The truth about hand dryers without heat

Drying hands fast doesn’t require heat. Old fashioned conventional hand dryers which had low speed motors used heat to try to evaporate water off the hands. This is both time consuming and expensive as a lot of energy is used in the process.

Dyson have proven with their AB14 and HU02 models that hands can be successfully dried in around 10-12 seconds without the need for heat. Other models such as the Turboforce and G-Force MKII have shown that this success is not restricted to this well-known brand.

More and more people want hand dryers to be high speed and low energy, requiring units without heat included.

This post identifies the pros and cons of hand dryers with and without heat whilst highlighting how you can have the best of both worlds with certain units.

Certainly we need to be moving away from the energy guzzling old fashioned type of hand dryer but let’s look at the benefits of hand dryers with heat and hand dryers without heat.

Benefits of hand dryers with heat

  • Instant heat on the hands provides comfort to the user
  • Heat gives the user the perception of faster drying times
  • In units that have a lower motor speed, they tend to be quieter in operation, which is sort after in some locations.

Benefits of hand dryers without heat

  • Rated powers are reduced considerably making running costs very low
  • The energy used is minimal, reducing the overall consumption and carbon production
  • Motor speeds are quicker, therefore dry times are faster. 
  • In locations that receive constant use, the hand dryers will recycle the heat generated from the motor, therefore still adding heat to the airflow without using excess energy
  • One less element of the hand dryer to go wrong and break down

“Best of both” hand dryers

Because people still like the warmth on the hands feeling of a traditional hand dryer, especially during the winter months, there are now units on the market that offer the best of both worlds.

Some manufacturers have gone for a simple switch to turn heat on or off. Others have become a little more technical and have intelligent heating systems that will automatically add heat in cold environments, yet not engage the heater element if the temperature of the room is ambient or above. These intelligent hand dryers also have the option of turning off the heating system completely to customise the energy usage. 

This is ideal in locations that may forget to turn off heater elements in the summer months. It also makes sure that heat is added throughout the year precisely when it is required, rather than relying on a manual intervention and wasting energy.

The below table gives some examples of hand dryers that offer with heat, without heat, or an intelligent heating system compared to energy hungry conventional hand dryers. 

You will see that when compared to the traditional hand dryer, why hand dryers without heat are now being sort after with the cost to run and carbon production significantly lower.

 Without HeatWith Heat
Hand DryerSettingDry time
(Secs)
Cost per 1000 driesCOper 1000 dries
(Kg/ CO2)
SettingDry time
(Secs)
Cost per 1000 driesCOper 1000 dries
(Kg/ CO2)
ConventionalStandard
2500W
40£3.3315.00 
Dyson AB14Standard
1600W
11£0.592.64
Dryflow® VapordriIntelligent heating 
system off 
(room temp >24C)
1005W
11£0.371.65Intelligent heating
system on
(room temp <24C)
1550W
11£0.552.48
Dyson HU02Standard
1000W
12£0.401.80
Dryflow® EcoSlimLow Speed
without heat
180W
22£0.130.59High speed
with heat
850W
16£0.452.04
Dryflow® ViperLow Speed
without heat
600W
15£0.301.35High speed
with heat
2000W
15£1.004.50
G-force MKIIHigh Speed
without heat
1100W
12£0.441.98High speed
with heat
1500W
12£0.602.70
G-force MKIILow Speed
without heat
420W
23£0.321.45Low speed
with heat
800W
23£0.612.76
TurboforceHigh Speed
without heat
700W
12£0.281.26High Speed
with heat
1600W
12£0.642.88
Dryflow®
G-Force Eco
Intelligent heating 
system off 
(room temp >24C)
750W
16£0.401.80Intelligent heating
system on
(room temp <24C)
1400W
16£0.753.36
Turboforce Junior PLUSIntelligent heating
system off
(room temp >24C)
500W
18£0.301.35Intelligent heating
system on
(room temp <24C)
1150W
18£0.693.11
Stealthforce PLUSIntelligent heating
system off
(room temp >24C) / 750W
16£0.401.80Intelligent heating
system on
(room temp <24C)
1650W
16£0.883.96
Ecoforcewithout heat
500W
21£0.351.58with heat
1250W
21£0.883.94
JetDri MKIIwithout heat
550W
14£0.261.16with heat
1800W
14£0.843.78
Dryflow® EcoWavewithout heat
400W
23£0.311.38with heat
950W
21£0.672.99

All our energy efficient hand dryers can be viewed by clicking here

In years gone by, the energy hungry conventional hand dryers would cost a lot of money to run compared to today’s modern equivalents. They would rely on heat evaporation to dry the hands, a technique that doesn’t bring a great performance. Leaving the user standing there for a long time, if they can be bothered to wait, more than likely ending with a rub of the hands on the trousers to finish!

Now when it is important to look after the planet, there is a necessity to choose equipment that doesn’t use a lot of energy, but can also do the job it is intended to do. Motor speeds have become faster, which in turn have increased dry speeds. It is no longer a need for heat to be present to help create sufficiently dry hands. 

That said, a bit of warmth on the hands is more comfortable. Indeed, the perception of fast drying may be improved with heat added. Modern Heater elements in high speed hand dryers do seem to be lower rated than their predecessors if you were to run the hand dryer with heat.

However, increased motor speeds bring with them louder noises, which may not be desirable in some locations.  A lower motor speed with a little bit of heat added can certainly be a good compromise such as the Dryflow Elite MKII or the faster drying Dryflow Classic PLUS MKII.  The costs and energy consumption will increase compared to a unit that has no heater element present, although certainly no where near that of the slow drying  conventional hand dryer.

The cost and energy production is similar to the Ecoforce and Dryflow JetDri MKII when they have their heater elements engaged, but as noted the Elite MKII and Classic PLUS MKII do not have the capability to turn off the heater element.  The Ecoforce is considered a quiet hand dryer option, the JetDri MKII certainly isn’t.

High traffic locations need not worry about including a heater element, as the constant use of the unit creates heat as a by-product from the revolutions of the motor, which in turn warms up the air as it passes. Low use washrooms may benefit from the instant heat. The beauty of some of the modern hand dryers is that they give you a choice. Some even make it easier to regulate with intelligent heating systems.  The running costs are also negligible in a low use washroom with a modern hand dryer that includes heat, as it is only in mid to high traffic locations when the costs mount up with overall daily use.

So, you will now be aware of the options available to you when looking for a low energy hand dryer.  Certainly, a hand dryer without a heater element will bring the most cost effective and environmentally friendly solution. But bear in mind that there are some really good hand dryers out there that provide customisable options and leave every user satisfied.

To see all our energy efficient hand dryers click here


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.

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