Air purifiers are a great way to reduce the odors and irritating particles in your home. There are two main categories of purifier: those that create ozone, and those that use filters. Both types of purifiers work, but ozone producing air purifiers have a lot of controversy surrounding them. In spite of the controversy, ozone generators have two big reasons for their continued popularity: they’re quieter and they are prettier.
Are Ozone Purifiers Safe In My Home?
Quiet Operation: One of the most popular reasons ozone purifiers are chosen is that they are much quieter in operation than filter style air purifiers. Because they do not use fans to push air through them to gather particles that get trapped in a filter, ozone generators and ionic air purifiers that produce ozone as a by-product are barely noticeable when they are running.
Good Looks: Ozone machines tend to be sleeker and smaller than filter style air purifiers because they do not need to house large fans or bulky filters.
What Is Ozone?
Ozone is simply oxygen. So why is it considered dangerous? Ozone consists of three oxygen molecules compared to the two that make up the air we breathe. The reason ozone can be used to destroy odors, or break up harmful bacteria and other particles in the air is that when oxygen is bonded in threes it is much less stable, and easy to break apart.
Oxygen bonded in two parts is stronger, and more stable. The fact that ozone is so fragile is its strength, and a benefit to those who employ it for air quality as well.
How An Ozone Purifier Reduces Odors
Air purifiers that use ozone to reduce odors rely on the instability of the triple molecule connection. When ozone bumps into other molecules in the air, one part of the oxygen combination breaks off and attaches itself to the other element in the air. This oxidizes that element and renders it useless. It therefore removes smell, neutralizes bacteria and mold, and causes all particles to be so heavy they can’t float so they fall to the ground.
Your home may suddenly seem dustier after you employ an ozone generator or ionic air purifier. That’s not actually true, it just means the particles are falling out of the air around you, and you will have a little more work to clean them up. Most air purifiers that use ozone technology also use electronic plates to attract the dropping molecules. This helps to clean up the area a little bit, but because these machines do not use fans or suction to pull in the surrounding air, it will only gather up a limited amount of the number of particles falling.
Are Ozone Air Purifiers Safe?
The science behind how air purification with ozone works also means it is safer than most people fear. The EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, regulates ozone emitting air purifiers so that you can be sure the exposure from them won’t be hazardous, but ozone in itself is very short lived. Once the triple molecule breaks apart, it becomes simple oxygen, and is safe to breathe.
How To Use An Ozone Purifier
The safest way to use an ozone purifier is when you are out of the house. If you set your purifier to turn on after you have left for work or school, or even when you run errands, and turn off an hour before you get back, levels of ozone will have become reduced to common oxygen when you get back.
When To Not Use An Ozone Generator
If you have any medical condition that limits your lung function choose a filter style air purifier instead. Anyone with very young children, or small pets should reconsider ozone generators or air purifiers that create ozone levels as well. In these cases, an air purifier with a HEPA filter and carbon activated filter will be a much better solution for good air quality in the home.