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Hand dryer vs. paper towels; cost considerations

For those that operate a facility that involves the public as clients, vendors and staff it is not a matter of whether you will provide sanitary facilities or not but what facilities you offer. When it comes to hand drying the decision of whether to provide paper towels or hand dryers must be made. There are a number of variables that have to be considered; the quality of the paper towels is one and the type of hand dryer provided is another. There are other factors that enter into the picture, factors that management really cannot control; how many paper towels will any given person use for example. When you buy a hand dyer you can eliminate a number of concerns; you can eliminate paper waste, you can eliminate paper towel consumption, you can go a long way to eliminate vandalism and you can offer people a way to dry their hands without spreading bacteria and germs.

When you buy a hand dryer it will certainly cost more than a simple paper towel dispenser, however, it is important to understand the primary benefits of an electric hand dryer.

Paper towels:

Even the best paper towel dispenser will cost no more than $50; in many cases the paper company supplies them at no charge. The real financial concern is the on-going cost of paper towels. The cost depends on the quality and brand but on average, a medium size company can expect to pay upwards of $75 a month for towels. There are more costs involved when paper towels are used; the cost to dispose of them and the added cost of maintaining the dispenser. Add it all up and you can expect to pay about $900 a year per paper towel dispenser.

Hand dryers:

A high spec automatic hand dryer can cost about $500. There have been numerous studies to determine the cost of operating an electric hand dryer, on average, the cost of power attributable to a hand dryer is about $15 a month, compare this to the $75 paid for paper towels. A well made hand dryer will easily last eight or nine years, and there is no maintenance or trash removal involved. With savings like this the payback period is fast and the ongoing operating costs are negligible.

When you look at the numbers there is no doubt that an electric hand dryer is the best choice by far. When you buy a hand dryer you save money, save on maintenance and ensure that your customers and staff can dry their hands without the fear of spreading germs.

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