Considerations for Hand Dryer Selection

Hand dryers are an increasingly common solution to replace or complement paper towels. They eliminate paper towel waste completely, along with the need to manage paper towel inventory. In fact, hand dryers can result in 95 percent cost savings compared to paper towel systems.

An authentically sustainable approach to design requires close attention to all resources used in the restroom. For example, while hand dryers dramatically reduce waste, some can be culprits of high electrical costs.

In recent years, evolving consumer preferences have driven demand for hand dryers with quicker dry times. Thus, high speed hand dryers, also known as jet dryers, have increased in popularity. However, many high speed hand dryers run on a high wattages and/or voltages, in addition to high noise levels. Over time, this can lead to higher energy bills.

However, newer innovations can satisfy the desire for a quick, thorough hand-dry without the high energy costs. Bobrick’s new B-7125 InstaDry™ Surface-Mounted Hand Dryer features an industry-best power rating of 200 watts, or 0.2 kilowatts. When motor life is a consideration, InstaDry also has a longer life expectancy—as much as 7,500 hours, or 10 years in high-traffic environments. This leads to reduced replacement cycles and further savings for the owner.

To ensure optimal use of hand dryers, it’s essential to take a holistic approach to product selection. Before specifying a hand dryer, a number of other factors should be considered.

Many hand dryers have an institutional aesthetic; recessed or semi-recessed stainless steel units can elevate design. Excess noise can negatively impact the patron experience; researching noise levels can ensure appropriate acoustics for the project.

Other models may feature more unique design elements. Bobrick’s B-3725 Accessible Recessed Hand Dryer features an oversized drying alcove that catches and absorbs water, thereby reducing maintenance while improving hygiene.

Although sustainability certifications and standards used throughout the world are typically the focus of green washrooms, they often to not address many operational issues—approaching product selection with these issues in mind can ensure authentic, long-term sustainability.

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