Help Choosing a Hand Dryer | The ProDryers Hand Dryer Buying Guide
The Type of Business and Audience of the Restroom
In order to help you
choose the best hand dryer for your specific restroom requirements, we would first ask you what type of business you are purchasing for to get an idea of the environment and the audience using the hand dryer(s). Most every customer prefers a high speed hand dryer, but many of our customers ask for a fast and quiet hand dryer. The truth is, fast and quiet don't necessarily go hand in hand. We may suggest an
Xlerator hand dryer which is USA made, and offers a 10 second dry time. We may also suggest buying an adjustable sound kit, but only after the hand dryer is installed. 99% of the time, sound adjustment is not needed as all of our Xlerator hand dryers are per-installed with the 1.1 noise reduction nozzle that reduces the sound level (dB) by about 10 decibels. If a customer is just 100% sure sound is going to be the most important feature with a hand dryer, we may suggest a hand dryer that comes installed with sound adjustment such as the ExtremeAir, or we may just suggest a hand dryer like the American Dryer Advantage which dries at a medium speed of 25 seconds and a fairly quiet sound level of 69 dB.
Some of our customers are buying for fine dining, hotels, casinos, car dealerships or other establishments where a prestigious and stylish dryer is desired such as the
Dyson Airblade. The most popular choices are the hands in style Dyson AB14 Airblade dB which replaced the AB04 and AB02. The AB14 is 50% quieter than the AB04 and AB02 and dries slightly faster at 420 MPH. With HEPA filtration, 99.97% of all bacteria is eliminated from the air before air is blown onto the hands making the Airblade one of the most hygienic hand dryers ever designed. The AB14 is ADA compliant due to the vertical design allowing detection by cane of the seeing impaired. The Dyson Airblade V (AB12) is an ADA compliant surface mounted dryer that installs above 26" from the floor. Hands are not dried like the traditional hands-in style Airblade; they are dried like traditional designs where hands are placed underneath the dryer. The Airblade V is ADA compliant due to the thin design.
Initial Cost and Ongoing Operational Costs
Price point often comes into play when deciding on a hand dryer. Our customers often ask if a hand dryer costing over a thousand dollars dries better than a hand dryer less than half the cost. The answer depends on the dryer. For example, a USA made ExtremeAir starting at just $385 will dry hands in 10-15 seconds. The USA made XL-BW Xlerator starting at just $400 also dries hands in 10-15 seconds. Both of the USA made products are rock solid and would receive 5 star reviews from us. Since 2006, we have had less than 10 warranty issues with the Xlerator hand dryer. We currently sell between 500 and 800 units per month, every month. The success ratio is astonishing and for that reason, we would most definitely give the Xlerator hand dryer the highest possible review rating. When it comes to performance, quality, and durability, nothing we sell will be a better product.
When choosing a hand dryer, you may consider heat vs non-heat hand dryers. Normally, we suggest heated hand dryers. Most people would agree that a warm air hand dryer feels more pleasant on the hands than a no heat unit. However, heat is not required to dry hands effectively. In fact, the fastest hand dryer (420 MPH), the Dyson Airblade, does not use a heating element. This has lead to other manufactures offering no heat versions such as the Xlerator ECO and the ExtremeAir EXT series to name two. By not using a heating element, the dryer consumes much less electricity and installation cost (for the two mentioned units) become cheaper because up to three dryers can be installed to a single line. All hand dryers with heating elements require a dedicated line. The dry time varies per manufacture, but generally, a non-heated hand dryer will take 1 to 2 seconds longer to dry hands. We suggest the non-heated units when facilities are installing in bulk because the
cost reduction with installation along with the operational savings on electrical is worth the trade-off. But the type of user plays a role in the dryer we would suggest. For example, a restaurant should use a heated hand dryer because most customers will prefer heat. More importantly, it is difficult to totally eliminate paper towel in a restaurant or anywhere "customers" are the target restroom audience. Many customers still prefer paper towel so we suggest using both. We may suggest a bright colored hand dryer such as the red Xlerator to promote the natural gravitation towards the hand dryer vs. the paper towel dispenser. The main goal for a business is usually to reduce the usage of paper towel. Sometimes 100% savings over paper towel can be achieved but normally 95% is a realistic goal.
