The Reme Halo is an in-duct air purifying device that relies on ionizing technology to clean the air. Of course, that’s surface level information that can be found with a quick Google search. If you’re interested in the Reme Halo, understanding all the “whats,” “whys,” and “hows” requires a lot more time digging up information.
We’ve gone ahead and done the digging for you; everything you need to know about the Reme Halo is compiled right here, so you don’t have to go searching for answers.
Reme Halos are in-duct air purifiers that use photohydroionization to purify the air (destroy microbes and increase the chance of particulates being filtered out). Their effectiveness has been proven to a some extent. They produce ozone, which can be harmful and cause odors.
How Do Reme Halos Work?
Reme Halos work by utilizing a patented process called “photohydroionization,” using Reflective Electro Magnetic Energy (REME) technology. Let’s look at what that means in simpler terms.
The Reme Halo has a UV light that lets off a wide range of light wavelengths. These cause the release of electrons from a metal plate onto which the light is shone. The surface of the plate is coated in a substance that speeds up this release.
Electrons that are released into the air come into contact with and ionize the other particles. Hydrogen peroxide is one material in the air that becomes ionized, forming an activated hydrogen peroxide plasma (group of ions).
Hydrogen peroxide is a relatively common household cleaner, so you may recognize it as a disinfectant.
Once hydrogen peroxide plasma is activated by the Reme Halo, it travels through your home’s HVAC system and is then able to disinfect the air and surfaces it comes into contact with by neutralizing or destabilizing microbes.
Plasma also causes particulates (like pollen, dust, and dander) to stick together, making them “larger” and more likely to be caught by your air filter (although these can fail).
Fun fact: this process is just like what happens in nature during storms. Lightning, which is negatively charged, activates hydrogen peroxide molecules in the same way the Reme Halo does. From here, these particles can disinfect the atmosphere—in other words, lightning is nature’s air purifier!
There is a newer model, the Reme Halo LED. It works in just the same way except that the light source is more select about which UV wavelengths are released.
Optimal Placement for Function
Technically the Reme Halo itself is not what purifies your home’s air. It’s the hydrogen peroxide plasma that it creates. Since this plasma is airborne, it will be most effective if it is placed somewhere it can be easily distributed.
The air in your home moves in a cyclical manner, being sucked in through vents, filtered and heated or cooled, and redistributed through the home.
This means that the best location for your Halo is inside the supply plenum, the air distribution box that’s attached to the outlet of your home’s HVAC system.
The supply plenum is the best spot for the Reme Halo because it’s by your HVAC system’s outlet, allowing it to ionize particles in the freshly processed air before it’s distributed back through the vents into your home.
Do They Actually Work?
The Reme Halo certainly sounds great, and its popularity is promising. But there’s the golden question—does it actually work?
This question can be expanded into many other questions. Does the Reme Halo really disinfect? How effective is it? Does it do anything else? Do sources other than the manufacturer report its effectiveness as well?
In short, the Halo does work and it is approved for use by international hospitals. It’s also been approved by organizations like the FDA and USDA for the prevention of food contamination and disease.
Studies carried out by third-party labs (limits bias) found that the Reme Halo was affective against several pollutants and the mechanism by which these devices purify air has a sound theoretical foundation.
However, it is worthwhile noting that the results of these studies were not published by the labs but by the manufacturers (introduces the potential of bias), and only one study was reported for each type of pollutant, meaning there is a lack of verification.
Credentials covered, let’s also look at what the Reme Halo actually does when it comes to cleaning the air in your home, so you can decide if it’s a good fit for your needs.
Does it Help With Allergies?
To be frank, the reports on whether or not the Halo helps with allergies is conflicting. It’s certainly possible, but there are no verified studies confirming this.
Many users report seeing improvement after installing the Reme Halo, but some report no change at all! It’s possible this comes down to what your allergens are, and how sensitive you are to them.
As mentioned earlier, the Halo is able to force particulates in the air like dust, dander, pollen, mold spores, and other allergens together, making them less likely to pass through your air filter.
Reme Halos are reported to increases the efficiency of a standard filter’s ability to catch .03 micron particulates by up to 73%.
That’s a significant amount, but if you have very sensitive allergies, the remaining particulates may still bother you.
Does it Help Get Rid of Mold?
