Do Ozone Generators Kill Mold? Usage and Safety - Airlucent (2022)

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Ozone generators are devices that emit ozone which is used for removing air pollutants. They simply disinfect the air by removing germs and odors. In some cases, ozone generators are also used in purifying water.Ozone generators kill mold but only when they produce ozone at levels that are unsafe for human beings and other living things.

Ozone is capable of killing mold spores in the air but household ozone generators are regulated to produce ozone at safe levels which may not be sufficient enough to instantly kill mold on porous surfaces and those found in hidden areas. At safe levels, ozone doesn’t kill mold or other organisms.

Do Ozone Generators Kill Mold? Usage and Safety - Airlucent (1)

How do ozone generators work?

Ozone generators create ozone (O3) through the following methods:

1. Ultraviolet radiation

Ultraviolet radiation splits oxygen into individual atoms which can then combine with oxygen (O2) to form ozone gas. This method is similar to how the sun’s UV rays create ozone in the upper parts of the earth’s atmosphere. This method is, however, quite inefficient and requires lots of UV radiation.

2. Silent corona dishcarge

Electrical discharges split oxygen molecules into individual oxygen atoms. The atoms then attach themselves to oxygen molecules (O2) to form ozone (O3). This process is much more efficient than UV radiation. In nature, electrical discharges such as lightning produce large amounts of ozone at once.

At high concentrations, ozone is very effective in attacking and killing mold, its spores, and mildew. The gas has abilities to deteriorate the cell structure of most microorganisms. When attached to the mold, ozone molecules stop them from multiplying and eventually destroy them completely.

Some types of ionizing air purifiers emit ozone and also produce negatively charged ions that attract various forms of dust particles found in the air including mold. Others also have a collecting plate where the heavy particles get collected. And those without a collecting plate, the heavy particles land on surfaces and are later cleaned out.

Do ozone generators really kill mold?

In dealing with the menace of mold, you need first to remove all moisture content so that you can avoid the growing back of mold after having your home cleaned. Ozone is a gas found in the upper atmosphere and it protects us from harmful radiation.

It is important, however, to note that when ozone is found near the earth’s surfaces, it becomes harmful and causes skin cancer, lung damage, among other health complications.

Ozone generators are regulated in terms of the amount of ozone gas that they emit. The gas can effectively kill mold if it is in large quantities than what is approved for use in homes. The more the concentration, the more effective it becomes in killing mold spores.

Some ozone generators do not effectively kill mold and other biological pollutants because they emit a small amount of ozone gas. They mostly work by trapping the mold spores and making them heavy so that they settle on other surfaces and are later be cleaned up. They do not therefore literally kill mold, but just remove it from the air.

Further, ozone generators do not effectively kill mold from materials like air conditioning duct lining and ceiling tiles. This is because they mainly focus on airborne particles. For that reason do not expect ozone generators to kill all the mold in your central air conditioner.

It is important to note that ozone generators do not kill mold entirely on their own, you need to clean the affected area with antimicrobial cleaners. Sometimes the affected area could be badly damaged, which would necessitate replacement. Any source of moisture should also be eliminated.

How Long Does Ozone Take to Kill Mold? 

Mold spores can generally be killed by ozone in an average of 3 to 6 hours. This is, however, dependent on the concentration levels of the ozone. An estimate of between 24 to 48 hours has also been proved to be effective.

With a high concentration of ozone therefore, it shall take a relatively shorter time for it to kill the mold and mold spores. The vice-versa is true with low levels of ozone concentration.

It is also very important that you root out the cause of the mold before using ozone generators. This is important because ozone only kills the mold but does not eliminate it if the conditions are favorable for its growth.

The removal and clean-up of mold should first be carried out before using the ozone generators. Ozone generators mostly concentrate on airborne mold spores. This implies that it is a clean-up process that is preceded by other forms of cleaning.

Can you be in a House with an Ozone Machine? 

The safety of the ozone machine mainly depends on how well you use it and the space in which you put it matters. It’s not safe to be in the same room with an ozone machine since ozone gas is harmful to the health of animals, plants, and human beings.

We have pets that stay in our houses and like birds especially, they do not put up with large amounts of ozone. For human beings, when you breathe in ozone or be exposed to it, it causes lung and skin damage among other health hazards. It is more harmful to young children with a developing immune system and to people with pre-existing medical conditions.

Since ozone disintegrates at a relatively fast rate, a maximum of 4 hours should be enough time before the occupants of the house can move into an area that had an ozone generator.

