What are Ozonizers?

N. Madison
N. Madison

An ozonizer is a device used to produce or apply ozone. Ozonizers are used to purify air or water, destroying bacteria and removing many undesirable substances. Often, they use high-voltage electricity to produce ozone.

Ozonizers are used to purify drinking water.
Ozonizers are used to purify drinking water.

Ozone is a colorless gas. It consists of three oxygen atoms and is highly reactive. Ozone is present in the upper levels of the atmosphere, providing us with protection against harmful ultraviolet rays. At lower atmospheric levels, however, ozone is formed by pollutants and can be dangerous to the health of humans and other living things. It is used for many things, including deodorizing air, purifying water, and industrial-level disinfection.

Ozone generators use either an electrical charge or ultraviolet radiation to create ozone.
Ozone generators use either an electrical charge or ultraviolet radiation to create ozone.

Often, an ozonizer is used for air purification. According to proponents of ozonizers, the machines have the ability to eliminate odors, reduce chemical fumes, decrease concentrations of cigarette and other types of smoke, and remove harmful bacteria and mold. These tasks are said to be accomplished using a combination of ozone and negative ions. Air purification is the most common use of an ozonizer in the United States. In fact, some professional restoration companies use ozonizers to remove odors left behind by fires and floods.

Typically, an ozonizer designed to purify air at home or the office is small enough to allow for easy portability. Most plug into a regular electrical outlet. Some ozonizers feature handy timers and separate controls for manipulating ozone and negative ion emissions.

Another typical use for an ozonizer is cleaning a reef or marine aquarium. When used for this purpose, an ozonizer generates ozone gas for the purpose of oxidizing organic material in an aquarium tank and preventing the formation of algae. This ozonizer process is said to provide a cleaner ecosystem with less physical maintenance required.

Some companies, particularly those based in Asia and Europe, sell ozonizers designed for use in washing perishable foods. They report that washing foods like fruits, vegetables, and meats with ozonated water removes harmful bacteria, pesticides, and herbicides. They further state that use of an ozonizer will extend the shelf life of certain dry, but perishable foods and enhance the taste of drinking water.

Opponents of ozonizers claim the machines may emit harmful levels of ozone. It is worth noting that continuous exposure to certain levels of ozone can actually create or worsen certain respiratory conditions. However, in some countries, breathing ozone from an ozonizer is touted as a useful treatment for a range of ailments.

An ozonizer can decrease airborne cigarette smoke concentrations.
An ozonizer can decrease airborne cigarette smoke concentrations.
N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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Discussion Comments


I have an aquarium ozonizer, and it keeps me from having to clean the tank frequently. I hated that chore, so when I found out that there was a way to cut down on it, I jumped at the chance.

The ozonizer prevents bacteria, algae, and protozoa from forming. All I have to do is use a dial on it to set the level of ozone I need. It came with an instruction booklet detailing how much ozone is needed for each size tank.

Before I got the ozonizer, my fish seemed to be dying at a rapid rate. My three fish I have gotten since I started using the ozonizer have lived longer than any I have ever had.


@orangey03 – I have one of these in my cubicle, and I can tell a big difference in the surrounding air. I work at a newspaper, and sometimes you can smell chemicals from the press throughout the whole building.

I don't expect the ozonizer to make much of a difference throughout the entire room, but it helps me breathe easier. It is sitting right in front of me, so my nose gets the direct benefit of cleaner air.

You may still be able to smell the ink, but your little area will be healthier to breathe in because of the ozonizer. Like me, you probably will have to clean it out often, because it has to work hard in dirtier environments. It's fairly easy to clean, so this is worth the effort.


I am considering getting a small ozonizer to put on my desk at work. However, I don't know how well it will work in such a big space. My desk is at the middle of a large room.

I work at a printing company, and though I work in the front office, I can smell the ink fumes from the back where things are printed. I hope that an ozonizer could eliminate some of these fumes. Will they overwhelm a small one made for personal use, or can they freshen the air in my immediate surroundings?


I have suffered from allergies for years, and this made it hard for me to sleep at night. I had trouble breathing through my congested nose, and I had to blow it constantly. When I started using an ozonizer, this all changed.

I had heard that the machine could purify the air and remove allergens, so I decided to try it. It couldn't hurt, and I was tired of taking allergy medication every four hours just to be able to sleep.

Within thirty minutes of using it, I could tell that the air felt fresher. My nose seemed to open up to it, and I could breathe again.

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