Ozone has been advertised for many years as an effective air filtration agent. The logic is that it is the combination of three oxygen atoms that are bonded and can act in specific ways in the air.
These atoms tend to attach to other gases and particles in the air and make them too heavy to remain airborne, leading to pollutants dropping on the floor, walls, tabletop, and other surfaces.
However, there have been recent concerns about the safety of ozone for humans, animals, plants, and even some items.
There have also been talks about a possible negative impact on electronics. You must’ve wondered if this is true and what kind of effect ozone might have on your electronics.
So, will ozone damage electronics? If yes, should you remove electronics from a room before applying ozone? What steps should you take to protect your home’s electronics from damage caused by ozone? These are some of the questions we’ll answer in this post, so stick around as we move along.
Do Ozone Generators Damage Electronics?
Yes, ozone can damage electronics but this is long-term. The damage that ozone does to electronics is not immediate but slow and gradual. There are sensitive materials used in electronics that would react badly to ozone.
A good example is rubber. Rubber belts, for instance, found in printers and other electromechanical devices, can be damaged by ozone when exposed over a long period. These rubber components are also available in speakers and can cause slow, gradual damage over a period of time.
Generally, bleaching may occur on some exposed parts of electronics as the ozone reacts to the surface. Expect the gear to degrade over time, usually over several months before real damage will be noticed.
Upholstery is another easy target for ozone and electronics or appliances with reasonable upholstery can be damaged due to exposure to the gas. Ozone cracking is the common term used to describe the reaction noticed on vulnerable rubbers, or what some may call elastomers.
The electronics industry consumes a lot of rubber products due to their anti-shock property, resistance to chemical intrusion, and their ability to prevent electromagnetic interference.
Let’s consider some common household electronics and check their resistance to ozone.
1. Printers and Scanners
Printers are Scanners are two of the leading victims in our homes as far as damage by ozone is concerned. These devices are often equipped with some rubber parts and belts, including tubing.
When left exposed to ozone for hours- continuously over several months- there’s likely to be damage to the devices due to ozone interaction which causes Oxidation.
2. Digital Cameras
The rubber components in a digital camera make the list of electronics likely to be damaged by ozone.
The grips and eyepieces, as well as the thin rubber coating of the surface of some cameras, are all examples of rubber products used in the manufacture of a digital camera.
Gaskets, washers, and covers for their jackets are other rubber pieces on a camera that can be degraded by ozone.
The projecting lens on a projector most likely has washers and rings holding it together.
These rubbers are also degradable if left exposed to ozone, among other things.
Even coated wires and connectors are vulnerable.
4. Communication Devices
Many mobile phones tend to have rubber buttons, apart from the many other parts and components built from rubber.
Also, mobile phones, pads, and other communication gadgets tend to have rubber pouches which can also be affected by ozone.
5. Air Conditioning Systems
Most air conditioners are built with a lot of polymer materials, especially in the internal units.
Remote controls also have rubber buttons that are susceptible to degradation due to exposure to ozone. It would be wise to bag them up when you apply ozone in your home or office.
Many components in a refrigerator are made of rubber. From the door seal and gaskets to internal rubber gaskets and washers, you’d do well to keep them safe if you do not want to suffer gas leaks or cold air escaping from the fridge.
Other electronics like television sets, sound systems, video players, video games, and many others can also be affected by ozone. Beyond their few rubber components getting damaged, surfaces may also get bleached due to the oxidizing influence of ozone.
Tips To Avoid Damage to Electronics Due to Ozone Generator
There are quite a number of ways to reduce or prevent damage to your electronics from ozone generators. Let’s examine some of them;
1. Limit exposure as much as possible
The best way would be to remove all vulnerable electronics from the room where you intend to run the ozone generator. However, that seems very unlikely, so you may simply have to bag them properly with an ozone-resistant bag and ensure they’re properly sealed.
2. Don’t run the ozone generator for too long
The key is in the duration. Short-term exposure would do little or no damage, but long-term exposure is where the problem is. Try and keep ozone running only for a few hours, except when extremely necessary to run for longer hours.
3. Clean your electronics regularly
Always use a dry rag to clean the surfaces and the rubber parts frequently, especially after you must’ve aired out your home after ozone treatment. Clean off all wet marks or oily substances you may find and ensure every area is looking normal again.
Ozone’s chemical makeup forms its blessings and curses; its ability to help humans remove harmful pathogens in the air, while also keeping pests away. However, it is the same chemical makeup that makes it damaging to humans, pets, and even some household items.
You should be mindful of how you apply ozone in your home and only turn on the ozone generator when you’re sure everything that could be damaged has been removed or protected.
It would be a shame to lose your prized electronics for failing to do the right thing. If you’re still wondering if ozone will damage electronics, the answer is Yes- gradually and slowly.