What Does Ozone (O3) from an Ozone Generator Smell Like?


Does Ozone Have a Smell?

Yes, ozone does have a unique smell that can be strong at higher concentrations. Ozone generators are used to get rid of unwanted smells so the obvious question becomes, what smell is left behind?

Just as the name suggests, ozone generators produce ozone which will attack odors at their source in order to eliminate offensive odors. The ozone produced by an ozone generator flows wherever air flows, filling every cubic inch in the space, including air ducts. Ozone is an oxidizer that breaks apart the molecules, especially those molecules that create odor.

After treatment, the smell of ozone created by an ozone generator can linger for a couple of hours and sometimes longer. Learn how to safely operate an ozone generator here.

What Does Ozone Smell Like?

The question is often asked, “what does ozone smell like?” And the answer is surprisingly related to a natural occurrence we are all familiar with.

The smell of ozone is similar to the fresh scent that lingers after a thunderstorm. This smell is created by a process called corona discharge, which is the same method used in most ozone generators. But our units do not require nearly as much energy and are very safe when used correctly.

Of course, smell can be subjective. Some people describe the smell of ozone as sharp and somewhat similar to chlorine bleach (the same bleach used in household cleaners and pool maintenance). Others describe the smell of ozone as a distinct electric or even a metallic odor.

Ultimately, the smell of ozone is temporary and will eliminate most offensive smells permanently, including pet and cigarette odors.

Is Ozone Smell Dangerous?

The smell of ozone is not dangerous in and of itself. But a strong ozone smell can indicate that the space is still filled with unsafe levels of ozone.

Remember: do not reoccupy the space until the treatment has ended. We recommend waiting at least 2 hours after treatment to occupy a treated space. Additionally, we recommend ventilating any space where ozone can still be smelled after treatment.

If you experience any of the symptoms of ozone exposure, then you should open both interior and exterior doors and windows, then vacate the area until the smell has dissipated.

The short-term symptoms of ozone exposure based on the information provided by the CDC include:

  • Coughing
  • Dry throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing or phlegm in the chest
  • Pain in throat or lungs

These symptoms should resolve themselves quickly once you have left any area with high levels of ozone.

Note: If you have a respiratory issue such as COPD, asthma, or emphysema, be sure to consult with your physician before using ozone. Read more about ozone generator safety here.

How to Get Rid of the Ozone Smell

There are multiple factors that can affect how long it will take for the ozone smell to go away after a treatment is completed. Longer treatment times for strong odors may need additional time for ozone to off-gas. In arid climates, the ozone smell may last longer after treatment. The use of a humidifier in dry environments can help the ozone smell dissipate more quickly.

It’s always best to increase airflow, ventilating the space when the ozone smell is still present. Opening all interior doors and windows as well as running a fan can help speed up the process. We recommend waiting at least two hours before re-occupying the space that has been treated.

Smaller areas like cars and hotel rooms generally take much less time for the ozone smell to dissipate.

Should I Use an Ozone Generator If I Have a Sensitivity to Smells?

Odors and smell sensitivity can be subjective, and everyone is different. While we cannot make this decision for you, we remind our customers that ozone smells can be similar to household bleach found in cleaning products that millions of people use to clean their homes every day. But if someone using an ozone generator has sensitivities, try starting with shorter treatment times or have someone else oversee the treatment and make sure the odor has dissipated.

In most cases, the ozone smell will naturally dissipate soon after the treatment ends.

Using an ozone generator requires little effort and will permanently remove the most offensive odors. Ultimately, irritating odors will be eliminated, and your space will be fresh and clean.

The Odor Answer Line 1-800-683-9749

Call us for any questions you may have on how to treat particular odors or which model to choose.