The Ionic (ozone) Air Purifier

There is an aggressively advertised type of air cleaner that cleans and circulates air electronically, without a fan, and produces “fresh-smelling ozone,” in addition to collecting particulate matter.

The commercial sounds convincing enough, but I have since read some reports that such ozone producition degrades certain materials, especially plastics and silicones, prevalent in many homes. In addition, I’ve read that the degree of air “purification” is minimal, and that excessive ozone can somehow be detrimental to human health.

Can anyone corroborate/correct/add to this information?


When I subscribed to consumer reports they said the Ionic Breeze was the poorest performing because it did not use a fan to force sufficient air volume through the unit.

FWIW I think you misheard the line about “fresh-smelling ozone.” Ionized oxygen (O[sub]2[/sub]) is not the same as ozone (O[sub]3[/sub]). Ozone is often the product of arcing. IMO is smells a bit like burning plastic, nothing like the “after a thunderstorm” smell of ionized air.

You have heard correctly about ozone as it is much more reactive than O[sub]2[/sub] and will more agressively oxidize what it comes in contact with including your lungs.

As I understand it, the air purifier does not produce ozone (O3) per se, but instead ionizes the air…that is, imparts a positive or negative charge to the oxygen and nitrogen molecules.

This is key to how the purifier works: the negative electrode imparts a negative charge to particles in the air, and that charged particle laden air adheres to the positive electrode, leaving behind the crud on the positive electrode.

I have one of these. It does a good job collecting dust out of the air, and the air that comes out of it does smell like the air after a storm. That’s the best feature IMO, since I now live in an area that doesn’t get thunderstorms (only rarely), and I miss that smell. However it does have a problem with not circulating enough air, but I don’t mind, since the reason for that, no fan, also means that it is perfectly silent. I used to have a regular HEPA filter, and the noise of the fan annoyed me. Plus, having to buy new filters every year is a pain.