Over time, powered hand dryers have become a fixture in restaurants, offices, and other commercial restrooms. However, they have recently undergone significant changes, making them cleaner, more efficient, and packed with more features than ever before. Furthermore, they are no longer restricted to commercial restrooms. In fact, smaller, less expensive models are now being used in homes as well.
If you are considering purchasing a hand dryer, it is essential to be familiar with the various factors that influence its effectiveness. Things like their design, efficiency, and other features, such as controls and filters, all play crucial roles in choosing the right model for your specific needs.
Why Do You Need A Hand Dryer?
There are several reasons why you may consider buying a hand dryer:
- Hygiene: Hand dryers help promote hygiene. Using paper towels in restrooms can create a mess and may spread bacteria. Hand dryers, on the other hand, use high-speed air to dry hands, which is more sanitary and environmentally friendly than paper towels.
- Cost-effective: Using a hand dryer is much more cost-effective than using paper towels. Although the initial investment may be more expensive, over time, you will save money on purchasing paper towels and maintaining hand towel dispensers.
- Energy efficient: Many hand dryers are energy efficient, which can help you reduce your energy cost. Hand dryers with the latest technology can dry hands in seconds using a minimum amount of energy, which is not possible with older models or paper towels.
- Eco-friendly: Using a hand dryer helps reduce waste and is more environmentally friendly than using paper towels. This can be a significant advantage for businesses that have sustainability goals.
- Convenience: Hand dryers are convenient and reduce the need to continually refill paper towel dispensers. They also eliminate the hassle of having to dispose of paper towels, which can be a particular concern for high-traffic restrooms.
Overall, hand dryers can be a great investment for a business to promote hygiene, cost-effectiveness, energy efficiency, eco-friendliness, and convenience. When considering buying a hand dryer, take into account the various features, such as construction, efficiency, and features to find the one that best suits your needs.
What To Consider When Buying A Hand Dryer?
Hand Dryer Styles
There are several styles of hand dryers available in the market, including:
- Traditional Hand Dryers: They are available in various designs, sizes, and finishes. They are typically mounted on a wall and have a push button or sensor to activate the airflow.
- High-Speed Hand Dryers: They use high-speed air to dry your hands in seconds. They are energy efficient, quiet, and durable. Additionally, they feature sleek, modern designs, and can be mounted on a wall or placed on a countertop.
- Blade Hand Dryers: They use a narrow jet of air to dry your hands. They are energy-efficient and hygienic because they blow air directly onto your hands, which helps prevent the spread of bacteria.
- Eco-Friendly Hand Dryers: They are designed to dry hands using minimal energy, and are cost-effective and environmentally friendly. They are ideal for establishments with sustainability goals.
- Hybrid Hand Dryers: They use both heat and air to dry hands, which makes them faster and more efficient than traditional hand dryers.
There are several options available in each style of hand dryer, and the choice depends on the needs and preferences of the user.
Hand Dryer Housing
The housing of a hand dryer refers to the outer casing or shell that encloses the hand dryer’s internal components. The style, material, and design of the housing can affect the hand dryer’s performance, durability, and appearance. Here are some common types of hand dryer housing:
- Plastic: Hand dryers with plastic housings are lightweight, low cost and easy to clean. They are often available in multiple colors and finishes, making them customizable to suit any decor.
- Stainless Steel: Stainless steel housings provide a sleek, modern appearance and are preferred for high-end or luxury washrooms. They are durable, rust-resistant, and easy to clean, which makes them a popular choice for commercial environments.
- Aluminum: Aluminum housings are used to create lightweight and reasonably durable hand dryers. They have a higher resistance to corrosion than other metals and are often used in areas with high humidity.
- Cast Iron: Cast iron housing is rare, but it is sometimes used for industrial hand dryers. It is exceptionally durable and can withstand high-impact environments.
- ABS: ABS housings are a blend of plastic and resins, making them robust and long-lasting. They are frequently used in high-traffic environments.
The housing material and design play a crucial role in determining the hand dryer’s durability, maintenance, cost, and overall aesthetic.
