4 Surprising Facts About Hand Dryers You Didn’t Know
If people don’t give a lot of thought to electric hand dryers, it’s probably because these unobtrusive machines are designed to make our lives easier and safer without much fuss. But dive into the world of these modern drying machines, and you might just be surprised by the advances and controversies that surround the topic. Did you know these four surprising facts?
Fact #1: There’s been an ongoing battle about which is better – hand dryers or paper towels.
Even in 2019 we don’t seem to have a definitive answer as to whether paper towels or hand dryers are the better choice for drying hands hygienically. There have been several studies commissioned from either side of the drying divide to find out (including Kimberly-Clark and Dyson), along with allegations of inadequate, inaccurate or biased testing. However, one independent Mayo Clinic study found that there was no distinguishable difference between the effectiveness of hand dryers and paper towels. Ultimately, we’d suggest installing the type of system that works best for your facilities and the way that people use them.
Fact #2: Hand dryers can be surprisingly energy efficient.
In 2019 almost every business is trying to find the greenest option for every part of their facilities, which benefits the brand as well as planet. Traditional hand dryer models have predominantly used heat to evaporate water from freshly cleaned hands, but the new high speed hand dryer models such as Mediclinics also use a blast of air to slash drying time down to an industry-leading 6 to 15 seconds. With intelligent European design, eco friendly hand dryers like the Mediclinics Speedflow can be five times more energy efficient than conventional hand dryers, and up to 20 times more carbon efficient than paper towels in life cycle analysis. That’s certainly a compelling reason to invest in better quality hand dryers.
Fact #3: Some hand dryers can be as loud as a lawn mower.
High speed hand dryers are incredibly powerful to rapidly dry hands, but as a result they can also be noisy. Some models have been found to be as loud as a road drill or a lawn mower, at around 90 decibels. Combine that with the smooth, reflective surfaces within a bathroom, and the sound from a hand dryer can be amplified by up to eleven times that of lab-tested levels. By installing the wrong model, you could unwittingly be causing problems for people with sound sensitivities and vision-impaired people who rely on sound to find their way through public spaces. Fortunately, there are some quiet hand dryers that won’t hurt your ears – Mediclinics hand dryers like the Machflow are quieter than other high speed hand dryers by around 50%.
Fact #4: Hand dryers can cost far less over their life cycle than a paper towel system.
While it may cost more to install an electric hand dryer than a paper towel system, a hand dryer with regular usage could pay for itself in savings in a short amount of time. Think about the ongoing manufacturing, transport and disposal costs of paper towels, and you’ll easily see how a short blast of warm air is the more cost-effective option. One U.S. study found that the operating costs of one high speed hand dryer slid in under $28 per year, compared to $900 a year in paper towels for the same period. So are paper towels redundant? There’s certainly a place for them in many facilities, but as hand dryer models become more efficient and cost-effective, their benefits are becoming clearer than ever to facilities managers.
For assistance in choosing the right quiet and efficient hand dryer model for your needs, contact the Davidson Washroom team today.