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What are the best ways to reduce hand dryer noise?

Loud hand dryer noise from bathrooms can be distracting to people in the surrounding areas.  It can negatively affect the experience of diners in restaurants; create disturbances in schools that can disrupt classrooms; and negatively affect workplace productivity, but did you know that it is possible to reduce hand dryer noise.

Consider Hand Dryer Placement

The placement of hand dryers in your bathrooms can have a big impact on how much sound is created and can escape into the surrounding areas.  

Avoid placing hand dryers directly opposite doors.  If there is a clear line of sight from the dryer to the bathroom door, the sound can more easily escape whenever the door is opened.  Where possible, to reduce Hand dryer noise, the appliances should be mounted on a wall that is perpendicular to the entrance to the bathroom.  This directs sound away from the doorway and helps to reduce the amount of noise.

You should also avoid mounting hand dryers too close to a facing wall.  By creating space between the dryer and the opposite wall, you give the sound more space to attenuate slightly and prevent too much echoing.

Improve Bathroom Soundproofing

The nature of bathrooms means that they can be noisy environments with lots of resonance. Hard tile walls and floors can make the space echoey, which will mean that sound levels can build up with additional frequencies that make the noise more penetrating.

Conventional soundproofing techniques such as thick carpets and sound absorption on walls is not practical for hygiene reasons, so alternative steps need to be taken.

When planning a bathroom from scratch, architects will often avoid right angles and having parallel walls, as this can cut the amount of echoes, but in an existing bathroom this is not always possible.  

Steps that you can take to retrofit a bathroom to reduce hand dryer noise include the use of sound proofed doors and a vestibule before entering the bathroom to create an air gap between spaces.  Similarly, installing sound absorbing panels on ceilings is a common option – modern systems can be installed to replace the panels in a normal suspended ceiling.

Choose Low Noise Hand Dryers

The most effective way of reducing hand dryer noise from bathrooms is simply to choose a quieter model.

Conventional warm air hand dryers with wide nozzles create turbulent airflow that is very loud – they can generate up to 85dB of sound when in use, which is the equivalent of heavy traffic nearby.  Jet dryers such as the Mitsubishi Electric Wave feature narrow nozzles that smooth airflow and create less noise.  When coupled with internal soundproofing, the amount of noise is reduced to around 57dB in use – the equivalent of a normal conversation.

Quiet hand dryers mean that less noise is transmitted into the surrounding environment reducing the need for expensive structural changes to bathrooms.

Find Out More

To find out more about the how the Mitsubishi Electric Wave range of low noise hand dryers could reduce disturbance from your bathrooms, please contact us to arrange a demo.

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