Automatic, Touch-less Infrared Hand Drying Technology
Our customers often ask us for infrared sensor operated or
automatic touch-less hand dryers. 99% of our sales today are automatic infrared sensor operated hand dryers and not the old push buttons. Although we still offer the outdated push buttons for those customers looking to replace a push button with the same model, the majority of businesses are replacing older conventional push button technology with the new infrared automatic units. Today's restroom users are very hygiene-conscious and prefer a touch-less restroom design. With sensors, the infrared hand dryers turn on as soon as the user places his or her hands in the dry position and the dryer will shut off immediately when the hands are removed away from the sensors making a 10-15 second dry time possible while enabling energy savings that timers and push buttons cannot achieve. Push button hand dryers are also more prone to faulting as thousands of hands pound on the button. Sensor operated infrared technology is far superior and most desired today.
ADA compliance is often confused by many of our customers. Technically, most of our sales are standard surface-mount units that are not ADA compliant. ADA compliance in a restroom is often confused with handicap accessible.
ADA stands for Americans with Disabilities Act. Please visit the
ADA.gov site to understand ADA in-depth. When it comes to hand dryers in passageways, or any object mounted above 26 inches from the floor, ADA requires the object to be no more than 4 inches deep from the wall. This protects blind people from smacking their face into the dryer or paper towel dispenser. The solution that has been used for years has been to offer recess kits for hand dryers. A hole is cut into the wall and the hand dryer sits inside the recess kit making it 4 inches or less in depth from the wall. New technology has been invented to achieve ADA compliance without the need to recess. We'll give you three good current examples. 1. The Dyson Airblade AB14 hands-in style hand dryer. It extends below the 26 inch mark from the floor, and when properly installed, will achieve ADA compliance by allowing a blind person to detect the unit with a cane. 2. The thin hand dryer design. Some examples of an ADA compliant surface mounted thin designed hand dryer are the Dyson Airblade V, World Dryer SlimDri, and soon to come out, the Excel Dryer ThinAir. As of date (until the ThinAir is launched), the Dyson Airblade V is the best ADA compliant surface mounted hand dryer on the market. It moves air at 420 MPH and eliminates 99.97% of bacteria from the air used to dry hands using two HEPA filters. 3. Our third example is the ExtremeAir surface mounted hand dryer with the American Dryer patent pending ADA wall guard. The ADA wall guard by American Dryer achieves ADA compliance in a similar way that the Dyson Airblade and other vertical models do. It extends beyond the 26 inch mark and extends out enough to where a blind person can detect it with a cane. In summary, ADA compliance is not normally required with hand dryers, but check with your city if you are unsure.
In a world where germs and bacteria are concerns along with new viruses and diseases, hygiene is a major concern in restrooms and in public facilities in general. There has always been a long standing debate between paper towel vs. hand dryers. The truth is, most studies are funded by both the paper industry and the hand dryer industry. If you look at most studies in favor of paper towel, you will find the studies neglected to use a true hygienic hand dryer in the test and almost always compare paper towel vs. 20 or 30 year old hand drying technology. Most people are intelligent enough to see past that but it catches headlines. But to close this debate once and for all, consider just one hand dryer, the American Dryer ExtremeAir CPC which uses cold plasma clean technology to kill 99.6% of germs.
CPC technology kills E. Coli, C. Diff, MRSA, Staph, TB, and more on and around your hands naturally, without chemicals. Cold Plasma is the 4th state of matter and has been used in hospitals for years to prevent and kill bacteria. It is completely safe. In fact, we had a major food plant study the technology for about 2 months and compare it to hand dryers with HEPA filters. After careful consideration and relentless fact checking, the food plant chose the cold plasma clean technology. The only way paper towel could be more hygienic is if it was first placed under the ExtremeAir CPC hand dryer until all the germs on it were killed. We really can't see where paper could be superior in this case when it comes to hygiene.
