Hand Dryers for Schools; A Guide to Selecting the Best

This post was last updated Thursday 28th December 2019

Intelligent Hand Dryers UK has now supplied over 1000 Schools, Colleges and Universities.

With the steady increase of UK Schools applying for Academy status, the renovation of school buildings or indeed the construction of new builds has become a popular occurrence. 

With these upgrades comes the need to make sure that all new equipment is energy efficient, sustainable and fit for purpose. 

Even though a hand dryer may seem only a small part of the renovation, there are quite a few considerations that need addressing to get the most suitable unit available. There are a number of "best" hand dryers dependent upon the age of the children and the type of school.

This post will lead you in the right direction when it comes to getting the most suitable hand dryer for a school or higher education building.

The best hand dryers for schools to buy include:

To find out how to identify the right hand dryer for your school please read on.

There are a number of issues to consider when selecting the appropriate hand dryers for your School.

  1. The age of the Children
    • Pre-school and infants are more vulnerable to sound and may appreciate a more child friendly looking hand dryer.
  2. Robustness and reliability
    • Does school equipment tend to suffer from vandalism?
  3. Low noise hand dryers may be required
    • How close are the hand dryers going to be sited to areas at risk from noise disturbance?  Libraries, exam halls, classrooms etc
  4. Reducing absenteeism and improving health
    • Schools would benefit from hand dryers with enhanced hygienic properties to aid hand hygiene, as there is so much risk for cross infection resulting in absenteeism
  5. Fast drying to get the job done properly
    • Hand dryer hygiene is related to performance, as children won't wait around to dry their hands properly with an inefficient hand dryer.  Wet hands are breeding grounds for germs, therefore fast drying is essential
  6. Energy Efficiency
    • We need to educate our future generations about the need to be energy conscious and invest in low emission equipment. Energy efficient hand dryers also mean annual running costs are low, maximising school savings
  7. Budget
    • You need to be able to show a positive return on investment.  Getting the most suitable hand dryer for your initial budget and quick ROI from energy savings made is a must.

The next part of the article will explain the above in more depth, however if you are looking to purchase a hand dryer for a school, please see our Hand Dryers for Schools category by clicking here.

If you need more help on choosing the right hand dryer for you please read on and don't forget to contact us and we will be more then happy to chat through your needs and answer any questions you may have.

Video - Maximising school budgets and minimising environmental impact


Find out how much your school could save!

  • This calculator uses the very energy efficient and high speed Turboforce Junior PLUS hand dryer to show comparisons.
  • The calculations shown are with the hand dryer at its highest rated power to give minimum savings. An intelligent heating system makes sure the savings will increase further.

Use this calculator to see how much money and carbon you could save switching from either conventional hand dryers, paper towels or roller towels to energy efficient hand dryers.

You will get:

- Annual Saving vs. Current Solution
- CO2 Saving Vs. Current Solution
- Yearly Running Cost
- Payback Period (ROI)
- Annual number of trees saved if using paper towels


Vandalism

If vandalism is an issue in your school, we suggest that you look at a unit that has no obvious leverage points. Blade style hand dryers are very effective but they are obviously a larger target for vandalism with parts that weight can be fully leveraged on, which can be an issue if you dont have strong walls. The types with drainage holes are at risk of foreign objects being pushed into the drainage point and all types are at a lower level so can be kicked easily.

We suggest a steel unit, usually in a brushed stainless finish as white attracts graffiti and chrome is easily scratched. Of course brushed stainless isn't immune but it tends to be the most hard wearing and be least attractive to scribble on.

Other things to consider are anti-vandal screws and steel back plates where possible, to prevent tampering with the covers and pulling from the wall. Again, if there is nothing to grip on the dryer it is very difficult to pull them from the wall.

Where vandalism is an issue we recommend the TurboForce and G-Force MKII as they have thick steel covers, anti-vandal screws, steel backplates (Turboforce) and no leverage or gripping points. 

The G-Force MKII also has a plug and play install system that maintenance teams love.  Read more about this installation process here and also watch the video below.

Slimline hand dryers are also a good choice here as they give hardly anything to swing on and don’t protrude too far into the washroom.  Units such as the Dryflow® EcoWave, Dryflow® Elite, Dryflow® Elite MK 2 and Dryflow® EcoSlim meet this criteria.




School hand dryers focused on the age of the children

There are a couple of models that we do, that are specifically designed to appeal to children with cartoon style graphics. These are really for the pre-school and infant school age groups but have proved to be effective in encouraging this age group to dry their hands properly.  We have the Puff the Magic Dryer and the Biodrier Biobot that appeals to this age range.

School hand dryers can be chosen on the basis of key stages.  There is a section in the online catalogue below which explains the considerations you should take into account at each key stage.

Disturbing Class Rooms

Often a site vist with the dryer options is a good idea so you can experience how the noise carries. Manufacturer's dbA ratings are not always a reliable source of information as the acoustics in a particular area can vary depending on whether it is a hands under or blade hand dryer. Sound levels need to be appreciated in situ ideally.  dBA tests are conducted in special pressurised chambers that dont consider the amplification of sound on surface areas.

Low noise hand dryers suitable for school environments include, Turboforce® Junior PLUS, Dryflow® Blu Ray Junior, Dryflow® EcoWave, Dryflow® G-Force Eco, EcoForce, Dryflow® Viper, DryFlow® Classic PLUS II, Dryflow® Elite MK 2, Dryflow® EcoSlim, Puff the Magic Dryer, Mitsubishi Jet Towel Smart, Mitsubishi Jet Towel and D-Flow Eco.

