Electric Hand Dryers - economical & eco-friendly or just a lot of hot air?
The electric hand dryer has come a long way since its invention in Chicago in 1948 by one George Clemens. The early manual dryers are slow, inefficient and use a lot of electricity - scientists have shown that older dryers waste up to 90% of the energy coming into them.
They are unhygienic also - the push-button operation carries the risk of transferring bacteria. These dryers are being replaced by a new generation of automatic hand dryers which are not only more powerful and efficient, but also eliminated the need for a push-button so are more hygienic. Since then, the greater awareness of sustainability and environmental impact coupled with advances in technology has led to the hand dryers we see today – a varied collection of units which claim to be kinder to both the environment and the bank balance.
But is this really the case? How do these modern dryers compare to the older models or even the classic paper towel? With the help of our money saving calculator we’ll take a look at the stats and assess the impact both economically and ecologically of the different hand drying options.
Hand Dryers – Saving Money & The Environment
Before we get into the data, let’s take a look at what we’re comparing. For the purposes of this test we’re comparing three hand drying options - traditional dryer, roller towel and paper towel – with three different types of electric hand dryers:
Jet Hand Dryers: These “hands-in” style of dryer such as the Citron Airjet are becoming increasingly popular thanks to their excellent efficiency and rapid hand drying.
Warm Air Hand Dryer: These “hands under” style of dryer, such as the Air Rapide offer fast hand drying and are ideal for busy washrooms.
Eco Hand Dryer: These highly efficient eco friendly hand dryers are specifically designed to be kind to the environment.
The Hand Dryer Test
To make it a fair test we’ve compared each of the options using the following commercial washroom scenario:
OPERATIONAL DAYS PER WEEK: 6
NO. OF HAND DRIES PER DAY: 150
ENERGY COST PER KWH (£): 0.125
The following table shows the amount of money you could save by using each type of hand dryer compared to other methods after 1 and 5 years. Here’s how the different options compare:
The first thing that leaps out of the results is that all of these modern hand drying options offer considerable savings over their traditional counterparts. The effectiveness of these units mean that drying time is reduced considerably, and when this is coupled with the efficiencies afforded by the technology, we see significant savings when compared to the traditional hand dryer and towels. For example, the Airelle and Eco hand driers both save almost £800 per year in our test scenario compared to using roller towel. Multiply this out to several washrooms in large commercial premises and the economic advantages of these modern hand dryers are clear to see.
So what about the environmental impact? Put simply, the efficiencies of the modern technology also translate into a lower environmental impact for all of these modern dryers. Thanks to their highly efficient motors and their clever use of airflow, modern dryers use far less energy than traditional dryers which results in a lower impact on natural resources. The carbon footprint of paper towels is high due to the transport and manufacture costs involved in the regular supply of new towels and the removal of used ones – not to mention the impact on the environment when considering disposal of billions of used towels.
In conclusion, and to answer the main question posed at the start of this piece, it is indeed possible to save both money and the environment when choosing a hand drying solution. So if you still have an old push-button hand-dryer consider upgrading. The modern electric hand dryers are both highly efficient and economical, and offer a wide range of advantages that are far more than just a lot of hot air!
Discover more about Citron’s range of electric hand dryers.