Another issue of concern about not being in a house with an ozone machine is that ozone reacts differently to different materials. This has been proven when items like carpets were corroded as a result of exposure to ozone. Being in a place where the ozone machine is therefore it is harmful.

How Long Does It Take for Ozone to Dissipate?

To dissipate is an irreversible reaction of an agent or a molecule to disappear. In our context, therefore, it means the time required for ozone gas to go away or become a different element altogether. After using an ozone generator device, you need to know how long it takes for ozone to dissipate so that the place is once again safe for habitation.

There is no specific time that we can conclusively say that ozone takes to dissipate. It largely depends on the concentration of the ozone gas. Ozone normally lasts for an estimated time of between 30 minutes to 4 hours. Here, the third oxygen atom breaks away from the other 2 oxygen atoms and forms the safe and breathable oxygen.

If the ozone levels are highly concentrated, it shall take between 3 to 4 hours for ozone to dissipate. It is therefore recommended that you wait for 4 hours after switching off the ozone generator before you can return to that place where it was.

The type of ventilation you have also determines the dissipation time. A good ventilation system will mean that the ozone gas shall disperse at a fast rate compared to a poorly ventilated place.Temperature levels also determine the rate of dissipation. Warm temperatures break down ozone molecules faster than cold temperatures.

Final Thought

Mold and mildew are very harmful and similarly is the ozone gas. It is important if you explore other safe forms of mold remediation and mainly focus on preventing the growth of mold in your home. While you can use ozone to kill mold, using it within the public health standards isn’t enough to kill mold.

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FAQs

Can ozone generators get rid of mold? ›

There is a common misconception that ozone can be used to get rid of the mold odor and the mold itself. Ozone will eliminate the odor, and it will kill/stop the mold spores from sprouting, but it is not a viable option for getting rid of all of the mold.

How long should you run an ozone generator to kill mold? ›

Mold is also much tougher to treat than common odors, so plan on running a properly sized ozone generator for at least 30 hours in each room being treated.

Can you be in a house with an ozone machine? ›

Are ozone generators safe? Unfortunately, no. The EPA has denounced these devices and cites several scientific studies showing they can be harmful to health and ineffective at removing airborne contaminants. That is why no federal agencies have approved ozone generators for use in occupied spaces.

What are the dangers of ozone generators? ›

People who buy ozone generators may not be aware that ozone can harm the cells in the lungs and respiratory airways. Exposure to ozone irritates and inflames the lining of the respiratory system. This causes symptoms including coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and impaired breathing.

What happens if you are in a room with an ozone generator? ›

What are some of the health effects from exposure to ozone? Adults and children who breathe high levels of ozone for a short period of time (minutes or hours) can experience eye, nose and throat irritation, shortness of breath, chest pain and coughing. Breathing high levels of ozone can worsen asthma symptoms.

What happens if you run ozone generator too long? ›

Running ozone too long can damage things and cause discoloration in some items.

Why can't you stay in a room with a ozone generator on? ›

When inhaled, ozone can damage the lungs. Relatively low amounts of ozone can cause chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath and, throat irritation. It may also worsen chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma as well as compromise the ability of the body to fight respiratory infections.

How long can you be in a room with an ozone machine? ›

Timer function can be set up to 120 minutes and you can also use “HOLD” mode to keep it on. Set the timer before you leave the room, ensure that no people or pets are in the room when the ozone machine is working. Treatment times are approximately 10 minutes to 60 minutes depending on the size of space.

What is better than an ozone machine? ›

Hydroxyl Machines

Hydroxyl generators use UV lights to convert airborne water into odor-neutralizing “radicals.” They are a safer alternative to ozone generators but can take up to three times longer to treat an area. Depending on the brand and how they work, some hydroxyl machines can produce harmful ozone.

Will ozone hurt electronics? ›

Ozone does not damage anything, it is also harmless to sensitive electronic devices or textiles. It does not affect paintings, wooden or leather surfaces, artefacts, furniture, rubber parts or chrome surfaces.

How much ozone is needed to clean a room? ›

4. How much ozone do liquid ozone cleaning solutions contain? It varies from application and manufacturer. It can be is as high as 5ppm or more for high-volume industrial settings but is normally around 2-3 ppm for most cleaning and sanitation applications.

How do you air out a house after ozone? ›

To deodorize a room, shut the doors and windows, switch on the portable ozone generator, and leave it running for a preset duration. No one should be in the room while it's operating. Once it's done its job, open the door to allow the air to escape before reentering the room.