One test done on the Reme Halo’s effectiveness against mold found that over a 48-hour period, it was able to reduce 97-98% of mold in large test areas.
Similarly, the Halo was tested against black mold, and was able to clear it from the air in only 12 hours. Both of these studies were performed by third-party labs.
The U.S. Military has even approved the use of the Halo for reducing mold in field hospitals!
It seems that the Halo is able to get rid of most mold in the air, however, it should be noted that the Halo itself cannot completely get rid of mold if other factors are stimulating its growth or if mold growing in the duct is distributed just as fast or faster than the Reme Halo can remove it.
Is it Effective Against Viruses?
The Halo has been shown to be effective against viruses. Studies have confirmed that it is 99% effective at reducing some viruses, making it a good choice for the elderly, immunocompromised, or just those who are tired of dealing with the yearly flu.
Does it Combat Bacteria?
As with viruses, the Halo is proven to be effective against certain bacteria. Thanks to the disinfectant properties of the hydrogen peroxide plasma that the Reme Halo produces, it is 99% effective at eliminating these bacteria.
It’s even reported that the Halo is able to eliminate 99% of the germs in a sneeze by the time the sneeze has traveled 3 feet through the air!
Reme Halo Side Effects: Know the Risks
The process of ionization that the Halo uses is not harmful in itself. There is a small risk, however, in a by-product created through the ionization process.
That by-product is ozone, a molecule composed of three oxygen atoms.
While ozone is made entirely from oxygen, it can actually be harmful. Two of the oxygen atoms are stable, but the third is able to detach and combine with outside material.
That’s what makes ozone dangerous—it can bind with other harmful materials and become smog, or when inhaled, it can bind with materials inside the body and cause harm that way.
Very young and very old individuals are especially at risk, as well as those with existing lung conditions.
Reme Halos Produce Ozone
Much like in the natural process of lightning that the Reme Halo imitates, ozone is created through the ionization process.
Now, ozone isn’t all bad—you may have heard of something called the “ozone layer,” which is a concentration of ozone in our atmosphere that helps to shield us from the sun’s UV harmful rays.
In this way, ozone is important. However, high levels of it at ground levels can be very harmful, as discussed.
Immediate effects of high ozone exposure include dizziness, wheezing, inflammation, irritation, coughing, chest pain, and a decrease in lung function.
That all sounds concerning, knowing that the Reme Halo creates ozone. What’s important, however, is how much ozone the Halo creates.
Ozone is considered safe at a level of .05 ppm (parts per million) or lower when in an enclosed area for long periods of time—your home would fall under this category.
Thankfully, RGF, the manufacturer of the Halo, is very open about the fact that, while their device produces some ozone, it keeps below federal safety levels of .05 ppm (parts per million).
A technical bulletin released by RGF states that the Halo has always been tested to produce .01 ppm of ozone or less when put through rigorous trials, which is again well below the federal safety level.
Ozone Production Introduces a Smell
It should be noted that ozone does produce an odor. It should smell “fresh and clean” like the air outdoors after a storm. After all, as mentioned, the Halo and lightning both create ozone.
Most find this smell pleasant or barely notice it. That said, some are bothered by the idea that an air “purifier” produces any kind of smell, so consider that before purchasing.
Also, bear in mind that this smell is a good indicator of high ozone levels.
If you suddenly smell a very strong wave of ozone or begin smelling it very strongly for a consistent period, you may want to test to ensure nothing’s gone wrong and levels are not somehow increasing, since high exposure can be very dangerous.
It Is Not an Ozone Generator
The Reme Halo, while it creates trace amounts of ozone, is not considered an ozone generator.
Ozone generators are devices that are designed to create ozone. This is their primary purpose, be it for air or water purification reasons.
However, the Reme Halo is an ionizer, as it uses ionization as its method of purifying the air. It only produces trace amounts of ozone as a by-product, but this is not its intended purpose.
Further, as discussed, the Halo does not create nearly enough ozone to be considered a health concern under normal conditions.
Is it Safe for Pets?
Common household pets such as cats, dogs, lizards, and rabbits all have similar ozone tolerances. At between .02 and .05 ppm, they will begin experiencing mild symptoms such as fatigue and irritation, amongst others.
