Why is it the some air purifiers are said to emit ozone while other air purifiers claim to be ozone free?
Isn’t ozone dangerous to breathe?
Does it make a lot of sense that something that is supposed to clean your air would actually be making your air worse by introducing ozone into your breathing space?
These are just some of the questions I hear about ozone all the time?
Are you worried that your air purifier is unsafe?
Table of Contents
How to tell if your air purifier emits ozone?
- Ozone Smell
- Blue light
- Dusty surfaces
The main thing you’ll notice if your air purifier creates ozone is the smell. Ozone has a very distinctive smell comparable to bleach or antiseptic.
Most companies that sell ozone air purifiers market the smell as an after a thunderstorm freshness. You’ll have to be the judge of that for yourself.
If your air purifier has a blue light shining from it then you have a UV lamp. Ultraviolet light creates ozone as by-product.
Does your air purifier and the surrounding surfaces gets extra dusty. If they do, it’s because your air purifier is creating negative ions that attach themselves to dust.
This causes the dust to become too heavy to float, so it falls to the surface. These machines are called Ionizers and they also create ozone as a byproduct.
There are several air cleaning technologies that create ozone as a means of cleaning the air or as a by-product.
Types of Ozone Air Purifiers
- Ultraviolet light
- Photocatalytic Oxidation
- Ozone Generator
Each one of these air purifiers is considered an electronic air cleaner that is filterless.
In fact, it is being filterless that is the reason that most people purchase these types of air purifiers.
And Why Not?
The idea of being married to replacing filters in an air purifier for the entire life of the air purifier is not exactly tantalizing, and not exactly easy on your wallet.
And though there are many who set out to demonize the use of ozone in any manner, the truth is, it is a very powerful oxidant that has the ability to reduce airborne contaminants down to basically zero.
But because this group of people have the loudest voice, you have probably mostly heard that ozone is dangerous to breathe and should never be used.
My question is,
If that is the case then shouldn’t we cut out electricity and fire too, because they are just too dangerous.
That would be ridiculous. but you can imagine that in some point of history somebody was probably thinking that.
The Point Is..
Just like electricity, ozone must be respected and harnessed in order to get the best result from it without it being harmful.
Is Ozone dangerous?
Yes. Ozone can be dangerous to breathe.
Because ozone basically oxidizes anything that it comes in contact with, it will also oxidize your lung tissue if you breathe too much of it.
No one is arguing this point.
The first rule of using a ozone generator is that it is not to be used in the vicinity of people, pets, or plants.
The area should not only be cleared out when the ozonator is in use,
You should also allow for the ozone to clear out a good hour before reusing the area.
But that’s for using a ozone generator that is specifically meant to pump in large amounts of ozone.
What about air purifiers like ionic air purifiers that create ozone as a byproduct?
The federal limit for ozone is .05 parts per million. That is the limit did they say is still acceptable to breathe.
And to be fair, if every company that sold ozone generators as as household air cleaners, had abided by the law in the first place, than the fear I’m having an air purifier that creates ozone as a by-product would not exist.
If you have an air purifier that you feel like creates too much ozone, then why not simply apply the number one rule given for ozone generators.
Don’t use it when they are people in the vicinity and give it plenty of time to dissipate.
Ozone is remarkably good at getting rid of indoor air contaminants, especially germs and bacteria.
so why throw out the baby with the bathwater?
Why not use a timer and run it when you or out of the house?
Not to worry…
If you are still not sure, you can still have clean air without ever coming in contact or breathing in Ozone.
Not all air purifiers use ozone or create ozone as a byproduct.
The largest sector of air purification relies on HEPA filters and activated carbon.
Both or which very safe and do not introduce anything into the air that can be considered harmful in any way.
HEPA filters have the capacity to capture pollutants as small as .03 microns.
And for the indoor air pollution that is smaller than .03 microns such as gases and odors, these are air purifiers already equipped with activated Carbon.
For consumers who do not want anything to do with ozone, this type of air purifier is very effective.
There are also many air purifiers the combine both filter and filterless technologies to get the best of both worlds. And there are many ways these technologies complement each other.
For instance, a UV light targeted right on your HEPA filter will help reduce the chance of live bacteria or mold growing on the filter.
The easiest way to tell if your air purifier emits ozone is that it smells like antiseptic.
Other ways include a blue light shining from it, and the surfaces around the air purifier being extra dusty.
Ozone is very effective at eliminating indoor air contaminants but it also can be dangerous to breathe in large amounts.
One way to get the benefit of ozone as an air cleaner but not risk the danger of breathing it is to only run it when you’re going to be away a couple or few hours to allow the machine to function and then for the ozone to dissipate.
Not all air purifiers create ozone so if you do not want to have anything to do with ozone, you still have some good choices for air purification.