These require a little more thought than most odor remediations – and a little more investment – ours are about $800 a copy.
They work great tho – you just have to understand the process.
Ozone is that fresh clean smell you get after a lightning strike in a thunderstorm. O3 to the chemists, it is three oxygen ions vs the 2 in O2 – the normal form of oxygen.
It is highly unstable in O3 form – it very quickly “bumps into” another O3 ion and makes 3 oxygen O2 molecules out of the 2 O3 ozone molecules.
Hence it is a potent “free radical” as they say in the health food stores, a likely carcinogen in O3 form.
This is good and bad.
It is bad if you are in the room when the machine is running – the O3 will also interact with the molecules in your body to form O2 and some mutant bad thing – at a minimum it will make you and your pets nauseous – which creates odors rather than fixes them.
If you are not in the room – it is good – it will interact with the odor causing organic substance and immobilize, for want of a better word and eliminate the odor.
This is why ozone generators have timers – you set the timer for a half hour or so (ours are rated for a 1500 square foot area in about 60 minutes). You stay away for an hour or so after the timer expires. After immobilizing all the odor, the remaining ozone will go thru the first process I mentioned – reacting with other ozone ions to form pure oxygen and “problem solved”.
The machine itself is just two electrical plates a few millimeters apart that form little tiny lightning bolts in between when the current is on. Low tech – but real effective.
We’ve used these in all kinds of places –
– antique bathrooms where we couldn’t trace the odor -the ozone will penetrate cracks in walls and grout and get at odor sources you can’t reach with a disinfectant.
– carpets – same thing – leave it on long enough and it will penetrate deeply to immobilize / kill organics like mold and mildew.
– pet stains in wallboard – it won’t cure the problem – but it will go far enough into the gypsum to buy you a couple of days peace for your pet allergic friends to attend your New Years Eve party. This is not an hypothetical – I’ve done this.
– new carpet odor – the odor is VOC’s (you’re solvent sniffing when you move into new plastic carpeted environs) and that is the “classic” organic chemical as your chemist friends will tell you. Ozone bonds with the VOC and basically makes it inert so it can’t hurt you or annoy you any more.
I actually had an employee use it to “save” one of his adult children’s houses. They had spent years and a ton of money remodeling an old house – and were all starting to suffer from allergies – sick building syndrome. They vacated the house for a couple of mornings one weekend – ran our generator on full tilt for a couple of hours upstairs, then down. Still in the house 5 years later – no allergic reactions.
There are also low power generators for continuous use in smaller rooms where people don’t spend all day inhaling the ozone – like plant or retail bathrooms. They are made by a company called “The Ozone Specialists” under the brand “Newaire”. I haven’t used these, but they look similar to the ones that the Sharper Image used to sell in huge quantities, and people swore by them. I just wouldn’t put one in a bedroom or an office where you sit and inhale it all day. I don’t think they ever proved a link between cancer and ozone – and low exposure probably isn’t much of a risk – – but I wouldn’t recommend 40 hours or more a week exposure to any oxidants. They also make something similar to the old Sharper Image car deodorizer for people who smoke in their car.
Pretty cool – huh ?