The Lingering Impact of Odors
Foul odors in indoor environments have the power to drastically impact an organization’s bottom line. In fact, a 2020 survey conducted online by The Harris Poll among 2,013 U.S. adults demonstrates just how detrimental it can be when facilities fail to prioritize odor control. According to the research, a large majority of Americans (93%) say a foul odor would negatively impact their perception of an organization.
Many different types of facilities should favor odor eliminating solutions given the survey findings. Consider these facts:
• 79% of Americans say a foul odor at a restaurant would negatively impact their perception of the business.
• Foul odors in a hotel would negatively influence three in four Americans’ (75%) opinions of that business.
• Nearly 2 in 3 U.S. adults (64%) would think adversely about a shopping mall or retail store with unpleasant smells.
• 63% of Americans say a foul odor at an entertainment venue like a movie theater, casino or concert venue would negatively impact their perception of the business.
• Office buildings with foul odors risk more than half of Americans (57%) forming negative perceptions of those facilities.
• 56% of U.S. adults would have a negative opinion about gyms and fitness centers with odor issues.
• Schools and colleges that don’t solve odor issues risk maintaining a positive reputation with 55% of Americans.
• More than 2 in 5 Americans (43%) would think negatively about a transportation center like a bus or train station or airport with unmanaged odors.
• Nearly one in three U.S. adults (32%) would form negative opinions about a gas station with malodors.
These negative perceptions can lead to bigger issues for organizations. The poll also found that many people who encounter indoor odors make certain assumptions or take various steps that can have a lasting impact on foot traffic and even sales. For example, more than half of Americans (56%) say they would assume a facility with foul odors is not clean and 50% say they would spend less time in the facility. Plus, 54% would look for an alternative facility and 34% would never return to the facility again. The impact doesn’t end there, as those who experience these malodors often share their experiences with others. The research uncovered that nearly half (46%) of U.S. adults would tell friends, family or colleagues about the odor incident, which could turn current or prospective guests away from a brand.
Needless to say, having the right solutions in place is crucial for managing the variety of foul odors that can arise indoors. But not all types of products are equally effective at truly eradicating odors. In fact, most temporarily cover up odors, which then return and increase the risk that individuals will have a memorable experience – for all the wrong reasons.
Traditional Options Fail at Foul Odor Elimination
Some facilities rely on intermittent spray systems, gels or solids to tackle odors. Unfortunately, each of these types falls short on eliminating odors. Here’s a closer look at why:
• Intermittent spray systems spray and fade, resulting in fragrance peaks and valleys. In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that spray air fresheners are often a source of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can aggravate respiratory conditions like asthma. More than 20% of Americans claim to experience negative health effects from air fresheners, including migraine headaches, asthma attacks and respiratory issues.
• Gel systems help facilities avoid inconsistent bursts of fragrance. These systems use a battery-powered fan to spread fragrance throughout indoor spaces. However, some gel products can clog, leak or drip, resulting in unreliable odor elimination and added maintenance. Gel fragrances also tend to fade over time.
• Solids typically have a short lifespan, too. Frequent replacement results in higher product and labor costs in addition to interruptions in odor elimination. Solid air fresheners can struggle to meet desired fragrance intensities as well, potentially rendering attempts to freshen a room ineffective.
Superior Solutions for Managing Malodors
When reflecting on which type of odor control solutions to incorporate in your facility, the key is to actually avoid the term odor control altogether. Instead, look for odor eliminating solutions that are proven to destroy odors instead of just masking them. How can you be sure you’re picking reliable products? Make sure the solutions fulfill these requirements: incorporating innovative technology and using a malodor counteractant that targets odors at the molecular level.
Continuous fragrancing devices use innovative oxygen fuel-cell technology to keep releasing fragrance at the desired intensity for the life of the system’s cartridge. Fuel-cell technology has been used in a wide variety of applications from large-scale power production to computers and medical devices. Air freshening systems that use oxygen-powered fuel cells release a precise dose of oxygen that applies pressure to a bladder of high-quality fragrance oil. The scented molecules are then evenly dispersed by the room’s natural air movement. The dependable fuel cell ensures consistent delivery of fragrances into the air.
The inclusion of a malodor counteractant is also key. This ingredient neutralizes airborne odor molecules to ensure they are no longer detectible by people in indoor environments. Ensure that the malodor counteractant has the power to eliminate a wide range of odors, from kitchen malodors as well as those caused by urine, feces, mold, mildew, pets, smoke and more.
With these features, organizations can achieve positive customer reviews by providing fresh indoor air that is free of odors. Pleasing scents can also help brands create a clear identity when they use the same fragrances across their numerous locations. Keeping unwanted odors out of indoor environments also encourages visitors and customers to stay longer. In commercial spaces focused on generating revenue, keeping people in the facility for longer periods of time can help drive higher sales.
Best Practices for your Odor Elimination Program
When looking for a dispensing system, consider the following best practices for success:
• Customize scent intensity depending on your needs. One of the great features of oxygen fuel-cell solutions is that you have the option to set scent delivery for 30, 60 or even 90 days. The 60-day setting will provide a moderate level of fragrance, while 90 days will offer less intense but still effective odor elimination and 30 days will provide high-intensity fragrance. You can also select bold and powerful fragrances or choose ones that are milder but still noticeable.
• Find the right fragrance. Selecting a suitable fragrance for your facility is important as it has the potential to contribute to your organization’s identity and reputation. You may want to use a refreshing fruit-forward scent, or perhaps calming notes of lavender are more appropriate. Consider the emotions the fragrance may invoke, the effect it can have on people (energizing, relaxing, etc.) and even the regional preferences of your target customers or facility occupants.
• Keep sustainability in mind. Unlike aerosols and other alternatives, air fresheners that rely on oxygen fuel-cell technology have a significantly lower carbon footprint, thereby reducing their overall environmental impact. Fragrances should have no CFCs, propellants, alcohols or allergens, and no added VOCs or solvents. The cartridges should also be 100% recyclable to further reduce waste.
• Take a well-rounded approach. Incorporate a variety of different solutions into your facility, such as odor eliminating systems with easy-to-replace cartridges, urinal screens that prevent splash-back and provide ongoing freshness and an air freshening spray that quickly neutralizes malodor molecules.
• Be strategic about where solutions are placed and used. Facilities should install odor eliminating devices in areas prone to unwanted odors, or those with high foot traffic, such as restrooms, entryways and kitchens. Meanwhile, urinal screens in men’s restrooms help to further eradicate unpleasant odors. Strategic placement and use of odor eliminating solutions ensures that freshness is always at the forefront.
Considering the above best practices will help organizations implement an odor elimination program that effectively knocks out odors continuously.
Say Goodbye to Odors for Good
As recent research demonstrates, facility managers can’t turn their noses up at the issue of foul odors. Malodors in restrooms, lobbies, common areas and everywhere in between can spell disaster for brand image and the bottom line. A variety of organizations, including schools, retail stores, hotels and airports benefit from installing continuous and consistent odor eliminating solutions. Implementing products that incorporate reliable fuel-cell technology and malodor counteractants is key, as well as following numerous other best practices. With a sound strategy in place, facilities can rest assured that foul odors won’t negatively impact the guest experience or their organization’s success.
Oxy-Gen Powered is an innovator in odor elimination, offering effective and economical air-freshening solutions that deliver Freshness, All the Time! For more information, visit www.oxygenpowered.com.