A survey conducted by the Census data and Simmons National Consumer Survey (NHCS) found that more than 80% of the U.S. population uses air freshener products. However, what percent of the population is well-informed about the odor control products they encounter either in their homes or other indoor facilities? From environmental concerns to fragrance duration, facility managers should be especially aware of myths surrounding these systems.
Separating Fact from Fiction
With a wide variety of odor control systems available on the market, it’s important for facility managers to distinguish fact from fiction when choosing appropriate air care products for an indoor environment. Consider the following myths and the truth behind them:
• Myth: Ingredients in all odor control systems are safe for indoor use. Many odor control systems contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like acetone and ethanol, and propellants like propane and butane. These chemicals negatively impact the air quality within a facility as they release organic gases containing carbon. In addition to environmental concerns, these chemicals can impact the health of building occupants, with exposed individuals reporting headaches, dizziness or worsened asthma symptoms.
• Fact: Certain odor elimination systems are safe for indoor use. Innovative odor elimination systems that harness the power of oxygen fuel cell technology continuously and consistently release fragrance without involving CFCs, VOCs or propellants. Look for a system that uses recyclable cartridges without any added solvents or alcohols, as not only are these products safer and more eco-friendly, but they also eliminate odors without the “spray-and-fade" effect or noises that occur with aerosol air fresheners.
• Myth: Using fragrance in your facility is a risk. While some surveys have found that fragrances cause health problems for an increasing number of people, the exact triggers of the complaints weren’t pinpointed to odor control systems and included a variety of fragranced products like laundry detergents and soaps. In addition, it is unclear whether symptoms were direct physiological responses or whether there was an underlying psychological component. However, certain odor control products like aerosols do contain other ingredients proven to be hazardous to human health and can cause nose and throat irritation, nausea and allergic skin reactions.
• Fact: The right fragrances or odorless solutions can support brand reputation. Thankfully, there are safe and even subtle ways to use fragrance in a facility. The right fragrance can even strengthen customer satisfaction and brand reputation. Incorporating oxygen fuel cell technology ensures that these solutions continuously emit a fresh aroma at the same intensity over the entire period. Setting systems to different durations allows facility managers to manage the intensity of the fragrance – a shorter duration results in greater scent intensity while a longer duration offers a less intense fragrance. Look for systems that feature high-quality fragrances with multiple notes that are tested for popularity and appeal. You should also have the option to select low-intensity fragrances or more fragrant options, and even odorless scents that can still eliminate unpleasant odors.
• Myth: Odor control systems only temporarily mask odors. Many odor control systems, like those that come in the form of pressurized spray cans, don’t effectively maintain freshness due to the spray-and-fade effect. These types of sprays are ineffective at permanently neutralizing malodors. Instead, they only mask foul odors for a few minutes and wane over time. This isn’t true of all odor elimination systems, however. Finding one that is consistently effective is key.
• Fact: Oxygen fuel cell systems can eliminate odors effectively and continuously. New technologies, like systems with oxygen fuel cells, are capable of eliminating a wide range of malodors like urine, feces, body odor, tobacco, pet malodors, kitchen malodors, mold and mildew and more. Look for a solution featuring a proprietary malodor-fighting agent that locks in odor molecules, neutralizes them and releases pure, fresh fragrance into the air. With the fuel cell continuously working over the life of the fragrance cartridge, these solutions can destroy odors for 30, 60 or even 90 days. Facilities can also benefit from ready-to-use odor eliminating sprays that quickly cover up malodors and deliver instant freshness in areas where wall-mounted odor elimination systems aren’t installed.
• Myth: Air fresheners need to be placed high on walls and near doors or air vents. Aerosol systems do sometimes need to be strategically placed out of visitors’ reach. This is primarily for safety reasons, as they can accidentally spray a patron in the eye or face. Careful placement also helps prevent theft and allows buildings to utilize air drafts near vents or doors to effectively move fragrance around the space.
• Fact: Advanced systems can be placed anywhere within a facility. Innovative odor eliminating systems that do not use any propellants eliminate safety risks. These systems continuously apply fragrance oil to a pad, and the scent is dispersed throughout a room through evaporation and natural air movement. Units with key access can be placed on a wall, either high, low or at eye level, or even on a shelf, eliminating the risk of cartridge theft.
Achieving Freshness, All the Time
It’s important for facility managers and business owners alike to distinguish between fantasy and reality when it comes to selecting an odor control system. Being informed on the topic can help decision makers choose an air care system that keeps safety and sustainability in mind while delivering freshness, all the time.