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Electric Hand Dryers – Are They Better Than Paper Towels?

Are electric hand dryers more environmentally friendly than paper towels?

Blog post on 29/02/2016 under


Winning the dry argument

Electric hand dryers have come a long way since American inventor George Clements produced the prototype in 1948. Clements was an intrepid developer of a number of powered gismos including the first electric toothbrush. Although he is credited with giving us the hand dryer, his pioneering work built on much earlier efforts from the 1920s. But that’s another story.

The ‘dryer versus towels’ debate has been long and occasionally acrimonious.  As suppliers of automatic hand dryers, featuring XLERATOR dryers renowned world wide for their ‘wow factor’ performance and green credentials, we’re taking a new look at the key aspects of the ‘dry argument’.

The economy and ecology argument

No contest here, it’s a ‘hands down’ win for dryers. Hand dryers are indisputably cheaper for your business. A one off equipment purchase with minimal maintenance is around 95% more cost effective than funding a constant supply of paper towels.

This relative cost calculator shows the savings you can make on the financial and environmental fronts when you switch to an XLERATOR.

Our durable high performance dryers have a working life of around 10 years.

Cut your carbon footprint

Budget bottom lines aside; XLERATORs reduce the carbon footprint of drying our hands by between 50 and 75%. This figure is based on comparable costs for manufacturing the machines against paper towels from all sources – recycled and virgin forest. Add the recurrent costs of packaging, transporting and disposing of hand towel waste and this argument is done and dusted.

Low cost operation

Historically, the debate around the energy costs of operating dryers was less clear-cut. However, advances in efficiency and speed have blitzed the arguments on this count as well. XLERATOR dryers are perfectly powered by tiny 15 amp motors making them ideal for washrooms in older buildings. They also blow dry hands in around 15 seconds using a stream of cool air and the power cuts out as soon as dry hands are removed from the infrared beam. This combination of clever design and innovative engineering means that XLERATORs use around 80% less energy than alternative dryers.

The hygiene argument

Fueled in part by a fight back from tissue manufacturers, several research studies concluded that dryers harboured and spread bacteria. These studies evaluated dryers that blew hot air and had touch button controls.

XLERATOR’s revolutionary design relies on a surprisingly pleasant, high velocity stream of cool air that literally blows the water off your hands. This cold air stream eliminates the risk of bacterial growth. A touchless sensor activated system ensures zero risk of bacterial transfer of any kind.

The last word

We investigate the life cycle of all our clean, green cost efficient products to ensure that we’re bringing you the most earth friendly, technically advanced options on the market. XLERATOR dryers come up trumps on every count.

Keen to wow your customers with an affordable, efficient hand dryer? We can help, contact us today.