Ozone (O3) is a 3-atom form of oxygen and is a normal trace element in our atmosphere but it is a different chemical than common oxygen (O2) which supports life. Like many substances, ozone is beneficial to life but can also be harmful in above normal concentrations.
Ozone is formed when an electric discharge passes through the air and there are many natural sources of ozone. For example, ozone is formed naturally by lightning and is also formed as a by-product of some electric motors and appliances. Ozone is created by air passing through an electrically charged field.
Like many household appliances, electronic air cleaners produce ozone when they operate. The amount of ozone produced varies among models.
How Electronic Air Cleaners Work
Small particles of dust pass through the charging section of the air cleaner and receive a positive electrical charge from a series of tungsten wires. These charged particles then pass by the negatively charged collector plates, which attracts them like a magnet. The particles remain on the collector plates until they are washed away during periodic cleaning of the collector cells.
Can You Smell Ozone Produced By Electronic Air Cleaners?
Sensitivity to the smell of ozone varies quite a bit among people. Some people can smell levels at .02 ppm but most people notice the smell of ozone at .03 ppm which is well below the FDA standard.
The smell of ozone is not an indicator that the level is above normal, or even near the recommended limit set by the FDA.
Do electronic air cleaners work?
Electronic air cleaners do work. But like all air cleaners and air filters they have their positive and negative characteristics. Many people are very satisfied with their performance and would recommend them to anyone.
P.S. For information about the effects ozone can have at different concentrations you may want to read electronic air cleaners and ozone.