What are 3 harmful health effects of ozone? ›

Human Health Effects

Breathing ground-level ozone can trigger a variety of health problems including chest pain, coughing, throat irritation, and congestion. It can worsen bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma. Ozone also can reduce lung function and inflame the lining of the lungs.

Is an ozone generator worth it? ›

In general, there is no scientific evidence that ozone generators are effective, unless they produce extremely high levels of ozone. Ultimately, there are much more efficient, safer solutions to air quality problems.

Can breathing ozone cause permanent damage? ›

Ozone damages the cells that line the air spaces in the lung. Within a few days, the damaged cells are replaced and the old cells are shed–much in the way skin peels after a sunburn. If this kind of damage occurs repeatedly, it may lead to permanent damage to your lungs that could cause a lower quality of life.

Can lungs recover from ozone exposure? ›

The lungs will usually recover within a few days after exposure to elevated concentrations of ozone. However, if ozone exposure is experienced over a longer period of time or on a number of repeated occasions within a year, chronic damage to lung tissue may occur.

How effective is ozone cleaning? ›

Ozone was shown to be highly effective to inactivate the SARS virus, in fact, it shows an inactivation rate not lesser than 99% [12].

Will an ozone generator remove urine smell? ›

Urine will not oxidize, therefore, ozone won't remove pet odors.

Can ozone go through walls? ›

Ozone generators penetrate carpets, walls, window treatments, light fixtures and air ducts with ozone, so it's believed the gas will tackle hard-to-reach causes of odors.

How long does it take for ozone to damage lungs? ›

Controlled human exposure studies have demonstrated that short-term exposure - up to 8 hours - causes lung function decrements such as reductions in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), and the following respiratory symptoms: Cough. Throat irritation.

What is better ozone generator or air purifier? ›

KEY TAKEAWAYS: Ozone created by ozone generators negatively affects indoor air quality and is not up to par with today's public health standards. Air purifiers are the best choice for their health benefits and ability to filter biological contaminants and trap airborne particles.

Why would you want an ozone generator? ›

Ozone generators are being promoted as an effective method to clean indoor air pollution and odours. However ozone is associated with adverse health effects. Available scientific evidence shows that ozone concentrations that are safe to breathe are unlikely to be effective in controlling indoor air pollution.

Do ozone generators damage clothes? ›

While we would love to say ozone has no effect on clothing or other materials found in hunting or sports gear, our testing has shown that, much like ordinary laundry, ozone does have some impact over time.

Can a ozone generator catch fire? ›

No. Ozone, by definition, cannot be flammable. For a substance to be flammable, it needs to burn. It needs to be a fuel and not an oxidizer in the fire reaction.

Does ozone affect the brain? ›

These alterations suggest that oxidative stress caused by low doses of ozone causes dysregulation of inflammatory processes, progressive neurodegeneration, chronic loss of brain repair in the hippocampus, and brain plasticity changes in the rat analogous to those seen in Alzheimer's disease.

Does ozone eat rubber? ›

Tiny traces of ozone in the air will attack double bonds in rubber chains, with natural rubber, polybutadiene, styrene-butadiene rubber and nitrile rubber being most sensitive to degradation. Every repeat unit in the first three materials has a double bond, so every unit can be degraded by ozone.

Does ozone remove musty smell? ›

Ozone goes directly to the source and will oxidize away the stale, unpleasant odors often found in damp areas, or those with little air circulation. O3 is very effective in removing musty odors.

How long should you ozone a house? ›

Depending on the size of the room, the ozone generator should run for at least 3 to 10 hours. For a whole house, at least 25-30 hours of continuous operation is required to eliminate the majority of pollutants.

Does ozone generator damage furniture? ›

Besides being harmful to people and animals, ozone can also damage furnishings made from certain plastics and rubber materials.

What odors does an ozone machine remove? ›

Ozone is very effective in eliminating odors including tobacco smoke, human and pet odors, food odors, mold and mildew odors, garbage odors, renovation odors and much more. It is not a re-odorant.

What are the signs of ozone poisoning? ›

Exposure to ozone may cause headaches, coughing, dry throat, shortness of breath, a heavy feeling in chest, and fluid in the lungs. Higher levels of exposure can lead to more severe symptoms. Chronic exposure may lead to asthma. Workers may be harmed from exposure to ozone.

What does ozone smell like? ›

Ozone has a very characteristic pungent odor, sometimes described as like chlorine bleach, and it can sometimes be detected after lightning strikes or during electrical discharges. Individual humans vary in their ability to smell ozone; some people can smell it at levels as low as 0.05 ppm.

