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MEET THE INVENTOR

Efrain Martinez

My name is Efrain Martinez, and I am the inventor of Duct Aid with Thymol.

Being a restaurateur in New York is not easy. The city’s smoke, smells, heat, and steam make for a difficult working environment, especially if you suffer from allergies. Duct Aid with Thymol arose from my personal need for a product that catered to my allergies. 

One day, after being driven to desperation, I bought myself a disinfectant spray product. I started by removing and changing the air filter of my air handler. Then, I discharged the whole can until my finger went numb while holding the product’s nozzle. Several days later, I noticed an improvement in my allergies. Although this product was passable, that day inspired me to start thinking about how could I create something better.

There were a few essential factors I knew I had to overcome: the disinfectant’s powerful chemical smell; the numbness of my finger from holding the nozzle for an extended period of time; how to anchor the product to the inside wall of the air handler, preventing the propellants from getting into my eyes and face; and a propellant that prevents condensation in the air duct system.

I researched the aerosol can and its inner valve mechanisms. Some create spray, some foam, some fog, and some gels. My first improvement was the fogger, which improved penetration ability in tight spaces and minimized condensation. Then came the total release actuator, the nozzle, for easy, hands-free deployment. Next was a diffuser cap to safely direct the fog away from the eyes and face in the user’s chosen direction. I additionally came up with a way to anchor the product to the inside walls of the air handler. Its anchor system, with a peel off label and adhesive material, securely attaches to any type of surface.

The final hurdle I had to face was the powerful chemical smell. That is when I started developing my own formula made with Thymol, from the oil of the thyme plant. Now, I regularly use Duct Aid with Thymol in the air duct system of my restaurants to prevent offensive odors from traveling to the dining area. And to think that all this started because of my allergies!