I can’t wait to get home tonight. Before I left the house to seek my fortune this morning, I put the basic ingredients for dinner in the crock pot: a couple of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, a can of chicken broth, and a packet of taco seasoning. When I walk in the door this evening, my house is gonna smell like my favorite Mexican restaurant.

Smells can be powerful, especially as memory-joggers. The smell of bacon frying always makes me think of Scout campouts. Lilac reminds me of spring, at my childhood home – the first thing my Dad had done when he bought the place was to plant a lilac bush outside the corner of the family room, where the odor couldn’t help but waft through the open windows. It’s like the house was designed for it.

You can get used to smells, too. Just for fun (well, also for patriotism, adventure, and fulfillment of my enlistment obligation), I used to go to sea on a Trident submarine, where we would spend 2-3 months completely submerged. The Boat had a scent all its own: a unique mixture of lube oil, amine, steam plant treatment chemicals, the body odor of 150+ sailors, etc. When you first climb down the ladder, it’s just…different. Not necessarily unpleasant; just different. The first time I returned from a patrol, though, I left my sea bag in the living room. The next morning, when I awoke and emerged from my bedroom, I encountered the foulest stench I think I’ve ever smelled…from then on, the sea bag stayed in the garage, and everything inside went to the laundromat or the trashcan the next morning.

Ozone has a particular, unmistakable odor, one that you won’t forget, but also one that most find hard to describe. I’ve heard it called sweet, pungent, metallic…I think it smells “clean,” perhaps because I associate it with electrostatic air cleaners.

As it turns out, knowing what ozone smells like is a valuable asset if you want to know if your EXAIR Static Eliminator is working properly. Assuming it’s readily accessible, the easiest and quickest test you can perform is to turn off the compressed air supply, leave the power supply energized, and sniff for the presence of ozone at the emitter point(s). Basically, if it’s making ozone, it’s working.

If you’re still not 100% sure, we have a Static Eliminator Cleaning and Maintenance Guide that will walk you through an electrical check of the equipment. It’s available upon request – just ask an Application Engineer.

Even if your Static Eliminator is up and running just like it did when it was new, right out of the box, though, there are other variables that might limit its effectiveness: air supply, mounting location, angle/direction of air flow, surface contact time (just to name the usual suspects) all come in to play. If you know your Static Eliminator is working properly, and you’re still not getting the results you’re looking for, perhaps it’s time to quantify the problem…that’s where our Static Meter can help. It allows you to easily and accurately measure the static charge on your material, both before and after Static Elimination. This data will be key to finding the problem, and determining the solution.

Of course, our Application Engineering team is eager to help, if you have any questions about installation, operation, “tips and tricks,” etc. Just know that you might get several different answers about what ozone smells like.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax

One thought on “Smells

  1. To this day, if I smell a certain “aroma” of smog, it brings me back to my first cross country motorcycle trip to Los Angeles. The first couple of days my eyes were constantly stinging and watering from the pollution, but I eventually adapted.
    Good story, Russ. I’ll remember that if I ever have the opportunity to board a submarine.

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