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August 2021

7 things to consider before buying a hand dryer

Written by Nathalie Leblond
Bathroom Hygiene, Handwashing and Hand Hygiene

Our latest blog takes a look at 7 things you should evaluate before buying a hand dryer.

We've written volumes about the importance of handwashing, but hand drying doesn't get as much coverage as it should. Drying your hands properly after washing them is just as important as washing them properly, as wet hands can encourage the spread of germs (watch our video on the journey of the germ). 

If one eliminates "wiping hands-on-pants" as a (very sub-optimal) way of drying your hands, then you're really only left with 2 options: paper or dryers. We wrote a previous blog post entitled Paper Towels vs Dryers: which are better? which outlines the four main factors we ask our clients to consider when trying to get to the bottom of the “which is the better choice?” question. There's no right answer - just a solution that best suits the needs of your particular business requirements. 

So assuming that you've come down on the side of dryers as the right choice for your business,  how do you decide which one to install? (And by the way, if you are concerned about dryers "breeding bacteria" I recommend reading this blog post: Are hand dryers unhygienic?)

Choosing a new hand dryer can be a bewildering prospect because of the variety of models on the market. You need to carefully consider the functions you want your dryer to perform. Here are the 7 most important things that we believe you should be evaluating - or asking your service provider - before you decide which one you want. 

Drying hands correctly is just as important as washing them

7 things to consider when choosing a hand dryer: 

We've done the leg work for you and have listed here the top 7 things we think are most important to consider before choosing a hand dryer for your bathroom.

1. Cost

Cost is going to be a major consideration for any business. Although dryers can be expensive if you purchase them upfront, in the long-run they still work out less expensive than paper towels, and at Initial we offer the choice of buying your dryer outright, or renting it from us along with the rest of your hygiene equipment if you prefer.

You can get very basic models relatively cheaply, but they may also not be as hygienic or energy-efficient as more expensive models. You should take into account the type of business you have and the expectations of your customers. Customers in a high-end business will likely expect high-end high dryers such as a Dyson Airblade V.  Remember paying extra for an energy-efficient model will usually pay off in energy costs over time, and a hand dryer you don’t have to replace for a while will cost you less in the long term than the one you do.

2. Power

One of the advantages of paper towels is that they dry hands quickly. Customers now expect hand dryers to be equally efficient. The more powerful the hand dryer, the quicker it will dry the hands. However, the greater the power, the greater the noise. On the plus side, the greater the power, the lower the energy costs because of the faster running time.

3. Noise

Quieter hand dryers tend to use less power, but they take longer (up to a minute) to dry hands. If you have concerns about noise, you might need to go for a quieter model, even if you have to sacrifice efficiency.  If noise is not a serious concern for you, though, you might find it more efficient to opt for the high-power models.

4. Energy Use

Energy efficiency is a concern for everybody nowadays. More powerful dryers tend to be more energy-efficient. Because they dry the hands more quickly, they have a shorter operating time. Automatic dryers have the further advantage of cutting off when the hands are taken away from the dryer, eliminating wasted energy. Some dryers also don’t include heaters, so they consume less energy. 

5. Speed

It is important to take into account customers’ expectations. How long are they willing to wait for their hands to dry? Some of the low-power dryers can take up to a minute to dry hands, but few customers are willing to wait that long. If you wish to increase the drying speed, you’ll need to invest in a high-power dryer. The Dyson Airblade V can dry hands in 10 - 12 seconds.

6. Durability

You should also consider how much use your dryer will have to endure. Are you installing it in a busy restaurant or a quiet showroom? Are your customers likely to be rough with the dryer? How long can you reasonably expect the dryer to last? Check the dryer’s warranty or guarantee to ensure that it meets your requirements.

7. Hygiene

A compelling reason for installing hand dryers is to improve hand hygiene: hand dryers are tidier than paper towels, and automatic hand dryers have the advantage of removing the need for users to touch the surface of the dryer. Dyson's Airblade models filter the air that’s blown out through a HEPA filter, ensuring that people are drying their hands with clean air.  HEPA filtration better meets the requirements of special business sectors such as food processing and healthcare to comply with regulatory and compliance guidelines. 

Once you have considered all these factors, you should be able to make an informed decision about the best dryer for your business. If in doubt, contact the hygiene experts today for advice on the best hand dryer for your business, or to find out more about our bathroom services.

Create a welcoming bathroom experience with tips from our Ultimate Guide to Bathroom Hygiene. You may also like to use the posters and checklists from our Ultimate Guide to Hand Hygiene.

Download Bathroom Guide

Nathalie Leblond

Nathalie Leblond

I joined Rentokil Initial South Africa in 2004 as the PA to the MD, and after 6 months maternity leave I re-joined the Company in 2009 as the Marketing Co-ordinator for Rentokil. I'm now the Marketing Communication Manager for Rentokil Initial. I'm still terrified of cockroaches (Americana's only!) but the rest of the creepy crawlies we deal with don't really bug me (see what I did there?), so I guess I'm in the right industry! I am passionate about what we do here at Rentokil Initial and also write for our Hygiene Blog, which can be found at blog.initial.co.za, and our Ambius blog - https://www.ambius.co.za/blog. Life outside of Rentokil Initial mostly revolves around my daughter, who has just turned twelve, and my husband (who is a bit older). I love living in Cape Town and wouldn't trade living here for anywhere else in the world.

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