What Are Air Purifiers with Ozone Generators?
You may know about air purifiers, but odds are you’ve never heard of an ozone generator. Air purifiers with Ozone generators quite simply generate ozone. It is great at odor control. Some air purifiers come with built-in ozone generators, which can add an extra layer of air purity.
An Air purifier with a built-in ozone generator purifies the air like a standard air purifier, while it also produces large amounts of ozone, to help further cleaning air. Ozone generators help to purify the air by killing mold and fungi, which can be harmful to breathe in. The air purifier portion of your combination unit will clean the air itself, which is something an ozone generator cannot do on its own.
There are many different types of air purifiers on the market, and several different kinds of filters as well. A little-known addition to the air purifier family are the combination units, which marry an air purifier to various other systems to provide the highest possible air cleaning quality. One such hybrid system is an air purifier with an ozone generator.
Ozone generators and air purifiers are not one and the same. An air purifier utilizes filters like HEPA filters, fabric filters, carbon filters, and static plates. These filters are great at sifting particles out of the air, but they fail to actually neutralize a lot of the pollutants in the air that can be harmful. The air purifier can’t be blamed for this since it isn’t designed to address certain issues, which units like ozone generators address.
An ozone generator does not rely on filters to clean the air, except for potentially using a pre-filter to screen out large particles in the air. Ozone generators are designed to address some of the root causes of poor air quality like odors, mold, and fungus, while not actually taking these things out of the air completely. Where an air purifier excels at removing allergens from the air, ozone generators on their own, fail.
So, what is the best course of action? Well, someone decided to marry the two systems together, and found that the two systems made the perfect team! The air purifier removes particles from the air, while the ozone generator destroys the root issues with your air quality. In the end, much higher air quality can be achieved. Think of it as the best of both worlds!
Many air purifier ozone generating combination units allow you to turn off the ozone generating capabilities of your unit. Why do they allow this? Well, that’s the issue with ozone generators – ozone is actually harmful to you, if you breathe in too much. This is why machines that create ozone advice you to only run them in vacated rooms.
WHY DO I NEED AN OZONE GENERATOR?
Most times, you do not specifically need an ozone generator, as other units can fix similar issues. Issues like mold, fungi, and odors can all be fixed with a dehumidifier air purifier combination unit which has a carbon filter. Because a dehumidifier air purifier combo can address a lot that an ozone generator can, we recommend purchasing one of these units instead, since they are safe to run with people in the room.
One thing ozone generators do that the other combination units out there don’t do is kill pests. Ozone generators can kill pests like roaches and fleas, but they will need time to do so. Ozone can’t efficiently take care of the eggs from these irritating banes of home owning, so you will have to use the ozone generator long enough for them to hatch, and subsequently die.
Hiring a professional service may be your best bet in extermination, as you will likely need back in your home before the ozone can actually run its full course. These services can target the adults, and the eggs of whatever pest you have, and eliminate them quickly, as an ozone generator will take time. In addition to the time issue, a lot of the pests you may be trying to kill can actually sense the ozone in your home, and they will leave, but are likely to return!
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DEHUMIDIFIER AND AN OZONE GENERATOR?
Both of these units can help in your fight against mold, mildew, and fungi. However, a dehumidifier can be used with people in the room, while an ozone generator cannot, as it is unsafe to do so. Ozone can be damaging to one’s body, while a dehumidifier simply removes moisture from the air, which isn’t dangerous.
These generators eliminate odors, while dehumidifiers are more apt to simply reduce odors, since many odors are caused/more prevalent in moist areas. Ozone generators can also eliminate pests, while dehumidifiers cannot. Another thing ozone can do is it kills fungi and mold (bear in mind, mold is very hard to kill completely, unless you remove it at its source), while a dehumidifier simply makes it harder for these organisms to thrive, as they prefer moist areas.
