Bad odors that come from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air are not only annoying but potentially bad for your health. Sometimes these odors can be so strong, traditional cleaning methods like using baking soda or white vinegar simply do not work. If you are confronted with such potent and potentially harmful odors in your home, car or place of work, you will likely consider more powerful ways to remove them.

One of these methods involves using an ozone purifier to eliminate bad smells.

How do ozone generators remove odorous particles?

TECHIIX™ Ozone Purifier produces ozone by breaking oxygen molecules (O2) apart so that singular atoms can bond with other O2 molecules to form O3 (ozone). This is done in two ways: through silent corona discharge, which utilizes electric discharge to split the oxygen molecules, or via UV radiation to split oxygen molecules. Either way, the device generates ozone.

How do ozone generators perform with common odors?

Though all odor molecules are classified as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), here is how ozone might interact with specific problem odors you may encounter in your home:

Pet odors

As much as we love them, our pets are some of the most common sources of stinkiness in a house. Pet dander is composed of skin flakes and the most common source of that “pet smell,” which can be hard to get rid of with traditional methods. For general pet odors in a room, an ozone machine might mask any smells that can be picked up by the human nose.

On the other hand, pet urine—a very common source of strong odor in carpets and porous materials—contains urea, which will not oxidize. Therefore, it is important to identify the source of your pet odor smells before choosing to use an ozone generator.

Large car (transport) odors

Long haul and short haul trucking companies that transport produce, livestock and many other items that leave behind a wide range of smells might require frequent odor removal in their vehicles. Depending on the extent of the problem, ozone generators can be run for several hours in these transportation vehicles (while unoccupied) to help eliminate some of the odors. However, as we discussed, the efficacy of ozone on VOCs is not certain and may be limited if applied in a short time period.

Cigarette smoke

Smoke is difficult to remove from the air and is dangerous to inhale, so this is one of the odors you should take immediate steps to mitigate. Because it is a difficult odor to remove, people often try ozone and other more extreme odor removal methods. But there are some serious caveats about using ozone in this way. Brian W. Christman, a professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University and a spokesman for the American Lung Association, notes that ozone can be very hard on people with asthma or cardiovascular issues and may be harmful at high levels. Since smokers are at an increased risk for both asthma and cardiovascular disease, it is easy to understand the risks associated with using ozone to remove cigarette smoke.

Mold and mildew

Ozone might effectively mask smells produced by mold and mildew. But whether or not the ozone actually treats the mold issue will depend on several factors, including the extent of the problem, the source and type of mold. Nevertheless, ozone Purifier may still be a viable option for reducing mold and mildew odors because mold will oxidize under the conditions of high shock ozone treatment. This level of ozone is too high for exposure and requires the safety precautions discussed above.

Mold and mildew grow in dark and humid places where there is a lack of fresh oxygen. In all cases the moisture and humidity in the walls, floor etc., must first be removed or solved permanently to effectively eliminate the problem mold and odor. However, ozone can also be an unpleasant smell as well, so mitigating the mold issue this way may just be substituting one issue for another. Furthermore, it is likely that ozone generators are unable to remedy the cause of the mold, so it is still only a partial solution if at all.

Human smells and body odors

Rental homes may reek with the smell of a past tenant. Strong body odors can linger and be difficult to air out by simply leaving windows open or through basic cleaning. In this case, an ozone generator may seem like a reasonable next step. However, past research indicates “that body odor may be masked by the smell of ozone but is not removed by ozone.” Therefore in the case of human odors, it would make sense to try a non-ozone air purifier and other traditional forms of cleaning before turning to ozone with potentially limited efficacy.