Hand Dryer Efficiency
Hand dryer efficiency is a critical factor to consider when choosing a hand dryer. Here are some types of efficiency to consider:
- Speed: Hand dryers that dry hands faster are more efficient than those that take longer. High-speed hand dryers can dry hands in just a few seconds, which saves time and energy.
- Energy Efficiency: Hand dryers that consume less power to operate are more energy-efficient. Look for hand dryers that are ENERGY STAR® rated since they have been tested and proven to be energy-efficient.
- Drying Time: Hand dryers that have a shorter drying cycle are more efficient. Hand dryers that dry hands quickly will need less energy to operate.
- Sensor Technology: Hand dryers that have a motion sensor to activate the airflow when hands are near are more efficient since they only use electricity when someone is using them.
- Noise Level: Hand dryers that are more silent are typically more efficient. Quieter hand dryers have lower decibel levels and use less electricity than louder ones.
The heat feature on a hand dryer refers to the device’s heating element, which warms the air before it is blown onto the hands. The addition of heat to the airflow speeds up the evaporation of moisture on the hands, making the drying process faster and more comfortable. Some models allow you to adjust the temperature of the air, as well as some models allow you to turn on or off the heat by a simple switch for different seasons.
However, you might want to think twice if you really need a heat feature as some study shows that a hot-air dryer might blow more bacteria on your hands in a public restroom. If you want to install a hot air hand dryer in your home bathroom, do remember to disinfect the hand dryer regularly.
A hand dryer typically has a nozzle, which is designed to direct the airflow to efficiently dry the hands. The nozzle may vary in shape and size depending on the hand dryer model and manufacturer.
The nozzle is usually located at the bottom of the unit, where the air is forced out by a motor or fan. It can be in the form of a narrow slot or a round vent, depending on the design of the hand dryer. The nozzle’s size and shape play a significant role in determining the hand dryer’s drying speed and efficiency.
In addition to directing the airflow, the nozzle also helps prevent the spread of airborne bacteria and germs by keeping the airflow close to the hands. A quality hand dryer should have a nozzle that is easy to clean and maintain to prevent bacterial growth.
Overall, the nozzle is a crucial component of a hand dryer, as it directs the airflow to dry the hands efficiently and provides a hygienic hand-drying experience.
Hand Dryer Power
Hand dryer power refers to the amount of electricity that a hand dryer requires to operate. The higher the wattage, the more power the hand dryer needs. Here are some common power ratings for hand dryers:
- Standard Hand Dryers: These typically require 1200 to 1500 watts to operate. While they get the job done, they may take longer to dry hands than higher-powered models.
- High-Performance Hand Dryers: These require 1800 to 2200 watts of power, which translates into faster drying time. They are more energy-efficient than standard models because they spend less time on them.
- Jet Air Hand Dryers: Jet air hand dryers require up to 3000 watts of power, which is the highest among hand dryer types. They are incredibly fast, drying hands in just a few seconds but may be more expensive to operate.
- Low-Power Hand Dryers: These hand dryers use only 500 watts of power and are the most energy-efficient hand dryers. They may take longer to dry hands than other models, which could lead to a longer queue.
It is essential to choose a hand dryer with just the right amount of power for your needs. A model with less power than you need could take too long to dry hands, while a model with too much power may be more expensive to operate. Look for an energy-efficient hand dryer that balances performance with operating cost.
Automatic start is a feature available on some hand dryers that allows it to start automatically without the need for the user to press a button or touch any surface. The automatic start feature is activated by the motion sensor, which detects the presence of hands and triggers the hand dryer’s airflow.
Automatic start hand dryers have several benefits, including:
1. Hygiene: Since there is no need to touch a button or handle, automatic start hand dryers are more hygienic than manual start models. They help prevent the spread of germs and bacteria by reducing the number of surfaces people need to touch in public restrooms.
2. Convenience: The automatic start feature is convenient, saves time and eliminates the need to touch any surface or adjust any controls manually.
3. Energy-saving: Automatic start hand dryers shut down automatically when hands are removed, saving energy and reducing operating costs.
4. Accessibility: Automatic start hand dryers are particularly helpful for users with disabilities or mobility issues. They offer a convenient way for people with limited mobility to dry their hands, as they eliminate the need to press a button or touch any surface manually.