We recommend purchasing an air purifier dehumidifier combination machine, as these are more affordable, and are safe to use than their ozone generating counterparts. These machines address a lot of similar issues, and with the safety concerns, we find dehumidifier units to be preferable. When looking for a dehumidifier/purifier unit, be sure to get one with a HEPA filter and a carbon filter for the best results. If you find a unit with a pre-filter, this is preferred, as it will save you money in the long run.
To learn more about air purifier filters, and the importance of these filters, check out our article “How Important Are Air Purifier Filters.” This article will shed a little light on the different kinds of air filters out there, and what they do. Another post answers the question “Do I Need a Pre-Filter?” Here, we explain the many pluses behind having a pre-filter in your air purifier.
WHAT DOES AN OZONE GENERATOR KILL? WHAT DOES OZONE REMOVE?
Ozone generators on their own don’t remove anything from the air, other than odors, which is where the need for the air purifying portion of the unit comes into play. The air purifier will remove particles from the air, while your ozone generator simply kills things.
Whether you have odors that you would like to remove while you are away from your home. If you have pesky mildew, bugs, and other potentially harmful things invading your home, then a you may need to consider using an ozone generator to deal with them. Some things that ozone is known to kill are:
-Bugs (Roaches, Fleas, Etc.)
-Mildew, Fungi, and Mold Spores
-Rodents and Small Critters
The EPA found that ozone is a toxic gas, so treat it as such! Even though it is made from oxygen molecules, it isn’t the same as the oxygen gas we breathe. Ozone air purifiers can be dangerous, and many people recommend avoiding them because of this. However, is used correctly, with safety in mind, these machines can be a valuable asset.
Ozone generators are not your only option in mold mitigation. Dehumidifiers also do a great job at keeping your home free! Check out our article on the best air purifiers for mold and fungus for more information on air purifiers and these moisture-related issues. Keep in mind that air purifiers cannot eliminate a current mold issue, so you will need to get professional help to safely deal with your mold!
MY HOME NEEDS AN OZONE GENERATOR, BUT I CAN’T AFFORD ONE OR DON’T WANT ONE. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Fortunately, capitalism has already brought about a solution for you. Many cities have companies which rent out and operate ozone generators. These services allow you to avoid the cost of buying an ozone generator, and it also limits the risk of using these units. However, these companies will likely require you to vacate your home for a day or two to ensure the ozone has completed its mission.
It is recommended to use ozone generation as a means to combat the effects of moisture on a flooded house, such as mold and mildew. Ozone can also be used to eliminate odors. However, both of these issues (odors and moisture related problems) can normally be overcome with other air purifier combination units. What we have found to be the most effective unit in combating these issues is an air purifier with a built in dehumidifier. What are air purifiers with ozone generators. These units are also usually cheaper than ozone generating units. See our post on these great units!
WHAT ARE THE DANGERS OF OZONE?
Ozone, which is made up of three oxygen molecules, is actually very unstable. Its inherent instability is why we rarely come across it in out day to day, since oxygen molecules generally prefer being O2 (what we breathe) rather than O3 (ozone). While ozone is saving our lives way up in the atmosphere, it can actually harm us if we breathe in too much of it.
Ozone’s instability is what makes it such an effective odor eliminator. It reacts with, and subsequently breaks down just about everything that it comes into contact with. Ozone’s ability to react so readily makes it a great weapon in a fight against mold, fungi, and mildew, but it comes at a cost of being potentially dangerous to every living thing. This is why it can be used for pest control.
Ozone’s volatility means that it reacts with your lungs, eyes and skin, breaking down the bonds that hold them together. Think of it as acid to metal, only it’s acting like acid to living matter. This is why you are advised to vacate the room you are operating the ozone generator in. If you can smell the ozone, then it is posing a potential risk to you.
So long as you follow the advised rules of dealing with ozone, then it shouldn’t pose any health risk to you. It will effectively sterilize your home’s air. An ozone generator can be especially efficient and effective if you utilize it in a building which is vacant for extended periods of time (i.e. a vacation home, storage building, or seasonal building), but the benefits can also be numerous after just operating the unit for a few hours (i.e. overnight at your business, while you are work, while you are on vacation, etc.).
