Shhh... The Secret of Selecting Quiet Hand Dryers
Noise levels are a common complaint when it comes to selecting hand dryers. There is no such thing as a silent hand dryer, however there is a demand for them. Hand dryers vary in noise output, meaning that while there aren’t completely quiet hand dryers available, there is the option of choosing between quieter and louder machines. Hand dryer noise output is most commonly associated with the speed and power generated by the hand dryer. The faster a motor spins, the more air it pushes out, causing the hand dryer to emit a louder volume of sound and working to dry hands more quickly with the increased air pressure. This means hand dryers which produce less air pressure and speed will be quieter. Based on this, generally warm air hand dryers are the less intrusive option, as the motor doesn’t spin as quickly, reducing the noise output. However, these quiet hand dryers tend to take longer to dry hands properly than their high speed alternatives. Warm hand dryers take on average 30 seconds, as opposed to the 10 second drying time of a jet hand dryer. So while high speed hand dryers might be louder, they are louder for a shorter period of time than their warm air counterparts.
With this information in mind, the choice comes down to whether your priorities lie in performance or volume. When you are selecting your hand dryer or looking to install one, there are a few things you can bear in mind to minimize sound output and help you make your decision of whether a quiet hand dryer is the right choice for you:
- When you are installing your hand dryer, take note of the walls within the room. If they are covered in materials such as tiles, these will cause an echo effect. Any noise generated by your hand dryer will be magnified as it is bounced around the room.
- Before you decide where to install your hand dryer, make sure you know what the wall you are planning to mount your hand dryer on is made of. Avoid attaching hand dryers to stud walls, as this will generate a louder noise due to increased movement and sound reverberating off the wall. Alternatively, look to fixing the hand dryer to a brick wall, which will result in less movement and reduced noise.
- Before selecting your quiet hand dryer, look at the dB (decibel) ratings listed. Make sure decibel ratings are consistently measured. It is standard for hand dryers to be measured at a 1 metre distance from the air outlet of the hand dryer. Discrepancies and misrepresentation from this may lead to dissatisfaction in the performance of your quiet hand dryer. Washroom Hub measures decibel ratings at this distance as standard, ensuring you always receive accurate measurements.
- Hand dryers are the most economical hand drying procedure available. While paper towels are a silent drying method, it is much more expensive option, there is continuous maintenance required and it is the least environmentally friendly choice on the market. As an alternative to paper towels, there are ultra-quiet hand dryer options available such as the BlueDry Junior hand dryer which is cheap to purchase and only produces 60dB when in use.
- Consider where your hand dryer will be placed. If it is in a noisy, high traffic area, like a shopping complex washroom, or within a services or airport bathroom, efficiency is probably key rather than quiet hand dryers. Or your office bathroom might be at a sufficient distance with enough barriers to muffle the sound so loud hand dryers don’t cause disruption at desks and work stations. A great hand dryer choice in this instance where a quiet hand dryer is not required is the jet Biodrier 3D Smart Dry Hand Dryer. However, this may not be an option for some environments, such as care homes, nurseries, places of worship and theatres, so quieter, less efficient hand dryers are called for.