Casino Air Inc. clears the air with HVAC projects Mark Gruetze, CDC Gaming Reports · November 11, 2019 at 2:53 pm Anyone who’s dreaded replacing a home furnace or central air unit could sympathize with the operators of WinnaVegas Casino Resort in Iowa. The resort in Sloane, near Interstate 29 about 90 minutes north of Omaha, Nebraska, needed a major upgrade of its heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system. Its massive air-handling units (AHUs) were long past their 20-year-life expectancy. The equipment heats, cools, and circulates air throughout the 55,000-square-foot gaming floor as well as the hotel, bingo hall, entertainment venue, and offices. The Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, which owns and operates the resort, turned to Casino Air Inc. of Pismo Beach, Calif., to engineer the project. The work included: Removing the 110-ton AHUs that had been all but destroyed by tobacco smoke particulates, nicotine, and paper ash. Installing new, 90-ton Trane AHUs outfitted with Casino Air’s electronic air cleaners, which eliminate tobacco odor from the casino floor and from the return ducts used to recirculate heated or cooled air. Removing three smaller AHUs that served other areas of the facility and replacing them with new Trane units. Installing Casino Air’s patented molecular oxidizers for the event center and bingo hall. With the completion of the work earlier this year, the main casino floor and bingo hall are virtually void of tobacco smoke and odor, said Denny Barringer, founder and CEO of Casino Air. Moreover, he said, WinnaVegas’s new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment is about twice as efficient as the outdated gear, thus cutting heating and cooling costs. Casino Air began in 1972 in Seattle, when smoking was allowed virtually everywhere. Barringer’s original company provided air-cleaning services to numerous bars and restaurants in the Pacific Northwest. As state and local smoking bans spread, he began to focus on developing and engineering projects for larger properties, specifically casinos. The company works with new construction and remodeling projects as well as on retrofit projects. The process starts with a casino facilities director completing a Casino Air questionnaire about existing equipment, building layout, and other details. Casino Air representatives visit the property to inspect the HVAC system and to walk the floor on a busy night or two. They also check comments on social media, where customers are outspoken about issues such as tobacco odors and smoke infiltrating restaurants, elevators, and other areas meant to be nonsmoking. WinnaVegas General Manager Mayan Beltran lauded the company’s work for the resort. A few days before its new HVAC system went into use in January, Beltran described it to the Sioux City (Iowa) Journal as “the top-of-the-line filtration system in the casino industry.” “It’s going to take out any tar, nicotine, paper ash, microscopic particles,” he said. “It takes out allergens, germs, bacteria.” Beltran said the system improves not only the customer experience but also working conditions for employees. Plus, he projected that it would use about 40% less energy than the old one. Casino Air has completed numerous other projects for casino operations, including: At Treasure Island on the Las Vegas Strip, Casino Air equipment was installed to remove smoke odors and the perfumed air the resort had used in vain attempts to mask the effects of tobacco use. At WinStar World Casino in Oklahoma, the world’s largest casino, Casino Air experts worked with the architect and mechanical engineers on HVAC design for all areas where smoking is allowed. At Parx Casino near Philadelphia, the company engineered and installed a complete retrofit of casino floor air handlers to eliminate tobacco problems on the floor and in adjoining non-smoking restaurants. At Prairie Wind and East Wind casinos in South Dakota, Casino Air technology was used to solve recurring smoke and odor complaints.