A series of recent life cycle analysis studies have brought new evidence to the debate between paper towels and hand dryers and it appears that contrary to popular belief, electric hand dryers may in fact be better for the environment after all.
LCA studies compared the environmental impact of electric hand dryers on measurements of electricity production and use, with the impact and emissions created during the production, manufacture and disposal of towels. in paper. The results revealed that high speed sensor electric hand dryers are better for the environment than paper towels.
But that doesn’t mean electric hand dryers are suitable for all projects. Speed, ease of use and environmental impact are important considerations, but so too is hygiene.
The importance of hand hygiene has been around since 1847, when Hungarian physician Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis discovered that cases of puerperal fever could be significantly reduced with the simple method of hand washing / disinfection.
Hygiene and hand washing are increasingly important today, especially in the health and elderly care sector where basic hand washing is neglected. and drying could have a significant and negative impact on the health of the patient or occupant. This is supported by studies from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and the Mayo Clinic which suggest that transmission of bacteria was more likely in cases of washed but not dried hands. Hand dryer maker Dyson also backed up these studies by suggesting that drying hands is just as important as washing, because wet hands can spread up to 1,000 times more bacteria on the surfaces they touch.
While there haven’t been as many studies on the benefits of hand drying, it’s important to note that not all hand drying methods have the same effectiveness or environmental impact. High speed electronic hand dryers are currently considered a greener option compared to the creation process and life cycle of a paper towel, but they are not proven to be better hand dryers. than paper towels.
Many electric hand dryers have features such as high speed air flow, reduced heating element wattage, and smart motor / airflow design.
The following is a guide to electronic sensor hand dryers available in the Australian market based on their environmental impact.
Note: This guide is only a guide and all information below is based on estimates calculated on the basis of readily available technical information and specifications.
Dyson Airblade by Dyson
The Dyson range of Airblade dryers produce up to 76% less carbon dioxide than paper towels. In addition to the use of HEPA filtered air, hands are dry in a 10 to 12 second drying process, ensuring that 99.9% of bacteria are removed from the air. Dyson Airblade dryers consume 1.6 kWh per dryer.
Davidson Washroom Mediflow Logic Dry Hand Dryer
The Mediflow range of sensor hand dryers are ideal for use in heavy traffic and dries faster than most conventional models. Mediflow Logic Dry has a full power range and can use from 0.25 to 2.75 kWh.
Executive 2 by Jet Dryer
The Jet Dryer Executive 2 model hand dryer dries hands in about 10 seconds and includes a replaceable hepa filter to filter air and kill bacteria. The risk of wet floors and slipping is reduced with the water collection tray. The Executive 2 dryer uses between 0.7 and 1 kWh per dryer.
Quick drying by Zip Heaters
With a high air speed, the Zip Quick dry dries hands at an ultra-fast speed of 12 to 15 seconds. A shorter drying cycle helps reduce energy consumption. Zip Quick Dry uses 1.1 kWh per dryer.
Tri-Umph by ASI JD MacDonald
Ergonomic and high speed, the Tri-Umph automatic hand dryer from ASI JD Macdonald allows fast drying time and eliminates 99% of bacteria thanks to its filtration system. Tri-Umph uses 1.6 kWh per dryer.
Cannon Hygiène ecological hand dryer
The Eco hand dryer is the most efficient hand dryer offered by Cannon Hygiene. The design is both compact and elegant and offers a lot of energy savings. The Eco hand dryer uses 0.9 kWh per dryer.
Jet towel hand dryer slim series by Mitsubishi Electric Australia
Working to dry hands quickly, the Jet towel slim series removes water and dries hands in 9 seconds and wastewater is collected in a drain tank. State-of-the-art motor technology guarantees low energy consumption with the various models using between 0.55 and 1.24 kWh per dryer.
Bobrick Trim dry supplied by RBA Group
Fast drying in less than 25 seconds and sensor actuated with two air outlets, the Bobrick Trim Dry from RBA Group provides swirling air circulation for a comfortable hand dryer. 208 to 240 volt dryer models use between 1.4 and 1.9 kWh per dryer.