Can you adjust the sound on a hand dryer?

    You can!

    In fact, this is one of the top questions facility managers have. Many facility environments need hand dryers with minimum sound to limit distractions. For example, restrooms near a school library, an auditorium or lecture hall, require sound quality high-speed hand dryers. An important consideration when choosing a hand dryer for these areas is speed settings. A high-speed hand dryer with speed settings can be optimized for sound quality, user comfort and energy efficiency. Other considerations to reduce noise include doors or offset entry ways, the size of the restroom, and the type of surfaces used in the restroom. For example, tile surfaces will reflect sound waves more.

    A case study in needing a hand dryer that wasn’t loud

    Wheaton Academy, a college prep high school in Wheaton, Illinois, sits on a 50-acre college-style campus with five facilities, including the Fine Arts Center and Heritage Field House. These facilities were in need of a hand dryer upgrade. During special events at the Fine Arts Center, noise, long lines and extended drying times ultimately led to an upgrade in three of Wheaton Academy’s five facilities. Richard Mills, of Wheaton Academy’s maintenance department, began to research different hand dryer manufacturers, and even visited different public locations in the community to test different models. At the time, Wheaton Academy had various manufacturers, including several 30-year-old World Dryer models. Mills was so impressed with their reliability, the advanced features of the newer models and the trusted World Dryer brand that he decided to go with World Dryer for the upgrade.

    For the Fine Arts Center, Wheaton Academy selected World Dryer’s SMARTdri™ Plus because it is an energy efficient and hygienic high-speed hand dryer. The intelligent and flexible controls of SMARTdri Plus allow customization of high-speed airflow, sound quality and heating options. The maintenance department can adjust the fast, powerful hand dryers to keep sound at a minimum level so as not to disturb performances.

    So in summary, the question you may be asking is what you should know when choosing a hand dryer about the impact of sound in your environment and how to control it. Here is the answer: Motor speed and air velocity/speed (in mph or lfm) are the two factors that have the greatest impact on the sound of a dryer. A general rule of thumb is higher motor speed and higher air velocity generally result in higher sound levels. Like the folks at Wheaton Academy, look for a hand dryer with variable speed controls that enable you to reduce motor speed and resulting air velocity for sound sensitive areas.