What is the Most Energy Efficient Hand Dryer? The Answer: Multiple Choice

There are many studies that prove how much environmental quality can affect the productivity of staff and students as well as the image and reputation of an institution.

Focusing on the improvement of facility operations in all areas of campus can deliver energy-efficient benefits to both the overall facilities operations and the quality of school’s learning environment. When considering cost reduction initiatives, restrooms may not be the first location that comes to mind.

However, simple changes in restroom fixtures can lower costs, reduce maintenance needs and improve sustainability.

Every school and university is different. It’s the basis of school pride. But with those differences come different needs, right down to the selection of what kind of high-speed hand dryers are best for your restroom facilities. Choosing the right hand dryer can have a surprisingly big impact on so many levels, from significantly reducing costs on energy, maintenance and materials, to optimizing sanitary conditions and decreasing the carbon footprint. Because no two institutions are the same-and even the structure within a school can vary, so there is no one right answer-there are several options. Your institution’s requirements for the right high-speed hand dryer will be as unique as the diverse needs of your school.

First, let’s take a look at some quick facts that can lead your institution down the path to cost savings and sustainability.

Paper towels vs. hand dryers:

–90 – 95%. Compared to paper towels, that’s how much switching to high-speed hand dryers can reduce costs in materials, maintenance in restroom upkeep, and waste.

–$72,000. That’s what an average institution can save per year by replacing paper towels with high-speed hand dryers. The $360,000 in savings over five years can go towards books, computers and more.

–3 tons less C02. Over its lifetime, one high-speed hand dryer produces 3 tons less C02 than the production of the paper towels it replaces.

–88%. Today’s high-speed hand dryers use 88% less energy than traditional hand dryers.

Cost control you can count on

When high-speed hand dryers replace paper towels in the restroom, you also eliminate the cost of purchasing, inventorying and restocking towels-and this can add up to significant savings on time and energy.

On average, most people use 2.5 sheets of paper towels each time they dry their hands. With an average of 39,000 restroom visits each day for a large university, paper towels add up to an estimated expense of $74,520 a year.

High-speed hand dryers, by comparison, will cost only $13.65 a day to handle those 39,000 restroom visits and can pay for themselves in just 6 to 18 months while delivering energy-efficiency in a number of ways. For example, today’s new generation of hand dryers dry hands in just 10 to 12 seconds-up to three times faster than traditional models.

Sanitation saves, too

While controlling operating cost is always an ongoing concern for colleges and universities, providing clean and healthy facilities for faculty and students as well as a “green” environment for your community are also important considerations.

In the heavy traffic areas of your school, you can usually count on finding the restroom trash receptacles overflowing with wet, germ-carrying paper towels. The constant need to keep these restrooms tidy and sanitary adds to maintenance expenses. High-speed hand dryers eliminate the need for cleaning up messy and potentially contaminated paper towels several times daily; and also reduce opportunities for vandalism or for clogging the plumbing with paper towels.

Protecting the environment matters

Using “green” fixtures like touchless high-speed hand dryers instead of paper towels shows students, faculty and visitors that an institution cares about the environment.

As noted, efficient high-speed hand dryers use 88 percent less energy than traditional hand dryers, and dry hands up to three times faster. Over its lifetime, a high-speed hand dryer produces three tons less CO2 than the production of the paper towels it replaces-saving, literally, tons of trees and the resources required to make paper.

Additionally, while it is possible to make paper towels from recycled paper, they can’t be recycled, creating millions of cubic feet of waste in landfills.

An energy-efficient hand dryer that meets your needs and budget

An institution has many different areas in use at all times, such as classrooms, libraries, locker rooms, theaters and cafeterias. Each area has its own needs, and when it comes to finding the right hand dryer that is cost effective, emits proper sound and the right energy efficiency, one size does not fit all.

The best way to choose a hand dryer is to ensure it specifically meets the requirements of each location and application. For publicly accessed areas, many models are surface mounted and ADA compliant, so you won’t need costly recessed installation kits. Many provide on-off heating controls, so if heat is not required, the hand dryer is even more energy efficient, often featuring three-speed motor controls to optimize energy efficiency and user comfort.

Whether it’s design, energy efficiency or cost efficiency, seek out the intelligent high-speed hand dryer that meets your institution’s unique needs. Today, most manufacturers design hand dryers to deliver a choice that in turn delivers energy efficiency, an improved environment and a better customer experience. All of these elements send positive returns to your bottom line.

About the Author
Sean Martin, General Manager of World Dryer, Bensenville IL.