Ozone Generators 101 – How to Remove Smells, Mould & Viruses!
Ever heard of Ozone? It’s not just a cleaner or odour remover – it’s a true grow room steriliser.
It’s much stronger than both chlorine and bleach. In fact, it’s one of the most powerful oxidising agents in the world.
It destroys any biological compounds – including mould, bacteria, viruses - and most famously - the VOCs that cause smells.
Here’s what you need to know about using ozone generators in grow rooms.
What is Ozone?
Ozone (O3) is 3 oxygen atoms bonded together – the same stuff in the atmosphere that protects the planet from the sun.
Ozone is like the oxygen we breathe (O2) with an extra oxygen atom (O3) - and we all know pathogens hate oxygen.
That extra oxygen molecule is unstable. It easily detaches itself and binds to any organic molecules it comes into contact with. That includes scent molecules, bacteria, moulds & viruses. When this happens, the molecules become oxidised – they’re completely and utterly destroyed.
Ozone Generator Benefits
There are plenty of ozone generator benefits! You can use ozone in your grow room to:
- Remove unwanted smells
- Kill mould, bacteria mould & viruses
- Sterilize equipment & systems
- Disinfect grow rooms between crops
What is an Ozone Generator?
There are two types of ozone generators:
1. Inline Ozone Generators
These sit in your ventilation system.
2. Plug-In Ozone generators
These don’t emit as much ozone and should be used in the room your grow tent is in.
What is an Ozone Generator used for in Grow Rooms?
There are several ways to use ozone generators in grow rooms:
1. Outside the grow tent (plug-in ozone generators)
Add ozone to the room your tent is in to kill any smells, bacteria, virus and moulds. You can use a plug-in ozone generator for this.
You can, of course, use ozone anywhere in the home to get rid of smells, bacteria viruses and moulds - e.g. hallways and kitchens.
2. Inside your ducting (Inline ozone generators)
Inline ozone generators should be mounted in the ducting just after the fan with ideally at least 3 metres of ducting after the generator.
This enables the complete destruction of any residual smells. Just set the generator up as a part of your extraction system and turn it on.
Do not try to replace your carbon filter with an ozone air purifier though, you need both.
You’ve no way of knowing that your grow room air will be in contact with enough ozone for long enough to remove ALL odours. That’s why inline ozone generators are best used alongside your carbon filter to ensure all odours are removed before you extract air.
Carbon Filter > Fast Clamp > Extractor Fan > Fast Clamp > G.A.S. AirOzone > Quick Release Duct Clip > 5m Ducting.
3. To sterilise your grow room between crops
The good thing about ozone is that it’s a gas! It can reach nooks, crannies and folds you’d otherwise struggle to reach. This means it’s great for sterilising your grow room and equipment between crops.
- Place plugin ozone generators in your grow room when all your plants are out.
- Put all your scissors, truncheons, meters, propagators, plastic pots - and tools you want to sterilise - into your grow room. We would also still recommend scrubbing these items clean.
- Turn your extractor right down to a minimum.
- Turn the plug-in ozone generator onto full power for a few hours.
This will sterilise all your equipment. It’ll also kill any mould and bugs hiding out.
4. Sterilising your active system
If you have an active system (like a DWC system) and the plants are harvested, you can sterilise it with a plug-in ozone generator.
Simply put your air pump on in your tent, next to your plug-in ozone generator (full power).
Your pump will suck a whole load of ozone in! All this ozone gets pumped through your system, destroying any bad bacteria or viruses within your system and pipework!
You still need to then do your normal quick clean down. But you’ll have already sterilised your system in a big way!
How do Ozone Generators Work?
They apply an electrical charge to air. This splits O2 (oxygen) into its individual atoms. These individual atoms can then bond to O2 (oxygen) in the air, forming O3 (ozone).
How much Ozone should I add?
You don’t want ozone levels to climb too high inside your home, so you don’t want to add too much.
To make sure you don’t build up too much ozone:
Using inline ozone generators in hydroponics
Pick a generator that matches your extractor fan duct size.
Something like the GAS AirOzone Generator pushes out high levels of ozone. It should only be operated when the inline fan is on to make sure this does not build up to harmful levels. This air should always be extracted straight out of the building.
Using plug-in ozone generators in hydroponics
Plug-in ozone generators don’t emit as much ozone. But you should still run them on a low setting to begin with. Then adjust them up a little at a time until you have zero smells in your grow room.
It’s also a good idea to put it on a timer. You can set it to run every 30 minutes - many of our customers do this.
You just adjust the dial on the side of your plug-in ozone generator to increase or decrease the output.
You should never be able to smell a bleach smell in the air! If you do, turn your plug-in ozone generator right down and ventilate your grow room.
Are Ozone Generators Bad for you?
Ozone generators are used in hospitals, offices, factories, and kitchens – anywhere that needs to be kept sterile and odour free.
There are some safety precautions that you should always take when using ozone generators in grow rooms.
- Don't be in the room when the ozone generator is on
- You should only have inline ozone generators running while your extractor fans are on
- Use a timer to control the ozone generator without you needing to be in the room
- Start the generator off on a low setting. If the air begins to smell of bleach, turn the generator down and increase the airflow through the room
- Keep away from pets and children
- If you smell bleach, stay out of the room and ventilate it as soon as possible
As long as you handle your ozone generator / ozone machine safely and sensibly, you’ll be fine.
Ozone Generator – How to Use Safely
- When using ozone, duct outdoors
Make sure air is ducted outdoors, not indoors when using inline ozone generator’s as they put out high levels of ozone.
- Use with metal ducting only
Ozone will damage plastic ducting.
- Only generate ozone when your extractor fan is running
You can time them both to come on at the same time.
- Ensure you, pets and children are kept away from your ozone generator while it is running
This is to ensure you don’t inhale concentrated ozone.
- Look out for the smell of bleach
With a plug-in ozone generator, you should never be able to smell a bleach smell in the air. If you do turn it right down and ventilate the room.