Why Are Hand Dryers So Loud? Hand Dryer Noise Explained

Hand dryers can be very loud, young children often cannot bear the sound. In fact, the Canadian Paediatric Society confirmed that hand dryer noise is dangerous to young children.

But why are hand dryers so loud?

Old and new hand dryers both use motors and fans.

Once hand motion is detected by the sensors, the motor forces airflow from narrow bezels along with the heat to blow water off the skin’s surface, this whole process requires a lot of power which means the motors create a lot of noise as they force the air out.

The noise of hand dryers can surpass 100dB which is dangerous to children.

One of the problems with newer quicker drying hand dryers is that less time they take to dry your hand, the more noise they make.

hand dryer noise

How Much Noise Do Hand Dryers Actually Make?

When a teen researcher Nora Keegan measured the distance of the hand dryer from the floor and she calculated the dB output from the dyer.

70% of the dryers she tested produced over 104 dB.

This is more than the recommended noise levels for kids gadgets and toys that make sounds.

It is important to protect the children’s hearing ability, while some hand dryers produce as little as 85 dB, most common hand dryers tested produced over 100 dB.

According to reports, many hand dryers are operated at much louder than their manufacturers claimed in the user manual.

And yes, it can damage a child’s hearing. If any child is exposed to this sound level for 15 days, it could damage their hearing.

Quietest Hand Dryers

Hand dryers output may vary in different areas but as per the average measurement of dB that child and toddler can hear, we list out these hand dryers that give sounds less than 100 dB level.

In no particular order, here are some quietest hand dryers (less than 100dB).

To find the quietest hand dryer you simply need to find the machine’s power and drying speed. If the power is high and the drying speed is fast, the sound will be loud.

VALENS Hand Dryer

VALENS Hand Dryer, Bathroom Hand Dryer Commercial and Household, Stainless Steel Cover 1400W(Brushed)

This powerful and efficient hand dryer has a capacity of 1500 watts and blows air at 230 mph.

The output noise measured at a proper distance from the ground is 72 dB according to the user manual, however if the hand dryers are fixed nearer ground level for kids the sound could measure as high as 80 to 85dB.

Air temperature104 °F
Power1500 Watts, 120V/60HZ
Max airspeed222 mph
WaterproofRated IP23
Drying time10-12 sec

WBHome Ultra-Thin hand dryer

The WBHome hand dryer is thin to enable an easy fit in small bathrooms.

This hand dryer from WBHome is also highly energy efficient.

It has the feature to turn off automatically after 60 seconds of non-usage. It operates at a normal power voltage level.

Even though they claim that mounting holes are 200mm, users said they got 180mm. It’s better to measure yourself before installing screws.

Noise output72 dB
Air temperature95 °F to 145 °F
PowerAC 110 V 50/60Hz (Rated power: 950W)
Drying time10-15 sec

Awoco Commercial Hand Dryer (AWO-AK2803B)

Awoco hand dryer is leading in auto shut-off-time (45 seconds) compared to the other hand dryers in a similar price range. This Awoco hand dryer is decent at out of the price range and you can save $10 if you choose the combo option.

The minimum temperature this blow out on hands is 68F which is pretty normal at the price to protect children’s skin. The internal structure is designed pretty well to produce low noise levels of 70 dB at 40 inches from the ground.

This durable hand dryer has the filter inside the motor to kill 99% of the gems and bacteria in the air. Awoco commercial hand dryers have three different models standard, compact, and round.

Noise output70 dB
Air temperature68-104 °F
Power1350W- 1450W, 12A
Drying time7 to 15 sec

Valens Hand dryer with HEPA filter

This automatic hand dryer uses an advanced sensor to detect hands to start drying.

It also has the HEPA filter that separates dust and bacteria.

This is one of the most powerful power blowing air systems at 1800 watts.

This high-speed dryer hand can dry hands in 8 seconds as the company says.

It would be great for busy showrooms and shopping malls but you have to measure the correct output.

This hand dryer makes 72 dB at most and it is pretty quiet even though the power is higher than other commercial hand dryers.

And also, the hand dryer is designed as a short circuit resistor which is very helpful for kids.

The brush motor rotates at 22,000 rpm to generate faster heat and airflow.

This model also doesn’t have any heating settings like others.

Noise output72 dB
Air temperature104 °F (224 mph air blowing)
Power1800 Watts, 110V/60HZ
Drying time8 to 15 sec

Factors to consider when buying a hand dryer

Choosing a hand dryer for your office or home purposes is a task that involves a lot of factors including sound, drying time, and cost.

If you are aware of the news that louder hand dryers can affect child hearing ability, you must take the sound output as a primary parameter.

Noise: Quiet hand dryers use less power for motors and fans but the drying will be longer than the other commercial hand dryers. All these listed hand dryers claimed to produce the low noise output but if you are still not sure about it, you can blindly go for the hand dryers that take less power and more drying time.

Speed: Drying speed could be the reason why people choose high-end power dryers that make louder sounds. You can also choose those hand dryers that take even 30 seconds for complete drying.

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