Ozone Generator and High Humidity

Ozone Generators and HumidityAs you may remember for high school science, water is H2O, meaning two oxygen atoms are stuck to one hydrogen atom.  This makes the oxygen less available than the normal O2 in the ambient air.  Air conditioning solves the two variables to ozone production: temperature and humidity.  

High temperatures and high humidity hinder ozone production.  Air conditioning will lower the temperature to the 70-80 range, and move the humidity out.  However, the addition of a dehumidifier before and during an ozone treatment can only help, and it is recommended for the best results.

Now that summer is here, we are getting a good number of questions about humidity and ozone production.  It is true that high humidity (over 60%) will cut the ozone production of any corona-type ozone generator.  However, this is not a critical issue for most because nearly all ozone treatments are being done in air-conditioned environments.  

If humidity is an issue, take a look at hydroxyl generators that love high humidity and treat similar issues.  Hydroxyl generators take longer to treat the area, but allow people to live and work in the building as the generator does the job. A three to four-hour ozone treatment that requires people to be out of the building for that period might be a 24-48 job with a hydroxyl generator, but people can do their normal activities during the treatment.

The National Ozone Association has outlined the basic standards for ozone treatments.  Part of these standards include protocols for certain types of ozone applications.  This will allow professionals to know the basic steps for effective ozone applications.  

High humidity can also cause extra wear on corona plates.  But, who runs an ozone generator in high humidity anyway?  Some poorly-informed ozone generator promoters suggest running an ozone generator to treat cars from the outside of the vehicle.  Others have larger ozone generators with large diameter flex hoses to push ozonated air into the house.  Unless this is a disaster scene without AC, you have to wonder about how they can promote this idea with a straight face.

It is also true that UV ozone generator production is not affected by high humidity.  UV systems are more costly (about three times more) than corona machines, and they require bulb replacement for often that corona plate replacement.  

So, the quick fix is to get a good 3-5 gallon dehumidifier that is portable, and set it up when humidity is high.  If your equipment has timers, give the dehumidifiers a half-hour head start.  

This brings us to the odd question about having an ozone generator outside a car, pumping the ozone in.  If this is a UV system, fine.  However, if it is the typical corona system; this is nearly foolish.  We see some of the highly-promoted ozone generators using the unit outside with the hose, and this demonstrates a lack of knowledge of ozone.  Unless the unit has an oxygen concentrator or is a UV system, it is a mistake to run the ozone generator from the outside.  Why not do the same for a home by putting a foam liner in a window with a hose?  This neglect the basic premise of ozone production.  

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