How to Choose a Commercial Washroom Hand Dryer: Ultimate Buying Guide

Hand dryers are one of the integral commercial washroom accessories, right after hand soap and sinks. Whether you're in the market for a new hand dryer or just want to learn more about them, this guide is for you. In it, we'll cover everything from the different types of hand dryers available to characteristics to look out for depending on your establishment. We'll also give some tips to help you choose a commercial washroom hand dryer that will work well with your space and meet all of your needs in our hand dryer guide. 

Types of Hand Dryers

The first step to choosing a commercial washroom hand dryer is to determine your needs. Hand dryers come in three main types:

High-speed hand dryers are the fastest and most commonly used. They use a stream of air that is blasted onto your hands to evaporate moisture from them. Touchless hand dryers use infrared sensors to detect when you place your hands under the nozzle, after which they will automatically activate. Conventional hand dryers require you to touch a button before they begin drying your hands with warm air thanks to a heating agent. 

Hand Dryer Buying Guide

Choosing a commercial washroom hand dryer for your facility is an important decision, so it’s important that you make sure that you get the right one. There are many factors to consider:

  • What is your budget?

  • How many restrooms do you need to equip with hand dryers?

  • What kind of space do these restrooms have available and what kind of flooring they have?

You can use this guide as a starting point for deciding which commercial hand dryer is right for your business.

1. Important Features in a Hand Dryer

There are several features that you should consider when shopping for a commercial washroom hand dryer:

  • Hand dryer type. This refers to whether it’s a warm air dryer or high-speed dryer. 

  • Hand dryer maintenance requirements. Each of these types has its own set of maintenance requirements and warranties, so keep them in mind if you want your product up and running at all times without fail!

  • Noise levels. You may not think about how loud or quiet a hand dryer sounds, but believe us when we say that this feature is important. When choosing one for your office bathroom, make sure you're looking at products with low decibels (the measure of sound volume). If possible, ask coworkers who've used them before what they thought about noise levels before making your final decision on which model would work best within your workplace environment.

2. Size

The size of your hand dryer should match the size of your washroom. You can find a range of different sizes and styles to choose from, but if you're unsure about which is best for your washroom, we recommend sticking to the following guidelines:

  • Hand dryers come in two main sizes - wall-mounted units that are either recessed into a wall or surface-mounted units that sit flush against a wall. For smaller washrooms where space is limited and there may be no room for an out-of-sight option, these surface-mounted options are ideal as they take up less floor space. If you have more room on your walls then recessed models will work better as they don't protrude from the wall at all so save valuable floor space around doorways etc., where people are likely to brush past while using them.

  • If possible, try to avoid overhanging hand dryers that hang down too far outwards; if someone has long hair this could cause them problems when washing their hands!

3. Noise Levels

There are a few important things to keep in mind when it comes to noise levels. The first thing you should know is that there's no industry standard for what the "acceptable" noise level for a hand dryer should be. However, if you're planning on installing one of your own and want it to be as quiet as possible, we recommend looking at models with an operating sound pressure level (OPL) less than 60dB or less than 50dB.

In order to measure this, you'll need either an OPL meter or a sound level meter (SLM). An SLM will do just fine and can be found at your local hardware store or online. Once you have one, set it to its A-weighted scale (the default setting) and place it approximately six inches away from the front grille of the hand dryer being tested.[1] Make sure that all fans are off before testing any units as this will increase their A-weighted decibel rating by around 3 dBs.[2]

4. Energy Efficiency 

It's important to look at energy efficiency when purchasing a hand dryer. The more kilowatt hours (kWh) your hand dryer uses, the less efficient it is. The lower kilowatt rating will be better for your wallet and the environment. In general, you should aim for an electric hand dryer that has an electrical use of 2 kWh or less per cycle.

Energy efficiency is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh). The higher the kilowatt rating, the more energy efficient the machine will be; this means it will use less electricity than other models with similar drying power.

If you need help finding the right commercial washroom hand dryer, we would be happy to help.

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