When it became apparent that the coronavirus was transmitted via respiratory droplets in the air, there was an influx of plexiglass dividers, table separation, mask use and other safety measures. However, many consumers and hospitality owners began to question the safety of the air itself within their hotels and restaurants. One restaurant owner, is Ivan Kane, founder of the two-level Forty Deuce restaurant/supper club, made it a priority to clean and disinfect his establishment’s air for improved patron and employee safety. He is currently using an AiroDoctor, a commercial air purifier, to filter out and kill coronavirus particles. He also uses germicidal lamps to disinfect all areas of the venue every night after closing. To learn more about his use of tech, HT spoke with Kane.
How did you hear about air purifying technology?
When restaurants began opening up for indoor dining, keeping employees and customers safe was our top priority. Simply disinfecting all surfaces and wearing masks wasn’t enough. We knew there had to be an added step we could take to make people feel comfortable being inside a restaurant. Through due diligence and research, I found out about AiroDoctor, a product that is meant to clean and disinfect indoor air.
Why were you drawn to this type of tech?
First and foremost—safety. Surfaces are clean, everything is spread apart, and people are wearing masks, but many don’t give a second thought to the air we breathe and what might be floating around in it. Disinfecting the indoor dining air minimizes the risk of spread even more.
What made this solution stand out over the competition?
When I was researching different solutions, I also came across the benefits of UV light when it comes to improving indoor air quality, as well as combatting viruses and bacteria. I had hospital grade ultra-violet lamps installed in addition to the AiroDoctor system. Plus, the AiroDoctor takes it a step further than standard HEPA only air purifiers, which I found most valuable. I wanted a system that destroyed viruses, not captures them.
How does the air purifying technology work?
It is a 4-Stage Commercial/Medical Grade Air Purification System. The first three stages are relatively traditional methods of air purification, containing a Prefilter, Activated Carbon Filter, and Medical Grade H13 HEPA Filter. These stages will capture large and small particulates. Some examples are dust, dander, mold spores, allergens, viruses and bacteria up to a certain size molecule. The 4th stage is a unique UVA LED Photocatalytic Filter, which uses UVA LED light and a large volume of solid titanium dioxide that creates a photocatalytic reaction, which destroys aerosolized viruses and bacteria. This stage has no lower limit of molecule size that it can kill, so even the smallest of molecules sizes can be destroyed. This stage also has a dual function because it not only kills what is in the air but also kills off the viruses and bacteria collected on the HEPA filter because it is known that organisms can live on these filters for days. This is also a very unique functionality.
Do you advertise that you use this tech to employees and diners?
We advertise that we are using AiroDoctor on our website and social media. While I can’t quantify a physical reaction, we know anyone that comes across our sites while looking for COVID-friendly spots to dine will be reassured that we have their best interests in mind. We also have placed the AiroDoctor unit where people can see it, to assure them that we are taking extra steps to keep them safe while dining indoors.
Do you think that all restaurants should have this tech?
We’re all trying to get used to this “new normal.” Everyone has this hyperawareness to what’s around us now. So yes, I can see restaurants normalizing this technology even once we’re out of the pandemic. As my mother used to say: “It couldn’t hurt!"
Was it difficult to install?
Not at all, just plug and play, and it is super easy to maintain.