For those new to air purification systems, it can be difficult to determine which technology is most effective. The result is often confusion about different types of air purifiers. Two new technologies that are sometimes confusing in this area are ozone generators and air purifiers. As a consumer, here's what you need to know about ozone generators and air purifiers.
To avoid the most important things early on, let me briefly mention that there are major differences between air purifiers and ozone generators. An air purifier is a device that uses a variety of filter mechanisms to remove contaminants from the air. Some air purifiers work better than others, but the basic principle of using special filter media to filter contaminants from the air is effective and science based.
On the other hand, the ozone generator is questionable and can be harmful to your health. Ozone is beneficial in blocking the sun's rays, but inhalation is extremely dangerous. Manufacturers of ozone generators point out that ozone can react with pollutants in the indoor air and effectively neutralize them. But the truth is that these reactions take a long time. Ozone generators, on the other hand, expose users to harmful gases that can have serious long-term health consequences. In fact, misrepresentation of the effectiveness of ozone generators is such a big issue that the organizations maintain an information page detailing their ineffectiveness and potential health risks.
Ozone generator vs. the air purifier
The ozone generator typically intentionally produces ozone gas by ionizing oxygen molecules that are already present in the air, promoting their combination to the triatomic O3, commonly known as ozone. Manufacturers of these devices claim that ozone present in the air can react with common pollutants to neutralize them. The air purifier, on the other hand, uses some sort of filter to trap contaminants. The two most common types of filters are HEPA, which captures small solid particles, and activated carbon, which can control gaseous pollutants such as VOCs. Many air purifiers combine multiple types of filters to allow them to capture several classes of contaminants. These devices have been shown to be effective in removing many common pollutants from indoor air.
Why doesn't the ozone generator work?
On paper, the ozone generator seems like a good idea. Ozone reacts with many types of pollutants and is also used commercially to purify water and air in vacant spaces. However, the problem is that the level of ozone required for all types of air purification usually exceeds the safety limits of ozone pollution. In other words, the ozone generator needs to produce dangerously high levels of ozone before it can do much about other air pollutants. Controlling exposure levels is also very difficult when using an ozone generator.
How harmful is ozone to human health?
Ozone is a respiratory stimulant. Common symptoms of ozone exposure are headache, cough, and shortness of breath. Longer exposure increases the risk of developing asthma. The effects of ozone depend on the level and duration of exposure but inhaling high concentrations of gas is considered dangerous.
As you can see, it is important to choose the right air purification technique when deciding to purify the air in the room. We hope that this description of ozone generators and air purifiers will help dispel some of the myths about the possible benefits of ozone in the home.