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Ionisers vs Ozone generators what’s the difference?

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Here at The Healthy House we are often asked by our customers “what’s the difference between ionisers and ozone generators?”

The main difference is that ozone generators deliberately produce ozone, whereas ionisers can sometimes produce ozone as a by-product.


An ioniser works on the principle that negatively charged ions cling to allergens and dust, which are positively charged particles. The allergens and unwanted particles then drop to the floor or nearby surfaces, ready for you to clean up. Negative ions are thought to have a number of health benefits and can be found naturally in the environment in places such as the beach and after a storm. Ionisers can be a cost-effective option, but they are generally not as effective as air purifiers that trap particles in a filter (or destroy them completely). They are also unable to reduce levels of VOCs or chemicals in the air.

Some air purifiers have built-in ion generators, along with a variety of other filter types (for example HEPA or carbon). These are not as powerful as stand-alone ionisers. They are included to enhance the filtration effects of the air purifier, rather than as the sole method of air purification. Depending on the air purifier model, the ion generator can be added as a ‘finishing touch’ to neutralise dust particles, or can actually work within the machine, trapping the unwanted particles within an electrostatically charged filter.

Some air purifiers, particularly those containing ion generators, can emit a small amount of ozone as a by-product. In the case of our air purifiers*, any ozone emitted is at a miniscule level – well below the recommended upper limit of 0.05ppm, provided of course you choose a unit appropriate for your room size.

Ozone generators

Ozone generators are available widely online today, but they are not something we offer at The Healthy House. This is because exposure to certain levels of ozone can trigger a range of health problems and symptoms in humans. It seems counter-productive to purchase an air purifier that gives off high levels of an irritating substance!

Ozone generators were hugely popular many years ago, in offices and in homes. This was in part due to the refreshing smell they give off, and the ability of ozone to destroy a range of airborne pollutants. As research has come to light on the potential health effects of ozone exposure, they have now fallen out of favour.

Ozone has been linked to a range of health problems, including aggravated asthma, reduced lung function and respiratory irritation.

Air purifiers without ozone

Many people call us asking if we offer any ‘ozone-free air purifiers’. Since a huge range of electrical appliances, including common devices like printers, emit small amounts of ozone it is difficult to classify whether a unit is completely ‘ozone-free’. However, certain ranges like Blueair and Airfree are an excellent choice for those concerned about ozone levels.

The Blueair air purifiers have been vigorously tested and no measurable concentration of ozone was detected at all during these investigations. In fact, tests have shown that the Blueair air purifiers can actually reduce ozone concentrations in the indoor environment.

Similarly, the Airfree air sterilisers emit no ozone and are actually able to reduce the amount of ozone in the air. These are completely silent units which require no filter replacement, making them an economical choice. They sterilise the air by incinerating microorganisms at a high heat in their ceramic core.

*The Radic8 air sterilisers with 3mg and 9mg bulbs do emit a small amount of ozone as a by-product; therefore please ensure that you choose a unit appropriate for your room size. The 3mg bulb produces much less ozone so is better for occupied spaces, whereas the 9mg bulb produces more ozone and is better for large areas and areas such as basements. If you’d like any further assistance, please call us on 01453 752216.

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