Focusing on the improvement of facility operations can deliver energy-efficient benefits to the facilities and the quality of the environment.
There are many studies that prove how much environmental quality can affect productivity as well as the image and reputation of a business. When considering both environmental concerns and cost reduction initiatives, restrooms may not be the first location that comes to mind. However, simple changes in the restroom can lower costs, reduce maintenance needs and improve sustainability.
Every business and their accompanying work environment is different. With those differences come different needs, right down to the selection of what kind of high-speed hand dryers are best for your restroom facilities.
Choosing the right hand dryer can have a surprisingly big impact on so many levels, from significantly reducing costs on energy, maintenance and materials, to optimizing sanitary conditions and decreasing the carbon footprint. Because no two facilities are the same—and even the structure within them can vary —there are several options.
First, let’s take a look at some quick facts that can lead your company down the path to cost savings and sustainability.
- 88%. Today’s high-speed hand dryers use 88 percent less energy than traditional hand dryers.
- 90 – 95%. Compared to paper towels, that’s how much switching to high-speed hand dryers can reduce costs in materials, maintenance in restroom upkeep, and waste.
- $72,000. That’s what an average facility can save per year by replacing paper towels with high-speed hand dryers. The $360,000 in savings over five years can go toward other critical improvements.
- 3 tons less CO2. Over its lifetime, a one high-speed hand dryer produces 3 tons less CO2 than the production of the paper towels it replaces.
When high-speed hand dryers replace paper towels in the restroom, you also eliminate the cost of purchasing, inventorying and restocking towels—and this can add up to significant savings on time and energy. On average, most people use 2.5 sheets of paper towels each time they dry their hands. As an example, let’s take a large university that has an average of 39,000 restroom visits. There, paper towels add up to an estimated expense of $74,520 a year.
High-speed hand dryers, by comparison, will cost only $13.65 a day to handle those 39,000 restroom visits and can pay for themselves in just 6 to 18 months while delivering energy efficiency in a number of ways. For example, today’s new generation of hand dryers dry hands in just 10 to 12 seconds—up to three times faster than traditional models.
The math for each type of business will be different, of course. However, the savings come on many levels beyond just the dollar sum.
While controlling operating costs is always an ongoing concern, providing clean and healthy facilities as well as a “green” environment for your community are also important considerations.
In most restrooms, regardless of size, you can usually count on finding the trash receptacles overflowing with wet, germ-carrying paper towels. The constant need to keep these restrooms tidy and sanitary adds to maintenance expenses. High-speed hand dryers eliminate the need for cleaning up messy and potentially contaminated paper towels several times daily; and also reduce opportunities for vandalism or for clogging the plumbing with paper towels.
Protecting the environment
As noted, efficient high-speed hand dryers use 88 percent less energy than traditional hand dryers, and dry hands up to three times faster. Over its lifetime, a high-speed hand dryer produces three tons less CO2 than the production of the paper towels it replaces—saving, literally, tons of trees and the resources required to make paper. Additionally, while it is possible to make paper towels from recycled paper, they are rarely, if ever, recycled, creating millions of cubic feet of waste in landfills.
The best way to choose a hand dryer is to ensure it specifically meets the requirements of each location and application. For publicly accessed areas, many models are surface mounted and ADA compliant, so you won’t need costly recessed installation kits. Many provide on-off heating controls, so if heat is not required, the hand dryer is even more energy efficient, often featuring three-speed motor controls to optimize energy efficiency and user comfort.
Today, most manufacturers design hand dryers to deliver a choice that in turn delivers energy efficiency, an improved environment and a better customer experience. All of which send positive returns to your bottom line.
Contributing author Dan Storto is President of Berkeley, Ill. based World Dryer, a global manufacturer of hand dryers for over 50 years.