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Demanding More from Hand Dryers

Kate Darlow of Heatstore discusses the environmental and operational advantages provided by the latest generation, high speed Hand Dryers

There has been virtually nothing new or interesting to say about electric hand dryers for years. Traditionally, electric hand dryers are, in most cases, irritatingly noisy, appallingly slow and horrendously wasteful environmentally. Is it any wonder that most people, particularly Electrical Contractors, Property Owners and End-Users, would vote the electric hand dryer one of their least favourite pieces of electrical equipment?

This does not, however, apply to latest generation, high-speed, hand dryers. The first interesting point to emerge from our market research was how much our lifestyles are changing. It seems incredible, but people can no longer afford to spend a couple of minutes in a washroom clapping their hands together under an airflow that isn't in sync with their deadlines - particularly when there's an important meeting or customers waiting to see you. In these situations, it's a quicker option just to "blot" your hands dry on your shirt sleeves than use a traditional electric hand dryer.

But what if you could wash your hands, and dry them economically - in less than 13 seconds using a latest generation, high-speed hand dryer? Does 13 seconds beat the stress test? According to our research - it does!

Early indications from our installations showed around a fivefold energy saving on conventional, electric hand dryers. This is attributed in part to the fact that our particular product has two optional settings - 1,700W, heated and 900W unheated, which take approximately 13 seconds to dry hands as opposed to traditional electric hand dryers, which take approximately 30 seconds.

In terms of energy savings, it can therefore be reasoned that one high-speed dryer replaces two conventional dryers :-

Traditional Dryer         High Speed Dryer
2 x 2,400W = 4,800W 1 x 1,700W or 900W

Another environmental consideration that found favour - the fact that high-speed hand dryers do not waste heated/unheated airflows because they dry the hands ultra fast and have on/off mechanisms that automatically adapt to the individual user. As a result, there's no waste of electrical power and end-users never leave the washroom to the irritating whine of a hand dryer.
Whilst on the subject of environmental concerns, it was also noted how many traditional hand dryers seem to create piles of wasted paper towels.

A key requirement for those concerned with electrical installation washroom projects such as busy motorway services etc., is a lower ratio of high-speed hand dryers to wash hand basins. This is particularly relevant in modern washrooms where space is, as always, at a premium.

The human hands pick up bacteria from all sorts of surfaces so 'Touch-free technology' was found to be an important advantage in terms of cross contamination. In addition, confining the air stream to the immediate area of the hands, also reduces the risk of air-borne infections too.
Another key point was the fact that high-speed dryers do not require 'auxilliary paper towels' to aid the drying process, thus reducing the risk of infection.

The 'look' of a washroom can have a positive influence on company image and staff relations. I have already found that customers appreciate being reminded that the use of 'auxilliary paper towels' in the drying process can quickly make a washroom very untidy, due to overflowing bins, people carelessly throwing them on the floor after use etc.

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