Is ozone a carcinogen? ›

The HSE has decided not to classify ozone as a carcinogen, and in fact plans to abolish the present limit of 200 micrograms per cubic metre averaged over eight hours for people who are exposed to ozone at work.

How long can you breathe ozone? ›

New studies warn of serious effects from breathing ozone over longer periods. With more long-term data, scientists are finding that long-term exposure—that is, for periods longer than eight hours, including days, months or years—may increase the risk of early death.

How long does it take for ozone to clear a room? ›

-Allow the basement to air out. With open windows, it should take about 30 minutes to air out. If you are unable to open windows in your basement, it may take up to 4 hours for the ozone smell to dissipate and revert back to breathable oxygen.

What machine kills mold? ›

According to the proponents of ozone generators the amazing benefits are so great that atomic oxygen will not only remove the musty odor associated with mold, but will kill the mold as well.

How long should you run an ozone generator? ›

An ozone generator should run for 3-6 hours on average; however, this varies depending on how many rooms you want to be cleaned. If you're cleaning a full house, you should let the air conditioner or vents pick up the ozone and disperse it throughout the house, which should take around 26 to 30 hours.

Do dehumidifiers remove mold? ›

If the humidity in a room increases, mold will start growing in patches on walls, clothes, and more. So, to answer your question, dehumidifiers do NOT kill mold, but they do prevent it by reducing humidity. If you have a mold problem in your home, don't wait. Mold spreads as long as it has a water source.

What is better than an ozone machine? ›

Hydroxyl Machines

Hydroxyl generators use UV lights to convert airborne water into odor-neutralizing “radicals.” They are a safer alternative to ozone generators but can take up to three times longer to treat an area. Depending on the brand and how they work, some hydroxyl machines can produce harmful ozone.

Can breathing ozone cause permanent damage? ›

Ozone damages the cells that line the air spaces in the lung. Within a few days, the damaged cells are replaced and the old cells are shed–much in the way skin peels after a sunburn. If this kind of damage occurs repeatedly, it may lead to permanent damage to your lungs that could cause a lower quality of life.

Does ozone generator damage furniture? ›

Besides being harmful to people and animals, ozone can also damage furnishings made from certain plastics and rubber materials.

What kills mold permanently? ›

Bleach kills virtually every species of indoor mold that it comes into contact with including mold spores which leaves a sanitized surface making it resistant to future mold growth.

What kills mold fastest? ›

In such cases, a solution of diluted bleach provides the fastest way to kill mold on walls or flooring. Prepare the solution by adding one cup of bleach into a bucket that contains about a gallon of warm water. Then proceed to scrub the mold vigorously with a stiff-bristled brush you've dipped in the bleach solution.

What kills mold completely? ›

Use undiluted white vinegar on hard surfaces in kitchens and baths. A bleach solution also works to kill mold. Mix one cup of bleach in a gallon of water, apply to the surface and don't rinse. Mix a 50/50 solution of ammonia and water.

Why can't you stay in a room with a ozone generator on? ›

When inhaled, ozone can damage the lungs. Relatively low amounts of ozone can cause chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath and, throat irritation. It may also worsen chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma as well as compromise the ability of the body to fight respiratory infections.

Does ozone generator hurt electronics? ›

Yes, the ozone generator can damage your electronic equipment. Ozone exposure shortens the lifespans of materials and products and gradually degrades both their functional and aesthetic aspects.

How many square feet does an ozone generator cover? ›

The UV PRO 2800, PRO 9,000, or UV PRO 4000 ozone generators have plenty of power for shock treating a 1,200 - 2000 sq. ft. basement with heavy contamination or odors.
...
TMVIRUS Sterilization, Ozone Generators, Allergy HEPA Air Purifiers, Oxygen Critical Particle Control
Ozone GeneratorsUV PRO 6800 Ozone Generator
8 more rows

Can you ever truly get rid of mold? ›

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.” Even if you clean the mold, it will still come back if the room is humid and poorly ventilated or there is ...

What kills mold spores in the air? ›

Unfortunately, it is impossible to get rid of all mold spores in the air so you need to replace the air filter in your ac unit regularly. In addition, use an air purifier that contains a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. These air filters are known to remove up to 99.7% of all mold spores from your air.

Does airing out a room help with mold? ›

Another major step to prevent mold growth in your home is to make sure you are properly ventilating your home. Ventilation helps prevent humid air from getting trapped indoors and wreaking havoc with mold growth. Good airflow can help cut back on moisture and will dry wet areas of your home more quickly.

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