In this second of an eight-part Manufacturer Roundtable, Facility Cleaning Decisions took the compilation of questions we received from readers and asked hand dryer manufacturers to weigh in. Here are their responses:

When it comes to hand dryers, what is the benefit of quicker dry times?


Providing a superior customer experience is what it’s all about.  Some people still feel that hand dryers take too long and just don’t get the job done. But some dryers dry hands in 10 to 12 seconds.  People appreciate a high-powered hand dryer; they are more effective and more efficient from an energy perspective.  From a custodial perspective, hand dryers eliminate the paper towel mess and the time required to constantly refill the paper towel holders. Hand dryers also help reduce restroom vandalism.
– Jim Fisher, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, American Dryer, Inc. in Livonia, Michigan

A faster dry time results in hands being dried more quickly. Therefore, users will need to use the hand dryer for a shorter period of time, reducing the amount of energy consumed per use.  This supports facilities’ efforts to save costs in their washrooms.
Hygiene is also an important factor. A faster dry time encourages greater compliance with proper hand drying and will, therefore, reduce the risk of bacteria transfer.  Wet hands can transfer up to 1000 times more bacteria than dry hands, according to University of Bradford study results.  In other words, a faster dry time supports a custodial department in providing a healthy, sanitary and safe environment.
– Rob Green, Senior Reliability Engineer, Dyson in Chicago, Illinois

Quicker dry times means there is less congestion in the restroom and improves energy efficiency by cutting the time that the unit is running. The benefit to the staff is that they no longer need to be constantly checking to make sure there is an ample amount of paper towel’s available, and of course less waste to dispose of.
– Andrew M. Hansen, New Business Development Manager, Palmer Fixture in Green Bay, Wisconsin

Most people want the ability to dry their hands in a quick and efficient manner. Facility managers have told us that it is important to prevent long restroom lines that can lead both customers and employees to leave the restroom with dripping, wet hands.
Additionally, paper towels are typically tossed around in the restroom, overflowing trash receptacles and often landing on the floor, causing custodians to have to clean the restroom several times a day. Switching to high-speed hand dryers can therefore reduce costs associated with labor and maintenance. Faster, high-speed hand dryers can also help reduce vandalism.
– Dan Storto, President, World Dryer Corporation in Berkeley, Illinois

Why does the temperature of the air from hand dryers matter?

Utilizing a heating element improves drying times because instead of just using water displacement you are also using evaporation, which helps prevent wastewater from pooling on the floor.
– Andrew M. Hansen, New Business Development Manager, Palmer Fixture in Green Bay, Wisconsin

The temperature of the air from the dryer outlet can matter depending on the type of hand dryer. High-speed hand dryers rely on high velocity streams of air that can induce a chilling effect when wet hands are initially placed in the airstream. This is the same “wind chill” effect we all experience when exposed to wind outside on a cold day.  Heated air helps offset the “wind chill” effect and expedites water removal through the evaporation. 
The preference for heated air temperature or the sensitivity to the “wind chill” effect varies significantly among users in the same manner as individual tolerance for hot or cold weather varies.
– Dan Storto, President, World Dryer Corporation in Berkeley, Illinois

Warm air adds to the user experience, making the drying process more comfortable. However, a no-heat dryer is a good option if a facility is interested in saving energy.
– Jim Fisher, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, American Dryer, Inc. in Livonia, Michigan

Warm, moist air can promote the growth of bacteria, so from a hygiene perspective, it is important not to use warm air to dry hands.  Research out of Bradford University in the UK has identified that drying your hands with a warm air dryer for 10 seconds is no more beneficial than not drying your hands at all.  A user would need to dry their hands for 30 seconds to be as hygienic as using some unheated hand dryers for 10 seconds.  Therefore, not only are there hygiene benefits of using cool air hand dryers, but also cost savings with faster dry times and lower power consumption.
– Rob Green, Senior Reliability Engineer, Dyson in Chicago, Illinois