The Quiet Mark are setting the standard in testing products to make sure they have a tolerable noise level yet still do the job they were intended to do.  You may be interested in our hand dryers that have achieved this accreditation – click here 

A hand dryer that ticks all the boxes is the Dryflow Elite MKII. This is a really good option as it perfectly balances energy efficiency, noise level and hand drying performance.  At just 10cm depth it also makes it a perfect option for small washrooms.

Another option is the **30-year warranty package** DryFlow® Classic PLUS II Hand Dryer, again with a perfect balance of noise levels, energy efficiency and dry time as well as coming with an outstanding 30 year warranty!




Improving hand hygiene in schools

The single most important aspect of hand hygiene is effective hand drying. High speed hand dryers and cool looking hand dryers tend to encourage people to use them for the duration required to dry hands.

Paper towels are often grabbed, wiped roughly and then quickly discarded in a dash. If people see old hand dryers they often don't bother with them due to the length of time needed under the powerless airflow, therefore an effective modern looking hand dryer will encourage proper hand drying and restrict the growth of bacteria on the hands.

All the hand dryers in our list will bring dry times that will not disappoint and make sure everyone leaves with hygienically dry hands. There are certain ones that do the job in under 15 seconds or less. A point to consider with these is that they do tend to have a higher noise level than some due to the faster motor speeds and increased airflows.

If noise isn’t an issue, such as your washrooms are not in noise sensitive areas or the age of the pupils is appropriate (i.e. upper primary to university) then the high speed units to look at include JetDri mark II, Dryflow® G-Force Eco, Dryflow® Viper Hand Dryer, Turboforce®, Mitsubishi Jet Towel Smart, Dryflow® Vapordri, Mitsubishi Jet Towel, D-Flow Eco Hand Dryer and Dyson Airblade V Hand Dryer.

HEPA filters can enhance the air hygiene by preventing bacteria from forming in the hand dryer and cleansing the airflow. Non touch activation is also important. The Dryflow ViperDryflow® EcoSlim and Dyson Airblade V have these important features. There's also the Dryflow® Vapordri and D-Flow blade style hand dryers in the hands in category to choose from.

More hand dryers with this feature can be seen by clicking here


Catalogue - Education Build and Refurbishment - Hand Dryers



Energy Efficiency

View a case study here representing a typical primary school to see how much energy savings and cost reductions can be made

School children will tend to go to the toilet and dry their hands a minimum of three times a day so in a large school the number of uses the hand dryers get can really add up. The difference in Carbon footprint between paper hand towels and an energy efficient hand dryer is huge.

The associated carbon footprint of just one paper towel is reported to be 7.5g of CO2 and frequently multiple towels are used to dry one pair of hands. The footprint is related to the felling of trees, transportation of materials, processing, delivery, re-processing, delivery to warehouse, delivery to facility, collection of waste, recycling etc.

The cost savings against paper towels in a school can be huge. We recently did a survey for a school with 1000 pupils and the savings were over £15,000 per annum, which is money that could be much better spent elsewhere.

The energy use difference between an energy efficient hand dryer and a conventional hand dryer is anywhere from 20-30 watt hours per dry which can really add up into some decent cost and energy savings over time.  A hand dryer working at just 180W like the Dryflow EcoSlim model is a fantastic example of how energy efficiency has become a prerequisite of modern high performing and best value hand dryers.

Budget?

The spend on hand dryers needs to be balanced up against the factors discussed to make sure you are purchasing a hand dryer that is fit for purpose. The return on investment in energy savings that the hand dryer will give you is important too.

If the use per dryer is not too high you may be ok with a lower cost hand dryer.  If you are looking for a budget hand dryer, suitable for under 100 uses a day, you may be interested in this post here

A final point

Getting the right hand dryer for the age of pupil as well as taking into consideration the location of the washroom in proximity to other areas of learning is of course very important, but there is one last thing to consider.  This is the amount of use each hand dryer will receive on a daily basis.

Some areas of the school may get significant amounts of traffic, where as there may be another area where traffic is infrequent. We distinguish hand dryers based on there motor life. For example, low use (under 100 uses a day), Medium use (up to 300 uses a day) and high use (over 300 uses a day).  The lower the use, usually the cheaper the hand dryer.

It’s no good putting a 100 use a day hand dryer in a toilet that receives 200 uses a day, as the lifespan will decrease and means you will need to replace it quicker.  In contrast you may not need a hand dryer capable of withstanding over 300 uses a day when it only receives 50 a day.  Although of course it will extend the lifespan of the motor considerably.

So, one thing to work out is each washrooms usage and buy accordingly. For examples of how to work out your daily usage and which would be the best hand dryers based on this see here.

We give our best prices to the education and public sector on moral grounds as we believe these are the areas where value is most important.

We try to make our website as resourceful as possible to help you make the right decision. We are the UK's first Carbon Trust accredited supplier of energy efficient hand dryers.

Please see our Hand Dryers for Schools category by clicking here to view our extensive range suitable for your needs

If you would like to view our range of the best hand dryers on the market please follow the links below:


For more information or for help in finding your ideal hand dryer or washroom product, please call us UK offices: North: 0114 3540047 South: 0203 3270448; Eire office: +353 19036387, use our contact us page by clicking here or click to visit the website.  You can also use our Intelligent Search Tool that helps you identify the perfect dryer for your location by clicking here.

In the trade? Don't forget we can set you up with a trade account for your purchases.

We have wholesaler, contractor, public sector and charity discounts available, please don't hesitate to ask or find out more information by clicking here.



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