Hand dryer noise can create disturbances in the areas surrounding bathrooms that can affect concentration and create an unwelcome atmosphere. Find out what you can do to reduce the amount of noise produced.

Conventional hand dryers can be very loud when used – up to 83dB – and this can create significant disturbances in the surrounding areas. Hand dryer noise can pass easily through walls and doorways to affect concentration in workplaces or schools and cause unwelcome distractions in hospitality venues.

What causes hand dryer noise

Old fashioned warm air hand dryers are notoriously noisy because of their designs. A warm air hand dryer features a fan assembly that blows air over a heating element and then out through a wide nozzle. The user rubs their hands together in the airflow to cause moisture to evaporate from their skin and dry off after washing their hands.

The noise generated by a conventional hand dryer is caused by several factors working together.

The main component of hand dryer noise is the sound of the fan and motor working to blow air. A lack of sound barriers between the motor and the exterior of the hand dryer means that the sound is carried through the nozzle into the surrounding air.

The second component of hand dryer noise – and what increases the volume – is the turbulence created by the airflow. Air flowing through the nozzle is very turbulent, moving at different speeds and crashing into itself as it passes over your skin. The effect of the chaotic air motion is that the noise from the motor and fan is amplified and overlaid upon itself creating a loud white noise effect on multiple frequencies that is hard to escape from.

Bathroom design can also contribute to the amount of noise produced and how it escapes into surrounding areas. Tiled walls are highly reflective to sound which further amplifies noise levels in the bathroom, while hand dryer position in the room can also cause noise to pass directly through mounting walls and doorways.

Reducing hand dryer noise

There are small changes you can make to reduce the amount of noise escaping from a bathroom including ensuring that there is a barrier between the hand dryer and the doorway, but the most effective way of reducing hand dryer noise is by choosing a quieter hand dryer design.

Jet hand dryers such as the Mitsubishi Electric Wave i01 use a completely different mechanism to dry hands than a conventional warm air design. With a jet hand dryer, air is accelerated to high speeds by the internal aerodynamics of the case before being expelled through a narrow slot.

The internal aerodynamics create a barrier between the fan and motor and the exterior which reduces sound escaping, while the smooth airflow through the narrow drying slot generates far less turbulence that could amplify the noise levels. In fact, a jet hand dryer generates noise levels closer to a quiet conversation than heavy traffic!

Faster drying times as a result of not relying on heat also contribute to less disturbance – compared to more than 30 seconds of noise from a warm air hand dryer, a modern blade style jet hand dryer takes just 10 seconds to work which means any disturbance is shorter and less likely to distract people nearby.

Learn more

For more information about how choosing a more efficient and quieter hand dryer from the Mitsubishi Electric Wave range could help you reduce disruption while also improving hygiene, contact us to request a demonstration.

01707 288780