Ozone is a very unstable form of oxygen. Ozone-free air purifiers generate ozone-free air to clean the air in your home, office, or car up to several times per hour. These devices use ultraviolet (UV) light or corona discharge technology to produce ozone-free air. Ozone-free air purifiers are good for indoor use because they do not release any ozone into the air.
The best ozone-free air purifiers will remove particles and allergens from the air, making them easier to breathe. They should also be easy to clean and maintain so that you can get the most out of your device. Ozone-free air purifiers are often portable devices that can easily be moved from room to room or between your car and home.
The best ozone-free air purifiers will also have an attached HEPA filter that captures up to 99% of all particles as small as 0.3 microns (ultrafine). Ozone-free air purifiers with only ultrafine filters may not capture harmful bacteria and chemicals found in the air.
Top 5 Best Ozone-free Air Purifiers
How to Choose the Best Ozone-free Air Purifier
Ozone-free air purifiers come with a variety of features that will help you better understand the device and its intended use. These include:
- Type – There are three types of ozone-free air purifiers: UV light, corona discharge technology, and ionizers. Each type uses different technology to produce ozone-free air.
- UV Lamp Life – It is important to remember that each time you turn on your ozone-free air purifier, the ultraviolet light bulb will age. The life of a UV lamp varies with use and can range from 6,000 hours or more to 10 days or less. Replacing the bulb may be an additional expense for some devices.
- Area – Determine the size of the area you want to purify with your device. Some ozone-free air purifiers are designed for up to 100 square feet, others can clean spaces as large as 500 square feet. If you live in a small apartment or plan on using your ozone-free air purifier only in your home, then a device for up to 100 square feet might be sufficient. However, if you want to purify your car air as well as the air in your home, consider a larger ozone-free air purifier.
- Coverage – UV light and corona discharge technology can cover areas of 250 or more cubic feet per minute (CFM) and cover larger spaces. Air ionizers can cover up to 1,500 square feet with ozone-free air but the airflow is usually less than UV light and corona discharge devices.
- Filter – Make sure your ozone-free air purifier has a filter to catch ultrafine particles as small as 0.3 microns. Additionally, make sure the filter is easy to clean and maintain so that it can capture all particles in the air.
- Energy Efficiency – While ozone-free air purifiers are generally energy-efficient, some are more efficient than others. Energy-efficient devices will cost less to operate over time.
- Noise Level – Some ozone-free air purifiers will generate more noise than others, so be sure to consider the noise level of any device you are considering.
- Additional Features – Some ozone-free air purifiers have additional features such as ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) technology and automatic shut-off functions. UVGI is a feature that produces short-wave ultraviolet light to kill viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms in the air. UV germicidal irradiation is effective at killing dangerous organisms by damaging their DNA so they are unable to reproduce or infect human cells.
Why do air purifiers create ozone?
Ozone is a common by-product of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation technology used in some air purifiers. UV light strikes oxygen molecules, splitting them into separate single-molecule O2 and two free-radical unstable O atoms called ozone (O3). The ozone eventually recombines with an oxygen molecule to form stable O2.
The creation of ozone is not an indication of air purifier quality. Some devices create more ozone than others, so manufacturers are required to include information in the product description about the amount of ozone created by their device.
Although they can be done safely when monitored carefully, do not attempt to build your own air purifier with a UV bulb. Always use a device that is UL listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
Low-Ozone and Ozone-Free Air Purifiers
Ozone-free air purifiers are different than low-ozone air purifiers. Ozone-free devices do not produce ozone while low-ozone devices emit some ozone but at levels below the allowable limits set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The higher the amount of energy, ultraviolet light, or charged particles in an air purifier, the more ozone it may create. When choosing an ozone-free device, make sure the ultraviolet germicidal irradiation technology it uses does not emit high levels of UV light or energy that can split oxygen molecules into ozone.
The EPA has strict guideline limits on the level of ozone that can be generated by an air purifier. Some devices claim to be “ozone free” when they actually generate very low levels, which breaks FDA regulation but is considered safe.
There is some disagreement among experts about whether it is a good idea to have ozone-free air in homes and other environments. In a healthy environment, ozone is a toxic substance that can irritate the lungs and airways. However, many people also believe that inhaling low levels of ozone may help strengthen the immune system.
If you are interested in an ozone-free air purifier, be sure to carefully read all product information before making a purchase decision.