Can Hand Dryers Work Effectively 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 time consuming and expensive because a lot of energy is required.

Dyson have proven with their AB14 and HU02 models that hands are dried in 10 to 12 seconds without heat. Other models such as the Turboforce have shown that this is not restricted to only well-known brands.

Toilet Direction Signage

More and more people want hand dryers to be high speed and low energy, which is why units are designed without the need for heat.

Here we list the pros and cons of hand dryers with and without heat and highlight how you can have the best of both.

Firstly, 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 can be quieter

Benefits of hand dryers without heat

  • Rated powers are reduced considerably making running costs very low
  • The energy is minimal, reducing the overall consumption and carbon production
  • Motor speeds are quicker and dry times are faster
  • There is one less element in the hand dryer, which reduces maintenance and risk of something breaking down

“Best of both” hand dryers

Because people like the warmth on the hands from traditional hand dryers, especially during cold weather, there are units that offer the best of both worlds.

Some manufacturers include a simple switch to turn heat on or off.

Others have intelligent heating systems that will automatically add heat in cold environments when needed. These intelligent hand dryers also have the option of turning off the heating system completely to customise the energy usage.

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

You will see how energy efficient modern hand dryers are when compared to the traditional hand dryer. Not only are the hand dryers without heat more cost effective to run, they also reduce carbon production significantly.


Without Heat

With Heat

Hand Dryer


Dry time

Cost per 1000 dries

COper 1000 dries
(kg/ CO2)


Dry time

Cost per 1000 dries

COper 1000 dries (kg/CO2)










Dyson AB14









Dyson HU02









Turboforce Junior PLUS

Intelligent heating 
system off 
(room temp >24C)




Intelligent heating
system on
(room temp <24C)




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

Previously, the high energy consuming conventional hand dryers would cost a lot to run compared to today’s modern equivalents. They rely on heat evaporation to dry the hands. A technique that doesn’t have a great performance and which leaves the user waiting a long time to have dry hands (if they can be bothered to wait).

Now when environment is so important, there is a need to choose equipment that doesn’t use a lot of energy, and can also do the job.

Motor speeds have become faster, which have increased dry speeds. You no longer need heat to have dry hands.

However, warmth on the hands is more comfortable. And the perception of fast drying may be improved with heat added.

However, increased motor speeds are louder, which is not desirable in some locations.  A lower motor speed with a little bit of heat can certainly be a good compromise.

High traffic locations actually don’t need to include a heater element, as the constant use of the unit creates heat as a by-product from the motor, which warms up the air as it passes.

Best of all, modern hand dryers give you a choice to use or not use heat. 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.

Now you have options available for low energy hand dryers. 

Certainly, a hand dryer without a heater element is the most cost effective and environmentally friendly solution. But keep in mind there are some good hand dryers 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, please call us on 1300 HANDRY or (+61) 1300 426 379, use our contact us page or email us at

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