Commercial buildings and businesses may use hand dryers in their restrooms to maintain a clutter-free environment. These ubiquitous bathroom accessories have been steadily gaining popularity since their introduction in 1948. Today, there are two types of electric hand dryers, push button and automatic.
The push button variety uses a timer. Once the button is pushed, it stays on for the pre-programmed amount of time, then shuts off. Automatic hand dryers use an infrared sensor. They start when hands are placed within the sensor’s range and stop when hands are removed. Due to a consistent development process, there is more to modern hand dryers than just their start/stop modes.
High-speed dryers are more energy efficient than traditional hand dryers. They dry in approximately 15 to 20 seconds, enabling more traffic to move through the restroom, reducing or eliminating lines. The trade-off for the speedy dry time is the noise level. There is a proportional relationship between dry time and noise. The shorter the time, the louder the noise.
A HEPA filter traps large amounts of tiny particles in the air. New electric hand dryers can be purchased with these filters, and some older models can be retrofit with a kit. HEPA filtration systems can remove more than 99 percent of bacteria from the air stream, deliver clean, purified air to the user. The filters can be replaced or washed and reused, depending on the model.
There are some situations in which noise can adversely affect the environment surrounding the restroom, such as a classroom or office. Low-noise dryers may be as quiet as 69 dB, compared to high-speed dryers that may be up to 87 dB. Dry time is longer than high-speed dryers but is still less than a minute.
Roadway rest-stops, schools, and fast-food restaurants are a few examples of high-use settings. Cast iron covers with white porcelain enamel coatings are resistant to vandalism and hold up well to constant use. Regardless of which features are a priority, electric hand dryers can help reduce waste and preserve a clean environment.