What Can an Air Ozone Purifier Do?
An air ozone purifier can destroy bacteria, viruses, mold spores, and unpleasant odors. However, it does little to remove chemical pollutants such as formaldehyde and ultrafine particles from the air.
Breathing high levels of ozone can cause coughing, chest pain and shortness of breath. These effects are worse for people with pre-existing respiratory conditions like asthma.
Removing Bacteria and Germs
Ozone is a powerful oxidizer, and it can kill microorganisms and disinfect surfaces. In fact, it’s used to sterilize hospitals and other public spaces. It’s also commonly used to remove mold and mildew from commercial settings.
However, ozone is dangerous to humans and other living organisms when inhaled. It can cause respiratory distress, headaches, and even death at high levels. Therefore, it’s important to keep ozone levels low and use only as directed.
Most ozone air cleaners also contain an ionizer or oxygen generator. Ionizers release negatively charged ions into the air that attract positive particles like dust, smoke, and pollen. The ions then latch onto the particles and cause them to fall to the ground. This can make it easier to clean up your home.
But ozone isn’t as effective at removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other chemicals that may produce odors. It’s also not as effective at removing airborne bacteria, germs, and viruses.
Air cleaners are a safer and more effective way to improve indoor air quality. Look for air cleaning devices that have been tested at a CARB-accredited testing lab such as Intertek. Blueair air purifiers, for example, undergo extensive testing to ensure they don’t produce ozone and other harmful pollutants. These tests are performed by an independent laboratory to give you peace of mind that your equipment is safe and effective.
Killing Mold and Mildew
The ozone in an air ozone purifier can kill mold and mildew. This is a very important function and one of the main reasons people choose to use an air ozone machine. However, ozone does have some limitations when it comes to killing mold.
The first is that ozone only kills mold that it can reach. This means that you will still have to clean and disinfect any areas where the mold has been trapped behind walls or in other porous materials. This is why it is so important to use a HEPA filter air ozone purifier in conjunction with an air ozone machine if you have a serious mold problem.
Another limitation is that ozone does not prevent mold from growing in the first place. Molds are air ozone purifier fungus and they break down dead organic material such as leaves, wood, and insulation, as well as drywall and leather. They can also cause structural damage to a home.
While mold spores are not dangerous to humans they can irritate the lungs and skin when inhaled. The reason for this is that mold spores contain mycotoxins, microscopic poisons. When the spores are inhaled they can attach to the cells inside the lungs. This can lead to respiratory distress and a variety of other health issues. In addition, ozone can actually dull the sense of smell in people, making it less effective at controlling odors.
Air ozone generators claim to remove unpleasant or even dangerous chemical odors from homes, offices and automobiles. They work on a general principle of silent corona discharge, in which electrical discharge alters the molecular structure of air molecules. This change allows ozone to react with the odor-causing molecules and change their chemical properties, making them smell different or destroy them altogether.
Studies on ozone’s ability to remove odors have been less conclusive than those on bacteria and molds. However, ozone is known to react readily with some odorous chemicals, including those that contribute to the smell of new carpeting and those that cause secondhand tobacco smoke to stink. It is also believed that ozone can kill or remove some odor-causing bacteria and viruses, such as those found in sewage and animal feces.
Ozone generators should not be used to clean or sanitize occupied spaces unless they are specially designed to do so without creating harmful concentrations of the gas. Ozone may make these spaces uninhabitable and can even be harmful to people with asthma or other respiratory conditions if high concentrations are inhaled over an extended period of time. Instead, it is recommended to purchase or rent a multi-stage air cleaner that does not produce ozone and includes HEPA filters, UV-C light technology for killing bacteria and activated carbon for removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These cleaners can be operated while people are in the room, unlike ozone generators which must be run while people are out of the space.
While ozone is beneficial when it occurs high up in the atmosphere because it helps prevent harmful ultraviolet light from reaching the earth’s surface, at ground level it can cause serious respiratory issues. Inhaling ozone in large enough concentration can irritate the lungs and lead to chest pain, coughing, and shortness of breath. It can also worsen existing respiratory conditions like asthma.
Some manufacturers of air cleaners claim that their products can generate ozone as a natural byproduct of the cleaning process. They may use misleading marketing terms such as “energized oxygen,” “mountain-fresh air,” or “saturated oxygen.”
Most ozone generators produce ozone by using either a silent corona discharge or an ultraviolet generation method to split the molecules of oxygen. Silent corona discharge is more effective and safer than the ultraviolet method.
Some air ozone purifiers combine an ozone generator with an ionizer to perform multiple functions in one machine. Ionizers can remove many pollutants from the air by causing them to electrically charge and adhere to nearby surfaces, but they can also generate unwanted ozone. It is important to research air purifiers before making a purchase and make sure they meet strict safety standards set by reputable organizations. For example, the consumer organization Consumer Reports recommends avoiding ozone-generating air cleaners that do not display their ozone output levels.