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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC

Salons & Spas: Improve Indoor Air Quality to Keep Customers Safe


ways to improve indoor air quality at your salon or spa

Salon owners and employees are accustomed to the chemical fumes associated with a salon: from hair dyes, nail polish, aerosol sprays and other products. But customers don’t want to be assaulted with those odors.

Now due to the pandemic, customers are paying more attention to indoor air quality and its impact on their health. After all, if the smell of hair spray is lingering, what are the chances that the air in your salon is harboring something more dangerous?

You don’t want to be that salon that puts its customers at risk. Luckily, there are HVAC solutions available today that can reduce odors, improve indoor air quality and help keep everyone safe and healthy.

Let’s take a look at how you can clear the air for your clients and employees.

Improve indoor air quality to enhance the salon and spa experience for your clients

Your clients come to your establishment because they want to look good, but just as importantly they want to feel good. So, it’s your aim to make them feel pampered and make their visit the highlight of their day. You want them to have eager anticipation for their next visit. How are you going to do that?

Besides providing them with excellent, personalized services from a caring staff, you must provide them with a comfortable, healthy and relaxing atmosphere. An essential part of providing this enticing climate is to improve indoor air quality and spa ventilation.

Telltale signs your salon or spa needs ventilation upgrades to improve indoor air quality

  • Strong odors persist 10 minutes after using a product
  • Odors drift into another room
  • Beads of water form on walls
  • Fine layers of dust from products accumulate on floors and furnishings
  • Windows fog up
  • Clients or employees complain about nasty odors or stickiness
  • Employees complain of health issues that are connected with poor air quality (such as headaches or respiratory issues)

Take a multi-pronged approach to improve indoor air quality at your salon or spa

The building your salon or spa is located in may have an HVAC system that was installed before you came on the scene. While it might be appropriate for some businesses, it might not be the right one for you. Your HVAC system may be in need of redesign or be augmented to handle the unique air quality issues of your business and to improve indoor air quality.

A combination of a well-designed general HVAC system, a source capture system and a professional grade air purifier might be the best approach to improve indoor air quality.

Source capture system
What you want for your employees and clients is a good quality breathing zone. The breathing zone is the area immediately surrounding the mouths and noses of the occupants at your business. A source capture system is designed to capture vapor and dust particles at its source of release and extract these particles from the breathing zone.

Safety Guidelines for Controlling and Minimizing Inhalation Exposure to Nail Products published by the Professional Beauty Association (PBA), say that source capture systems should, at minimum, draw 50 cubic feet per minute of airflow when measured 6-inches from where the dust and vapors are released. According to the PBA, source capture systems are the most effective way of removing salon dust and vapors from the air.

Air purifiers help improve indoor air quality
A standalone air purifier designed specifically for a salon can be useful for providing fresh air and removing nearly all the dust and vapor particles not removed by the source capture system. These air cleaners are outfitted with HEPA (High Energy Particulate Air Filters), which are designed to remove dust and vapors in the air that is in close proximity to the unit. If you want to improve indoor air quality at your salon or spa, you should not use air purifiers that are designed for home use because these devices are designed to remove particles from the air that are more typically found in a home, such as pollen.

If you are concerned about the spread of COVID in your space, you should consider an air purifier that uses bipolar ionization and oxidation technologies. These devices can be installed inside your HVAC system, but they do much more than just filter the air. They send out charged particles throughout your space that work to deactivate virus particles as well as other pollutants in the air.

Get this helpful guide to learn more.

guide to HVAC strategies for COVID

An HVAC with a multi-stage filtration system and effective exhaust system
Another option for salons is to install a HVAC unit that contains a multi-stage filtration system to improve indoor air quality. The layer of filters include a pre-filter, which will remove the largest of particles, and a HEPA filter or electronically enhanced filters, sometimes called E-HEPA filters. Both have the capability of extracting particles from the air that are the equivalent of 1/100th the diameter of a human hair. Electronic filters permit more air flow through the unit. The third filter is an activated carbon filter, which will remove the smallest of particles.

To ensure good air quality, it is also advisable to have an exhaust system that can provide for proper ventilation at each work station or table.

If you want to improve indoor air quality, controlling humidity is key

High humidity will not only make your clients feel sticky and uncomfortable, but can serve as a breeding ground for contaminants in your system. Humidity can be responsible for the growth of mold, mildew and bacteria. If different contaminants are circulating through your space, staff and clients sensitive to irritants may begin to experience allergy symptoms and could develop other illnesses.

Learn more: Is Too Much Humidity Hurting Your Health?

Often an oversized air conditioner will cause humidity problems. If your air conditioner is too powerful, it will cycle on and off more frequently and not stay on long enough to remove humidity from the air. Excess humidity can also be caused by inadequate ventilation. A qualified HVAC installer can correct this problem by re-routing ductwork or adding makeup air.

Learn more: HVAC Humidity Control: 5 Reasons Your AC Is Ineffective

If you have a water lounge at your spa, which could include a thermal hot tub, you need to be particularly concerned about humidity. Proper spa ventilation is essential and it is important to maintain proper water chemistry. Your spa ventilation system will vent air that contains chemically-treated water. To improve indoor air quality, you may benefit from the installation of a dehumidification system, which will remove excess moisture from your air.

Do not overlook the importance of preventative maintenance

Remember, you can have the appropriate system and ventilation, but if you do not have your HVAC equipment serviced regularly, you may be throwing your efforts to improve indoor air quality out the window.

A qualified HVAC company, like Arista Air, can assess your system and give you advice on how you can improve indoor air quality. Arista can design a system to meet your unique needs and provide you with preventative maintenance services than can ensure the proper operation of your system and the comfort of your clients and staff. By making it a priority to improve indoor air quality, you are sure to attract loyal customers and employees.

Request a preventative maintenance plan now, and we’ll reach out to discuss your needs and come up with the right plan for your business.