BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — Colder weather is going to put another strain on the restaurant industry as it tries to keep customers safe for indoor dining during the pandemic.
But there is a new device that could be the solution to removing harmful viruses and germs in the air.
The Hearth and Press Pizzeria on Main Street in the heart of downtown Buffalo's Theater District has lost a lot of business because of the pandemic.
“It’s been a struggle — losing Shea's was a huge part of our business, also not having people in their offices for lunch was another major blow to restaurant here,” described Peter Eid, owner.
But Eid found a product called the iWave. It is designed to remove germs and viruses.
It’s a small device that produces the same kind of ions that are created by nature.
“It sends out negatively and positively charged ions that attack viruses — it takes dust particles — clings them together,” explained Tom Wrate, general manager of HVAC, NOCO.
NOCO installed the device in the restaurant's HVAC system.
It’s designed to improve indoor air quality.
A promotional video explains in detail how those ions kill viruses.
“When the ions come in contact with viruses — bacteria or mold — they remove the hydrogen atom from the pathogens without the hydrogen — the pathogens have no source of energy and will die,” stated the video.
Eid says Hearth and Press is following all state guidelines for indoor dinning — mask wearing, social distancing, no parties larger than ten and disinfecting. But now the air will be cleaner.
“It gives me peace of mind, not only for my customers, my staff, as well for myself. We all want to be healthy at the end of the day,” Eid declared.
NOCO has installed more than 200 of the devices at local businesses at a cost of about $850 each.
7 Eyewitness News asked NOCO’s Wrate how do you know it's really working?
“When sun shines through your window — you're not going to see dust particles — the little particles you see flying through the air — once this is in and running for a while that disappears,” Wrate responded.
The device is designed to work in businesses or homes with forced air or ductless systems.
The pizzeria happens to serve up one menu item called the “COVID Killer Pizza”, but for now, every time the fan kicks in — the device is set to "kill off" the virus.
“I think this is a huge thing for us — maybe even a game changer,” Eid replied.