This blog investigates the 7 things you should evaluate before buying a hand dryer for your business.
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).
Hand dryers vs paper towels
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.
How hygienic are hand dryers?
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: How hygienic are hand dryers?
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 to invest in.
7 things to consider when choosing a hand dryer:
We’ve done the leg work for you and have listed the top 7 things we think are most important to consider before choosing a hand dryer for your bathroom.
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 towel dispensers. Initial offers the choice of buying your dryer outright, or renting it from us along with the rest of your hygiene equipment.
You can get very basic hand dryers relatively cheaply, but they may 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 stylish, high-end dryers such as Initial’s Luna Dry or Dyson’s Airblade V.
Remember that paying extra for an energy-efficient model will certainly 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.
One of the advantages of paper towels is that they dry hands quickly. Customers now expect hand dryers to be equally quick and 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. Both Initial’s Luna Dry and Dyson’s Airblade V have drying times of 10 – 12 seconds.
Quieter hand dryers often 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.
Fortunately for Initial customers, the Luna Dry is not only powerful, it’s also quiet. This hand dryer has been Quiet Mark certified and has a quiet mode which reduces noise to 67dB from 72dB for minimal disruption.
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.
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. Both the Dyson Airblade V and Initial’s Luna Dry can dry hands in 10 – 12 seconds.
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.
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.
Both Dyson’s Airblade models and Initial’s Luna Dry 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. Watch the video below for more on Luna’s HEPA filter.
In addition, Initial’s Luna Dry has a protective antimicrobial cover with a scratch-resistant surface to prevent cross-contamination and reduces illness.
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.