Ozonizer or Ionizer?
Over the past few years many people have asked us a repetitive, rather simple question: ozonizer or ionizer? They more or less have the same function, but one of them can severely damage your health whereas the other one, if made properly, isn’t prejudicial to health. How do they work?
These devices, as the name would suggest, create ozone, which are molecules even more unstable than oxygen; 03. This gas is naturally found in the atmosphere; it’s the gas that defends us from harmful solar radiation, the ozone in the stratosphere. Harmful ozone is ozone found in the troposphere. Apart from defending us from harmful radiation, ozone is also one of the most powerful disinfectants and sterilizers that can be found in both hospitals and in homes where people have specific allergies and need a sterile environment – ozone is harmful to the DNA in fungi and viruses and insects, stopping them from reproducing.
Ozone generators produce this gas through electric tension which produces what is known as the corona effect, which is a sort of light halo that can be seen in the dark. The corona effect is red if there are low levels of ozone and blue if the ozone levels are higher and it happens because the surrounding air becomes ionized and the electrons nearby can transport electric currents.
When using ozone generators, you need to keep in mind how concentrated the gas is becoming in enclosed areas, as a high concentration of ozone can provoke serious respiratory damage, as well as damage to the eyes and in extreme quantities it can cause a pulmonary edema, so don’t take using ozonizers lightly. It isn’t a storable gas as it decomposes quite rapidly, and it also has an oxidizing effect on many materials, so not all materials are suitable to be near ozonizers, as they will degrade over time. Its oxidizing properties can cause premature aging of objects if you have it on for long periods of time.
According to studies done in 1974, accepted levels of ozone are 0.1 PPM, which is about 2mg per cubic meter in a duration of around 8 hours – it can also safely reach 0.3 PPM, which is 6mg per cubic meter during 15 minutes. These levels also vary a lot depending on the temperature and humidity – in dry areas the same concentration will have unwanted effects as it will decompose slower.
When using an ozonizer you need to properly ventilate your grow room so that it doesn’t reach dangerous levels for both you, the grower, and the plants.
If these devices are made properly they seem to be much safer than ozonizers, maybe not as effective but definitely safer – if they’re not made correctly, however, they can still produce the corona effect and begin producing ozone even if it’s a byproduct of ionization.
Ionizers work with electric currents, and they vibrate using that energy to produce ions that are charged with negative energy in order to separate the electrons in the air, which then shoot off and trap all of the positive ion particles such as aromas, and they bring all of these particles to the ground where they can’t cause any more problems.
Ionization happens naturally near waterfalls, the ocean, mountains and after certain meteorological events – like how the air smells much fresher after a large downpour.
One of the disadvantages of this machine is that it doesn’t kill fungi – it gets rid of certain viruses and it doesn’t get rid of smells as much as ozonizers do. One of the best things though, is that you can have it on in a closed area without it being dangerous for life in general, as it doesn’t produce gas or ozone if made properly.
This device needs some maintenance though, especially when they’re small as the needle that ionizes the air can get rusty, although in theory the large ones don’t need much maintenance.
Hopefully this article will help you to pick the device you need for your grow. If you have any questions or doubts don’t hesitate to leave a comment and our team of experts will get back to you as soon as possible.
Author: Fabio Inga
Translation: Ciara Murphy