Get the stink out: air purifier helps get rid of the worst smells and viruses

Bacteria, mold and nasty smells in your home or apartment can be more than uncomfortable; they can make you sick. Odors like cigarette smoke, cooking spices, fire damage and pet smells can be almost impossible to get rid of.

When we walked into a Hoover apartment recently, we were greeted with an awful odor of dog urine. Biosweep's Roy Ponder was hired by the complex to get it clean.

He uses a process called "photocatalytic oxydation" or PCO to clean and disinfect the air attacking odors, bacteria and allergens. "We can kill Ebola or any virus given enough time," explains Ponder.

"What's harmful is the soluble organic compounds. We do a good job breaking those down," says Ponder. We watched as he prepared the apartment setting up four machines and were curious about the results. The next day we came back and found a clean smelling apartment. The smell that remains is kind of like hydrogen peroxide which dissipates in a few days.

His method is among those gaining in popularity as people become more sensitive to odors and want a permanent fix. Apartment Manager Freda Vines is sold on the results. "The next day I was amazed.. we sometimes work on the apartments for weeks and can't get rid of the smell," explains Vines. She says it cleans the air ducts as well.

This needs to be done before any painting, which can seal in odors and chemicals. Ponder says the technology is tried and tested and is good for any confined space such as vehicles or boats.

PCO works by generating a dry vapor that contains hydrogen peroxide and ozone. You can't be home when it's done and have to wait at least an hour to go back in. The cost depends on the size of the area. Apartments start around $300.

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