Ozone generators are becoming more affordable every year, and are a common feature in larger commercial grow rooms to knock out unwanted odours escaping. However, Ozone is so much more versatile than just smell prevention. Domestic and industrial use of Ozone is not new, but translating the many benefits into a grow operation deserves a little attention. !
Why use Ozone?
For less than $60 you can buy a machine capable of saving your whole crop from bud rot, battle predators, oxygenate the root zone, sterilize your equipment, disinfect your entire grow room and more.
Ozone is not just another cleaner. Ozone is a true sterilizer. It can completely destroy an impressive list of nasties including spores, bacteria, viruses, mould, fungus, mildew, smoke particles and many other contaminants while at the same time oxidizing any dead organic materials in it’s path. This is fantastic for sterilising your grow room.
Ozone (O3) is a triatomic molecule, which consists of three oxygen atoms (instead of 2 in regular oxygen). As well as being the stuff we all breathe, Oxygen is one of the most powerful oxidizing agents in the world, and a potent natural disinfectant, 3000 times more effective than chlorine bleach in broad spectrum antimicrobial activity.
Because Ozone has a “spare” unstable oxygen molecule, as soon as it touches a pathogen the spare atom breaks off and attacks the cell wall with an oxidative burst – rupturing it and killing it instantly, without hesitation or mercy. You could call it the molecular Jean Claude Van-Damme.
Ozone is used in low atmospheric doses in hospital wards, offices, vets surgeries, commercial kitchens and factories to keep the air sterile, sterilize bedding, prevent the spread of airborne pathogens and keep the place smelling clean. People occasionally use it at home to sterilize dishes, treat various ailments and make their homes a little fresher.
We’ve all heard about Ozone, and how the lack of it in the atmosphere caused by pollutants is a problem; so isn’t using an Ozone generator just going to compound climate change? The simple answer is no. The Ozone we can generate in our grow room is the same stuff that protects us in the famous Ozone layer, but don’t worry it won’t harm the planet.
Because Ozone is so powerful, it can also be harmful to humans and pets if precautions are not taken. Ozone can be very dangerous to the respiratory system if you breathe it in high concentrations. It doesn’t stick around long though, & breaks down into regular Oxygen after 30 – 45 minutes, so this allows us to work with it in relative safety, so long as you respect it.
The safety recommendations in this article are over-cautious, but it’s worth taking extra care.
Luckily you can start to smell Ozone before it builds up to a hazardous level. You will already recognize the smell – that “fresh” bleached smell everywhere after a heavy storm? That’s Ozone, created by electrical energy in the clouds and brought down in the rain.
Choosing the correct Ozone generator is key to safety & effectiveness. Too small an output will be ineffective, too large will be dangerous. For a reasonably average 1-room home grow (600w – 1200w), a generator with an output of around 200mg per hour will be adequate. Huge commercial operations will need upwards of 1g output per hour, and micro-grows can get by with under 100mg per hour, but it is always best to check with the manufacturer for your exact requirements, as these are only guidelines. Every grow is different & results will vary with the air exchange, general level of smell & pathogen problem in your room. Chat with your Ozone generator manufacturer to make sure you get the correct size for your situation.
To really make the most of Ozone, you should find an Ozone generator that can Ozonate water too. These models have a silicone tube attached with an air stone at the end. Most are wall mountable, but it makes sense to still be able to move it around at times to get the most from the techniques we will be using.
You need to be switched-on and alert to safely use Ozone, so consider smoking that massive OG Kush blunt afterwards while you wait for the room to be safe again, NOT before you start setting it all up…
Keep all pets away from the 0zone generator while it’s running, and for an 1 hour after it’s been switched off.
Get everything else completely ready before you switch on your Ozone generator – it should be the last thing you switch on before quickly leaving the grow room.
Always connect it to a timer to switch it off after it’s finished. Some generators have a built in timer, but experience says they can often break on the cheaper models, leading to high levels of unexpected Ozone