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Ozone

Ozone is a dirty little secret in the air purification industry.

Filtration systems and other indoor air quality products are supposed to make your home’s air cleaner and healthier. Some products on the market today end up making your air quality worse. That’s because they emit ozone, a toxic gas. Healthy Climate® solutions are designed to dramatically improve indoor air quality without releasing harmful ozone into your home in the process.

Q: What is ozone? 

A: Ozone is a form of oxygen. In the earth’s stratosphere, it helps to block potentially harmful ultraviolet radiation from reaching the ground. However, at lower levels in the atmosphere (the air we breathe) it’s a product of pollution and can be dangerous. In-home air purifiers that make ozone should be avoided. Other ozone sources include items with electric motors such as vacuum cleaners and refrigerators.

Q: What are some of the harmful effects of ozone? 

A: According to the American Lung Association, breathing ozone can cause shortness of breath, coughing or chest pain. Repeated exposure to ozone can lead to chronic respiratory issues.

Q: Who’s at risk for health problems related to ozone? 

A: Ozone can be harmful to everyone. Healthy people, as well as those with existing respiratory difficulties, can all experience breathing problems when exposed to ozone.

Q: Do ozone generators actually make the air worse to breathe? 

A: Ozone can be an effective way of disinfecting water, and some manufacturers have developed systems they believe can perform this type of purification in the air. The problem with these systems is that the ozone concentrations needed to destroy germs and pollutants can create unhealthy breathing conditions. Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, have found that some machines produce ozone levels comparable to peak smog levels in major cities.

Q: Which air filtration products make ozone? 

A: Electronic air cleaners and ionizing air purifiers installed in ducting or placed in a room have an electric charge that creates ozone. Of particular concern are ozone-generating purifiers, which can create unhealthy conditions in poorly ventilated rooms.
© 2014 Lennox International Inc.