Do Filter Systems Remove Odors?

Mythbusting is good for us.  When something is commonly believed, but not questioned, it is much like gossip.  When it comes to odor removal, we should ask if filters are the solution to odor removal.  In short, the answer is no.

Filters will not remove odors, they remove particles.  HEPA filters can remove smoke particles from the air, but most odors are a type of gas.  Find a pungent smell, like a piece of rancid food, and test if your filter removes that odor.  It may help, but it will not remove the odor.

The next myth is that some spray fragrance will remove odors.  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.

Ionic filters use a magnetic charge to cause very small particles to agglomerate (cling together) making them larger for filters to catch or heavier so they drop to the floor.  A good idea, but not as effective as a real odor problem requires. 

Nothing reaches out and literally attacks the odors where they live.  But, ozone does!  Ozone is a gas made with three atoms of oxygen, and the extra atom of oxygen easily discharges because it is unstable.  When the oxygen atom singlete drops off, it attaches to whatever threat it finds.  The oxygen atom then oxidizes the threat.  This is a molecular change that nullifies nearly any odor threat you can imagine.  Oxidation is like rust is to iron.  Rust is different than iron, but imagine doing this to smoke odors?  

Ozone is part of nature itself.  It is chemical-free and does not pollute.  So, this process would seem a thousand times more effective than cans of fragrance that deposit more chemical throughout the house.  Ozone is made from ambient oxygen (O2) that is converted to ozone for about twenty minutes until it reverts back to O2 again.  No resource depletion and no waste left behind.  It is the most effective odor treatment and sanitizer in the world.

So, the conclusions are pretty obvious.  However, there is more to the best uses of ozone.  There are a myriad of ozone generators on the market.  All of them making bold claims of effectiveness.  Most of these systems are the 5000 mg/hr or so machines that are using dated technology, but promoting their units as though they were miracles in a box.  Well, here is the professional opinion on odor removal with ozone generators.  Professionals use massive amounts on ozone (ozone shock) for short durations of 3-6 hours to treat embedded odors.  Smaller equipment (if you find the facts buried on the website somewhere) suggest running their smaller machine for 12, 24, 48, and 72 hours to get results.

Ozone always works, it is the techniques used that make ozone work best.  Rather than prolonged ozone treatments, it is better to use cycles of intense ozone applications until the odor is gone.  Think of odors as layers.  Some odors will resolve in one 3-4 hour period of ozone shock.  Others will take three or four of these treatments.  These extreme examples, however, are for really bad problems.  Unattended dead odors that are left behind, hoarder homes, and even the "renters from hell" odor problems.  The average family will do well with a standard 3-4 hour ozone shock treatment.

The first step for effective odor removal is to clean to the extent possible.  Then, ozone can be applied in short 1-2 cycles allowing time to evaluate whether the odor is neutralized.  If you own the ozone generator, there is no need to do a massive treatment.  Odors developed over time and in layers.  It is understandable that treatments done in short cycles allow the core problem to exhaust itself until it is nonexistent.

If you want to finish the job in a way that digests the residual material, spray a mist of probiotics after the ozone treatment is done and the air is clear.  We have found that 1-2 hours of ozone treatment followed by an application of probiotics.  This process will make your home a more bio-safe place for family, workers, and customers.