One of the biggest complaints with hand dryers is the noise. This stems mainly from the first generations of high speed units. However, there have been many recent breakthroughs with controlling decibel levels and technology continues to evolve and improve. For example, the Dyson Airblade AB14 has replaced the older AB04. The AB14 is
50% quieter than the AB04 even though it is 20 MPH faster. Dyson has designed a noise muffling system in addition to removing the unpleasant tones from the dryer. Another example is the Xlerator. When it first came out, it was once definitely on the noisy side. That's why Excel Dryer invented the noise reduction nozzle which reduces the noise level up to 10 dB. At ProDryers, we only sell the 1.1 noise reduction Xlerators because they are significantly quieter and still dry hands in 10-15 seconds. We don't see the point in selling customers the standard nozzle unless requested. Most people prefer the quietest experience as possible, especially if the dry time is hardly longer! Our last example is motor control. Excel Dryer has introduced the motor control kit, to allow full customization of the sound and speed. The American Dryer ExtremeAir has this similar technology built into it right out of the box. So with today's technology, it is possible to achieve an acceptable dry time while still filtering out some of the noise.
Today's hand dryers are
energy efficient and powerful. Take for example the Dyson Airblade product line. They all cost about 40.00 per year to operate give or take a dollar or two depending on the Dyson model. Based on 200 users per day, the exact data can be seen in the hand dryer review chart above. How does it cost so little? The AB14 is a perfect example at just 1400 watts. With sensor technology, the dryer is on for just 12 seconds and then immediately shuts off as users pull hands away. And by not using a heating element, the dryer pulls less amps than heated dryers do. This example is for a 110-120 volt line. The Dyson Airblade also comes in a 208-240 high voltage range and will pull even less amps. Whenever a heating element is stripped out of the design, it will cost less to operate. However, hand dryers with heating elements often achieve GreenSpec approval and help facilities qualify for LEED credits. The ExtremeAir is a perfect example of energy efficiency comparison with or without a heating element. The GXT series with the heating element costs just 42 cents per 1,000 uses on average to operate. The EXT series however, costs just 18 cents per 1,000 uses. It depends on the facility to determine if the savings is significant. A school with hundreds of hand dryers will most definitely benefit from a no heat, energy efficient hand dryer.
People Still Love Paper Towels
We will be the first to admit, people still prefer paper towels. Mainly because most facilities that use hand dryers do not have the newest technology. But even though most people still love paper towels, there is a
clear movement away from paper due to cost reduction and environmental reasons. And there is no dispute, most business owners and facility managers prefer hand dryers because of the massive cost savings over paper. With that in mind, we often suggest for some businesses where customer satisfaction is most important (such as restaurants, hotels, casinos, etc.), that both hand dryers and paper towel dispensers be used. The main goal of any customer service oriented business would be to reduce paper towel costs while keeping customers and clients happy at the same time. The main reason most people prefer paper is to avoid touching the door handle upon exiting. Until restrooms are equipped with automatic doors, our suggested solution is to place a paper towel dispenser next to the door with a waste receptacle. Use a paper towe dispenser that auto cuts so sheets are not wasted. Install bright hand dryers such as our red Xlerator or Blue Fusion Xlerator to draw attention naturally to the hand dryer. You will see maximum cost savings with this solution. A hand dryer will pay for itself in months.
The above hand dryer reviews outline our top suggested brands and our most reliable hand dryers proven from years of sales data. Please call 888-50-DRYER for free expert advice. Our main goal is to ensure our customers get the most accurate and unbiased information allowing for the best purchase decision.
If you are still having trouble choosing, consider Saniflow hand dryers - compare
all the various models from Saniflow, which offers a wide range of hand dryers with stylish
designs, different cover finishes, and varieties of speeds and noise levels.