Many people advise not using ozone generators in homes, since they can be dangerous to one’s health. However, the use of these machines is not limited to its ozone capabilities. Since you would be buying a combination unit, you are free to just use the air purifier portion of the unit. You can just activate the ozone portion of the machine when you find it necessary, and safe to do so. What are air purifiers with ozone generators good for?
OZONE AND ASTHMA
Another thing to consider is that ozone can trigger one’s asthma as well, which is an added risk of ozone exposure. Another consideration is for those with respiratory system concerns. When there is a lot of ozone in the air, it can even scar your lungs. Headaches and breathing issues can arise with long term ozone exposure as well. It is recommended to only use it occasionally, if at all. Fortunately, ozone does have a distinct “fresh” smell, which makes it easy to identify. Use its smell as a warning to turn it off, and leave the room until the smell dissipates.
In addition to bothering people with asthma, ozone can also bother babies who don’t have asthma too! This is because a newborn’s lungs (and even children’s lungs) are still developing. If you have young people in your home, you should avoid getting an ozone generator. Check out our post on the safety of air purifiers for babies to find out what you need for your children’s breathing health!
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Can I Get an Air Purifier?
Air purifiers are sold worldwide. Look online, or go to a local home improvement store or department store. We recommend looking online so you can find the largest selection of machines, and also compare prices much easier.
What is the Difference Between an Air Purifier vs. a Dehumidifier?
An air purifier does just that: it purifiers the air. A dehumidifier on the other hand simply takes moisture out of the air. Dehumidifiers do help with allergies, since many allergens thrive in humid areas, but they do not clean the air itself. There are air purifier machines with built in dehumidifiers, which can equate to waging nuclear war with your allergens. These combo units will do wonders to your home’s air if you live in a humid area. Or if you have humid rooms in your home (like a bathroom and kitchen).
Are Air Purifiers a Waste of Money?
Not at all, unless you’re lucky enough to be living somewhere without any control indoor air pollution. Indoor air purifiers are a great investment! If you have any allergies, or are susceptible to viruses bacteria, an air purifier can solve your problems.
Where Should I Put My Air Purifier?
It is best to put your air purifier wherever you spend the bulk of your time. Many people find this to be their living room, bedroom, or home office. You can even get air purifiers for your workplace. Office cubicles, the local gym, or an old building whose smells make you wonder if you’re getting cancer.
What is an Ozone Generating Air Purifier?
These machines work like normal air purifiers, by with one major caveat, they also release a gas known as ozone. Small levels of ozone are not dangerous. The clean smell you smell during a lightning storm is actually ozone! Air cleaners with ozone generators are great for sterilizing a room, but you had best keep the room vacated. What are air purifiers with ozone generators? Remember that all indoor air cleaners need backup replacement filters that need to be changed regularly.
Should I Get an Air Purifier with an Ozone Generator if I Have Asthma?
No! Ozone is a known irritant to people with asthma. Ozone has 3 oxygen molecules rather than normal O2 that we breathe. This may sound harmless, but it isn’t for asthmatics. You should never run ozone generating air purifiers when someone, especially someone with asthma, is in the room. Make sure that you read the manufacturer instructions, read the health effect, stay in the outdoor air while indoors ozone is in operation to avoid short of breath, throat irritation, and exposure to ozone.
Our family uses purifiers that produce ozone for removing odor and removing the smell that is created over time in the basement or sometimes closets. People always ask if the concentration of ozone bad for you. We have not had any problems with our large family, but we also stay in the outdoor air while the machine is in operation.
What is Ozone?
Ozone is a gas which is comprised of 3 oxygen atoms. The air we normally breathe just has 2 atoms. It is created when an electric current is passed through oxygen. Ozone is an effective tool for sterilizing areas, and it also protects our planet from solar radiation. These ozone machines effectively remove odors (pet odors, cigarette smoke, smells that come from home appliances) and remember to use in unoccupied space while you are breathing outdoor air. Your indoor air quality needs to be fresh air for our families.