In this article, industry manufacturers answer common questions asked by members of the industry

What features make a hand dryer green?
We are all aware that the building management world is buzzing about LEED certification as a high priority for builders, and rightfully so. The goal of LEED-certified buildings is to provide healthier work environments, contributing to higher productivity and improved employee health and comfort, as well as the savings incurred over time due to the lower-than-industry-standard operational costs.

Additionally, a “green” hand dryer needs to offer high-efficient technology that uses less energy to support green building and a low environmental impact by virtually eliminating waste and maintenance, and delivering a more hygienic restroom environment.

— Dan Storto, senior vice president, sales and marketing, World Dryer, Berkeley, Ill.

Green = Source Reduction, Reduced Energy and Reduced Carbon Footprint.

Unlike conventional hand dryers, which average 30 to 45 seconds of drying time, high-speed, energy-efficient hand dyers dry hands three times faster (completely in 10 to 15 seconds) and use 80 percent less energy than conventional hand dryers. A recent peer reviewed ISO 14040 Life Cycle Assessment, also confirmed that it reduces the carbon footprint of hand drying by 50 to 70 percent when compared to traditional hand dryers and recycled paper towels. Some high-speed, energy-efficient hand dryers qualify for multiple LEED credits such as energy optimization, waste reduction, green housekeeping and more.

Any green appliance manufacturer should be able to clearly demonstrate how much electricity their product requires and how efficiently it performs. Look closely at the specifications and solicit feedback from others who have installed and used the product.
— William Gagnon, vice president of marketing and key accounts, Excel Dryer, East Longmeadow, Mass.

There are several features: Size or footprint, materials and energy usage. Our hand dryer is made from materials that are 100 percent recyclable. In addition, some hand dryers use only 1,000 watts of energy to dry hands.
— Kevin Knapp, director of sales and marketing, Palmer Fixture, Green Bay, Wis.

Saving energy in all aspects of our daily lives is important. And drying hands is no different as 90 percent of a hand dryer’s environmental impact comes from the energy used to dry hands. A leading Massachusetts-based research university study has proven in a comprehensive life cycle analysis assessment that our hand dryer creates 70 percent less carbon emissions than warm air hand dryers and paper towels. Most conventional hand dryers use heating elements so they’re expensive to run. Our machine uses unheated air to dry hands in 12 seconds, so it uses less energy and costs less to run.
— Rob Green, engineer, Dyson, Chicago

The most important feature is energy efficiency. This is achieved by drying hands in about 10 seconds with very little electricity. Another important aspect is standby power. This is amount of electricity drawn while the dryer is not operating. Energy efficient models should use 1 watt or less in standby mode. Finally, the amount of raw materials used to make the dryer is important. Larger units use more materials and natural resources to produce. A green hand dryers uses as little as 22KJ (Kilo Joules) of energy compared to 233KJ for a conventional hand dryer. That's more than an 80 percent energy reduction.
— Michael E. Robert, vice president sales and technology, American Dryer Inc., Livonia, Mich.