If your business or school is working toward net-zero, it is important to think about all the areas where you use electricity or create waste. Choosing more efficient hand dryers could have a significant impact on your overall carbon footprint

One of the most important goals for any business in 2024 is to reduce carbon emissions. Whether as part of a wider objective of reaching Net Zero, or simply as a means of lowering energy bills, choosing more efficient appliances is a crucial step that can have a major impact.

Bathrooms or sanitary facilities can sometimes be overlooked as part of any Net Zero review, but in most cases, there are major energy saving opportunities available.

How much energy do hand dryers use

More energy efficient appliances are responsible for fewer carbon emissions, so choosing devices that have lower power consumption seems like a straightforward choice, however when it comes to hand dryers, it is also important to think about how long the hand dryer takes to work.

Conventional warm air hand dryers use a combination of a fan and a heating element to blow warm air over the user’s hands to dry them by evaporation. You can find evaporative hand dryers with a wide range of power outputs; however, the drying method means that hand dryers which are more efficient on paper may end up using the same amount of energy as a more powerful model because they take so much longer to work.

Jet hand dryers use a completely different method of drying the users’ hands which makes them naturally much more efficient. Rather than heating air to evaporate the water from the skin, jet hand dryers rely on a stream of fast-moving air which simply blows the droplets of water off the hands to leave them dry.

Jet hand dryers do not require a heater to warm the air and work much more quickly than a conventional design. While a typical warm air hand dryer will take between thirty seconds and a minute to fully dry the user’s hands, an eco friendly hand dryer such as the Mitsubishi Electric Wave u02 will take just ten seconds.

The impact of this difference is that despite the faster moving air, the speed of drying means that the actual energy use is only around one third of that of a conventional model. Over the course of a year, in a typical office where hand dryers are used five hundred times daily, the Mitsubishi Electric Wave will save more than £110 of electricity compared to a conventional model.

The impact on CO2 emissions is similar – for every five hundred daily uses over the course of a year, warm air hand dryers are estimated to be responsible for more than half a tonne of CO2 releases (526KG). By comparison, at the same usage levels, the Mitsubishi Electric Wave u02 is responsible for just 160KG of CO2 emissions.

Comparing Hand Dryers and Paper Towels

Paper towels may seem to be a more efficient option with a lower carbon footprint, however while they do not require electricity in use, their manufacture is highly energy intensive, and they have a much higher annual cost.

CO2 is released during the manufacturing process, and during disposal. As a hygiene product, paper towels cannot normally be recycled, and instead are sent to landfill. While paper towels typically include some recycled materials, each tonne of paper produced will result in around seventeen trees being cut down!

If paper towels are used in place of hand dryers in a typical company where hands are dried five hundred times per day, the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere annually is estimated to be just over three tonnes (3,121KG). This is the equivalent of driving more than 22,000KM (14,000 miles) in an average car.

Find out more

To learn more about the ultra-efficient Mitsubishi Electric Wave hand dryer range and how they could help your business on the path to Net Zero, please contact us today to arrange a demonstration.

01707 288780