Long-term exposure could very well render them more likely to experience illness, and overall shorten their lifespans.
Birds, on the other hand, especially small birds, are more likely to be harmed by even low levels of ozone than other household pets.
While the Halo’s ozone output is reported to put out only 0.01 ppm, it has been shown that its effect on the air could max out ozone levels at .04 ppm over a period of time.
While this is still perfectly safe for human inhalation, your pets will begin to sustain damage.
Be sure to consider the well-being of your pets before investing in a Reme Halo.
Reme Halo Pros and Cons
For a more detailed assessment of the Halo’s pros and cons, take a look at this article. For simplicity’s sake, however, here is a quick chart.
|Eliminates the majority of viruses, mold, and bacteria||Smell of ozone may be bothersome to some|
|Air pollutants like dust, pollen, and dander are reduced||Many reviews state it fails before reaching 2-3 years old|
|Placement in the HVAC system ensures even distribution and whole-home effectiveness||Ozone production, while small, may cause problems and is likely to harm pets|
|High output of ions further ensures effectiveness||Reviews on its effectiveness are conflicting|
Is it Worth the Money?
Frankly, the Reme Halo’s “worth” is entirely determined by what you need and value, but let’s break down some of the costs to make deciding easier.
To purchase and install a Halo, you are likely to spend around $780. Cell replacement is recommended every 2 years, at an additional cost of up to $200.
Most studies report high effectiveness, but customer reviews are quite mixed despite the majority being positive.
Essentially, if you or your loved ones live in a highly polluted area, are prone to allergies or illness, or are immunocompromised, the Halo may be a great option.
However, on the downside, you may want to monitor ozone levels just to be safe, and if you have pets, the Halo isn’t a great option.
Reme Halo vs Reme Halo LED
If any of these potential negatives are putting you off the idea of an ionizing air purifier, we suggest you compare the Reme Halo to the Reme Halo LED as an alternative before shutting down the idea altogether!
Both Halos rely on a UV light, but the Reme Halo LED uses a UV-LED rather than a broad-spectrum UV light. Both perform similarly, ionizing the air they come into contact with and creating a hydrogen peroxide plasma that disinfects your air for you.
However, the Reme Halo LED does not produce any ozone. This means the Halo LED is safe for any of your household pets, while you run a risk with the older Halo model.
Ozone and cost are likely the two biggest cons when it comes to assessing the Reme Halo.
The Halo LED is a better option when it comes to ozone production (or rather, its lack of ozone production), but how does it do when it comes to cost?
Upfront, the Reme Halo LED is more expensive. Purchase and installation may cost a bit over $1,000—significantly higher than the Reme Halo’s $780.
However, its cell only needs replacement every 4 years, compared to the Reme Halo’s 2-year replacement period. Additionally, it is slightly more economical in its power usage.
Essentially, while the Reme Halo LED is more expensive, it has less obtrusive cons than the Reme Halo does and may be worth the extra cost if you’re looking for an effective air purifier.
Reme Halo vs IWave
If you aren’t particularly sold on the Reme Halo or the Reme Halo LED, or if you simply want to explore other options first, you may want to take a look at how the Halo compares to the IWave, another air ionizer.
At product cost, the IWave is roughly $100 cheaper than the Reme Halo.
Installation costs will vary depending on your location and your home’s HVAC setup, but both devices are installed similarly and should have comparable installation costs.
When it comes to maintenance after installation, the IWave is an easy pick. It reportedly needs no maintenance beyond a routine check to ensure proper functioning. The Halo, on the other hand, needs a cell replacement every 2 years, costing about $200.
Directly comparing the device’s effectiveness gets a little more difficult. The Reme Halo reports 99% effectiveness on bird, swine, and noroviruses. It is also 90-99% effective against various bacteria. These percentages are based on 24-hour test periods.
The IWave has only been measured in 60-minute test periods, but still has shown to reduce different viruses by anywhere from 62-99%. Similarly, it has been shown to be effective against 86-92% effective against three different types of bacteria over an hour.
It’s possible that given more time, the IWave would meet the Reme Halo’s effectiveness, however, there is no proof of this. Additionally, it has not been tested against mold, while the Halo has.
Both produce a small amount of ozone, but the IWave is shown to produce a much smaller amount than even the Halo, making it a far safer option for your pets.