out if you have a strong stench.

How does ozone water treatment work?

Ozone or trioxygen oxidizes metal, magnesium, and sulfides in H2O to form   indissoluble metallic oxidations or fundamental sulfides. These indissoluble particulates are filtered out post ozonation. Natural particulates and vocs are removed bar clotting or being chemically oxidized.

An ozone generator is used to clean water in the same way that it cleans the air except for ozone being pumped into the air is being pumped into water.

Is primarily used in wastewater to kill bacteria and germs.

A post filtration method is needed to filter out any oxidized metals or fragments that get left behind through the process.

Treating water with ozone is powerful than chlorine for removing toxins from water and doesn’t stay in the water nearly as long as chlorine.

But regardless of its efficiency, ozone remains too expensive to be used as a primary way of creating clean water.

see also:
What Does an Ioniser Do?

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