Early on, the start-up ozone entrepreneur usually runs into a wall that dashes their enthusiastic belief in ozone as the "Single Solution" to odor problems. Over the years, I have seen many people start their ozone business with an all-out belief in the power of ozone.
The rumor that ozone can damage rubber or plastic in a home is a very dated topic. So, let's clear this up. To make the point properly, let's go back to what ozone is and how it works. Ozone is oxygen. It has been enriched from the standard O2 molecule to an O3 molecule. We are told that ozone is "Reactive", which means it will react with other compounds or elements. That reaction is not an explosion or a noxious gas. The reaction is OXIDATION.
Don't be shocked to find out that simply buying an ozone generator is not the magic ingredient for an ozone business. But, it happens a lot. People buy an ozone machine purely on speculation and the hype or Internet promoters, then regret their hasty decision. Think of a man buying a set of tools, but knows nothing about fixing cars or building houses. Or, a woman buying pots and pans but has never learned to cook.
Real estate agents often encounter latent odors when trying to sell a less-than-new home. Pet odors is one of the most common odors, but smoking is equally as bad. Strong and spicy cooking odors will remain for years after a family leaves. Then, there is the mold and mildew odor that sends prosective buyer out the door in a hurry. No one wants a mold-infected home, and even more so if there are vulnerable children in the family.
The fact that ozone is very effective for odor removal is making strides everywhere. Ozone has been a long-standing tool for industries because it will cancel odors, sanitize, neutralize many pollutants, and kill mold. Ozone is used to cure materials during manufacturing, and is used in thousands of municple water treatment facilities in the United States and around the world. Ozone systems are also use to reclaim waste water or clarify retention ponds.
A recent article out of Berkeley is critical of the use of ozone to mitigate the problem of smoking odors. This debate seems to be a narrow focus on a small threat versus a much larger problem effective odor removal without turning to chemical alternative with their attendant health threats.
Yes, ozone can kill bedbugs, but the challenge to actually get a complete kill is hard to achieve. First of all, discount what other promoters have said. Most self-appointed gurus are biased. Most treatments get a mixed bag of results, and the effort to kill bedbugs is not as simple as buying an ozone machine. If you really want to learn how to use ozone as a part of an overall strategy, the National Ozone Association offers a course on the subject.
A little ozone goes a very long way. If you intend to use an ozone generator, let's get a little perspective on what a milligram of ozone is. A milligram is a measurement of volume, not weight. So, whatever we can fit into a one centimeter cube would make a milligram. So, a Tylenol tablet has about 375-500 milligrams in that small space. Weight may vary as dense items can have the same space, but less weight. Air, like oxygen, put less atoms in that cubic centimeter than liquid or solids.
Of late, our office has had an increase in calls from consumers who bought an ozone generator on line and have had a problem with the lingering ozone smell. It is unfortunate that aggressive sales pressure tends to mislead customers and over-sell their promoted system.
When it comes to odor removal, there are a few basic solutions. Mask them with fragrances, filter the air, or treat the odor at the source. We already know that fragrances are only a temporary masking device. Every room deodorizer company silently rejoices about temporary solutions since it means a repeat business that never fades away.