First off, let’s figure out what Ozone is. . .
Ozone is a colorless gas with a pungent odor and powerful oxidizing properties, formed from oxygen by electrical discharges or ultraviolet light. It differs from normal oxygen (O2) in having three atoms in its molecule (O3).
Ozone is a naturally occurring element found on Earth and is created when an electrical arc like lightning or certain ultraviolet rays from the sun are introduced to oxygen in the atmosphere. When a strong electrical current, like a bolt of lightning occurs, oxygen molecules are ripped apart leaving single oxygen atoms to hang out— the oxygen atoms hate being single, so they quickly pair up with other oxygen molecules and create O3.
The Ozone layer in the atmosphere is created by the sun’s shortwave ultraviolet rays rather than electricity through a similar process. Ozone Generators replicate either the electrical or ultraviolet process on a much smaller scale in order to work in your home.
I bet you are thinking, this is all fine and great, but how does an Ozone Generator remove odor from my home?
“Ozone reacts with odor molecules by transferring the “extra” atom of the ozone molecule to the odor molecule changing its composition so it no longer has the same chemical makeup. This chemical reaction is called oxidation.” 1
Simply put, the oxidation process changes the odor molecule to a new compound and it can no longer hold the odor. Spray on deodorizers trap the odor, whereas Ozone Generators change the molecular make-up of the odor completely.
Ozone Generators are especially effective in removing smoke smells from homes, cars, and other enclosed areas.
Ozone Generators are typically used after any restoration work is completed and are safe to use in homes. It’s required for safety to not enter the room or premises while the Ozone Generator is in use and making sure pets and plants are also not in the room while it is running as it removes the oxygen from the air. After the room airs out, it is safe to be in and the odor is eliminated.
1Hart, D. (n.d.). Ozone 101: Using Oxygen Molecules for Odor Removal. Retrieved February 24, 2016, from http://www.randrmagonline.com/articles/86744-ozone-101-using-oxygen-molecules-for-odor-removal
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