Overall, the automatic start feature is a valuable addition to any hand dryer, particularly in high-traffic areas where hygiene is essential.
Hand Dryer Filter
A hand dryer filter is a component of a hand dryer that helps to prevent dust, dirt, and bacteria from being blown onto the user’s hands. In most cases, hand dryer filters are replaceable and serve as a simple yet effective way to maintain hand dryer hygiene.
Here are some common types of hand dryer filters:
- HEPA filter: HEPA, aka high-efficiency particulate air filters, are the most effective hand dryer filters available on the market. These filters are designed to trap 99.97% of particles, including bacteria and viruses, that are as small as 0.3 microns in size.
- Antibacterial filter: Antibacterial filters are designed to remove bacteria and other harmful microorganisms from the air. Such filters are commonly used in settings, such as hospitals or restaurants, where hygiene is crucial.
- Carbon filter: Carbon filters are useful when dealing with odors, as they can remove unpleasant smells from the air. These filters are often used in commercial settings, such as restrooms, to eliminate unpleasant odors.
- Washable filter: These hand dryer filters can be washed regularly, thus making them an affordable and eco-friendly option. Washable filters are typically made from metal or hard plastic, making them durable and long-lasting.
Proper maintenance of hand dryer filters is critical to maintaining hand hygiene. It is essential to remove and clean or replace the filter frequently to ensure it functions correctly. Neglecting the filter can cause clogging, which may reduce the hand dryer’s efficiency and increase the spread of germs.
Many modern hand dryers come equipped with LED lights that illuminate the drying area. These lights are typically installed near the nozzle area, and they help to provide more visibility to the user.
Hand dryers are generally considered safe when used properly, but there are a few safety concerns to be aware of. Here are some hand dryer safety tips:
- Follow manufacturer instructions: Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for operating and maintaining the hand dryer. Failure to do so could result in injury, electrical shock, or a fire hazard.
- Keep the unit clean and dry: Regular cleaning of the hand dryer, including the filter and nozzle, can help prevent bacterial growth and keep the unit running smoothly. Make sure the unit is kept dry, as moisture can pose an electrical hazard.
- Don’t touch the device while wet: Wet hands and electrical devices can be a dangerous combination. Ensure your hands are dry before operating the hand dryer, and avoid touching the electrical components of the device.
- Keep other objects away from the unit: Keep any items that could interfere with the air intake or outflow of the hand dryer away from the device. This includes objects like paper towels or loose clothing.
- Watch out for children: Children may not understand the risks associated with electrical devices. Keep an eye on young children to ensure they use the hand dryer safely.
- Don’t overload electrical outlets: Multiple electrical devices should not be plugged into the same outlet or extension cord simultaneously. Overloading the outlet could cause electrical hazards, including short circuits, fires, or electrocution.
Overall, hand dryers are generally safe when used correctly. Proper maintenance and awareness of potential hazards can help ensure a safe and hygienic hand-drying experience.
How Can I Install A Hand Dryer?
Installing a hand dryer typically involves the following steps:
- Choose the right location: Hand dryers need to be located near an electrical outlet and mounted at a comfortable height for users. They should also be in a convenient and accessible location.
- Prepare the mounting surface: Before installing the hand dryer, ensure that the surface is flat, clean, and dry. This ensures a stable mount and prevents electrical hazards.
- Install the mounting bracket: Many hand dryers come with a mounting bracket that needs to be attached to the wall using screws or anchors. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure a secure installation.
- Connect the electrical wiring: Once the mounting bracket is attached, the hand dryer’s electrical wiring needs to be connected to an electric power supply. A licensed electrician should perform this task for safety reasons.
- Attach the hand dryer: The hand dryer is typically attached to the mounting bracket by aligning the unit with the bracket and locking it into place.
- Test the hand dryer: Before putting the hand dryer into service, its operation should be tested to ensure it is working correctly.
Overall, hand dryer installation is a simple process that requires some basic tools and electrical knowledge. It is always recommended to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. If you don’t feel comfortable with the task or don’t have electrical expertise, it’s best to hire a professional to ensure a safe and secure installation.