Maintaining Buildings & Grounds

What Cleaning Contractors Should Know About Ozone Generators

One of the most challenging issues cleaning contractors must deal with is malodor eradication. Often, even once the source of the odor has been removed, odors persist because they have penetrated carpets, wall coverings, furniture, etc.

One of the fastest, most effective, and safest ways to tackle persistent malodors is with an ozone generator. However, contractors must know that ozone can be hazardous to people, plants and pets. They should not be present when an ozone generator is in use. U.S. Products, a manufacturer of ozone generators, also believes cleaning contractors should know the following about ozone generators:

  • The source of the odor must first be removed for the ozone generator to be effective.
  • Ozone machines oxidize odor-producing particulates, leaving behind pure oxygen; in most cases this means the odor is completely eliminated.
  • Areas where an ozone machine is in use should be sealed off.
  • Ozone generators are most effective at removing tobacco and fire odors as well as odors caused by paint, garbage, mold or mildew.
  • Ozone machines are not effective at removing dust particulates from the air, filtering the air or removing smoke.
  • Ozone machines do not mask odors, they eliminate them.
  • Ozone generators can be used in schools, offices, and hospitals, boats, cars and recreational vehicles.
  • Select a machine with adjustable ozone output levels; some odors may require a higher ozone output than others.
  • For enhanced safety, the machine should have a programmable timer that turns the machine off at a specific time.
  • Usually ozone machines need at least 30 minutes to work effectively, however this can vary depending on the extent of the odor problem or the size of the area in which it is used.

“While contractors should use care when using ozone generators,” says Bob Abrams, carpet care expert and product manager for Nilfisk-Advance commercial business, “they should also know that used properly, ozone generators can be very effective at odor removal.”

This article originally appeared in the May 2015 issue of College Planning & Management.

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