First of all, let me tell you a trick I used in determining how long an ozone generator needs to be in the home to potentially remove all of the mal odors.
If you can walk around in the area and stand the smell, probably one day. If you can't stand the smell but can tolerate for a brief period of time- two days. If it is so strong that your clothes carry the smell out of the area- three days.
It took me three days with an ozone generator to rid the basement of the odors described on the pet odors page.
but it did the trick and resolved the issue. You can rent them for anywhere from $50-100 per day. But how do they work?
Characteristics of Ozone?
Ozone is oxygen but in a different form. It contains three oxygen molecules and not two. The third molecule can detach and apply itself to other chemicals or substances. This ability to attach to other substances means the ozone is able to alter these substances. This is why this material is generated and used for certain purposes.
This compound is found in layers of the earth's atmosphere where it filters out harmful ultra-violet rays. When it is found at the ground level, it is harmful to the respiratory system. Used as an industrial gas, it cannot be created and then transported because it decays quickly. Instead, it must be created on site. Because it oxidizes metal, the choices for its containment are limited. Titanium, stainless steel, glass, aluminum and polymers polytetrafluorethylene and polyvinylidene fluoride are used to contain ozone.
This gas can be generated in two ways--silent corona discharge and ultra-violet radiation. The ultra-violet generation is like the process of it's creation in the upper atmosphere and the corona discharge is similar to the way it is generated in lightning. Ultra-violet generation involves the use of mercury and creates issues around proper disposal. The silent corona method produces more than the other method and is a much more efficient process.
Is this a basement you would want to be in?
Silent Corona Discharge
The silent corona discharge method consists of a unit with these parts--dust filters, gas dryers, a source of oxygen, a generator, a contact unit and torch destructor. Dryers and filters clean the oxygen. The ozone is generated from the cleaned oxygen by electrical discharge just like lightning. By splitting the oxygen and creating single molecules, the single molecules can attach to oxygen (02) and create 03. The 03 is then discharged into the room.
Using An Ozone Generator
These Machinesare controversial. While useful in industrial (purifying water, bleaching wood pulp, detoxifying cyanide waste) and medical applications (killing bacteria, viruses, odors) where strict standards are followed for manufacturing and using the generators, the use of ozone in smaller home or personal devices could be harmful. Those used in industrial and medical settings are used in unoccupied situations.
It can cause respiratory irritation so when a device is used in a confined space the device should follow Food and Drug Administration guidelines. Public health standards have been set that indicate the maximum amount that is safe for humans to interact with.
For such a machine to produce enough to kill bacteria and viruses, it must exceen the public health standards.
In other words, set it, leave and come back 1-3 days later!