Every building operations department today is looking for ways to reduce costs without reducing the quality of its building’s image. Facilities managers have found a variety of ways to support this goal, such as using more energy-efficient lighting fixtures and ensuring that lights are off and the building heat lowered when not in full use. While it may not be the first area that comes to mind, a few simple changes in restroom fixtures can also contribute to reducing costs and have the added benefit of keeping the restroom clean and sanitary for both your tenants and visitors.
Less maintenance automatically reduces costs
One of the best ways to control the costs associated with restroom sanitation and maintenance is to adopt convenience and functionality so that the restroom itself provides fewer opportunities for litter and contamination that can drive up maintenance expenses. For example, replacing paper towel dispensers with high-speed hand dryers eliminates the cost of ordering, inventorying and restocking paper towels, as well as reducing the maintenance time and labor required for cleaning up used paper towels. Consider that most people use an average of 2.5 paper towels to dry their hands at a cost of approximately 1.06 cents per person. Now multiply that by the number of people using your restrooms daily. By contrast, installing high-speed hand dryers can dry a person’s hands for an average of .04 cents—that’s only one-quarter of the cost of paper towels. That is a significant cost savings that adds up over the course of a year.
Wet, used paper towels often overflow trash receptacles and end up scattered on the floor, or worse, clogging drains. Consider, too, the shelf space required for stocking the paper towel supply, as well as the time it takes employees to restock dispensers and dispose of the waste. High-speed hand dryers help keep a restroom clean and eliminate the frustration of trying to use a jammed-full paper towel dispenser or finding it empty. New motor technology means hand dryers can operate for years on minimal maintenance.
Today’s new generation of hand dryer’s dry hands in only 10 to 12 seconds. That is up to three times faster than traditional hand dryers—and they use as much as 80 percent less energy in the process. Some hand dryers feature on/off heat and motor speed controls to optimize the user experience, sound level and energy use.
World Dryer is the only manufacturer that offers a full portfolio of fast, state-of-the-art hand dryers designed to fit the individual needs of any facility. Five of the most popular include World Dryer’s SMARTdri®, SMARTdri® Plus, VMax®, Airforce and ADA-compliant SLIMdri® hand dryers.
The SMARTdri features intelligent design and controls for optimizing user comfort, sound levels and energy consumption. And SMARTdri’s proprietary motor technology offers the longest service life of any high-speed hand dryer. SMARTdri Plus uses a single-port nozzle to deliver a high intensity focused dry. VMax, a ‘hands in’ vertical style high-speed hand dryer, features a HEPA filter system, wider hand drying cavity opening and a dedicated water collection reservoir that prevents water from forming puddles on the floor, resulting in reduced maintenance.
ADA compliant SLIMdri features on/off heat control and is up to 70 percent more energy efficient than competitive hand dryers. Airforce hand dryers are 30 percent more efficient than competitive hand dryers.
Sustainable practices that provide a payback
When it comes to conserving natural resources, replacing paper towels with hand dryers may at first appear to be trading one set of carbon emissions for another. However, according to EPA estimates, producing a single ton of paper requires 7,000 gallons of water, 360 gallons of oil, 158 million BTUs of energy and as much as two to four tons of trees. By contrast, over its lifetime, one hand dryer will produce three tons less CO2 than the production of the paper towels it replaces.
In another example, replacing paper towels with hand dryers serves the environment in several ways:
- Today’s energy-efficient hand dryers use as much as 88 percent less energy than older models, and they dry hands faster.
- High-speed hand dryers are available that allow you to turn on or off heat; turning off the heat further reduces the hand dryer’s energy consumption.
- While paper towels are often produced from recycled paper, they can’t be recycled themselves, so disposing of them creates millions of cubic feet of waste in landfills.
World Dryer’s portfolio includes hand dryers that are GreenSpec Listed and will help those constructing or renovating new facilities qualify for LEED certification.
Focus on the big picture
Restroom fixtures may seem like a minor consideration compared to the complexity of all your other building requirements. However, selecting carefully can go a long way to help reduce maintenance and energy costs. Studies have shown automatic hand dryers can save businesses up to 99 percent in operation costs as compared to paper towels—removing much of the maintenance involved in restroom upkeep, including restocking and disposal. By improving the functionality and efficiency of restroom fixtures, you can reduce and even eliminate some maintenance costs and help improve your institution’s bottom line.
Competitively priced, every World Dryer product is designed, engineered and manufactured to help you realize long-term economic and environmental savings. If you are still using paper towels, we invite you to call us today at 1-800-323-0701 for a free analysis of how making the switch to World Dryer can help you reduce costs significantly.
As seen in Building Operating Management, February 2014, issue.