Energy Technology List home
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Hand Dryers

1.1    Scope

Hand dryers are widely used in washrooms to dry hands after washing, as an alternative to paper or linen hand towels. They use an electric blower to produce one or more jets of air that are used to dry hands placed under, or into, the hand air dryer unit. Some models heat the air jets prior to use with electrical heating elements or by passing it over the electric motor that drives the blower. 

1.2    Definitions

Hand dryers are products that are specifically designed to dry human hands by moving air past the hands in a manner that removes water from the hands by physical displacement and/or evaporation.

Hand dryers are available with a wide range of efficiencies. The Energy Technology List (ETL) Scheme aims to encourage the purchase of hand dryer products with the highest efficiency.

The ETL Scheme covers three categories of product:

  • Hands under single-point hand dryers
  • Hands under multi-point hand dryers
  • Hands in trough-style hand dryers

To be eligible for inclusion on the ETL, products shall meet the requirements as set out below.

1.3    Requirements 

1.3.1    Eligibility requirements  

To be eligible, products shall: 

  • Incorporate an electrically driven blower that produces one or more jets of air that can be used to dry human hands that are placed beneath, or into, the product. 
  • Automatically switch off power to the blower and air heater (where fitted) when hands are removed from the product’s drying zone. 
  • Not incorporate facilities to wash or apply soap to hands, or to dispense towels. 
  • Have an appropriate Conformity Assessment mark.  

1.3.2    Performance requirements

Eligible products shall: 

  • Use not more than (<=) 4.5kWh of electricity per 1,000 standard drying cycles in its normal mode of operation.
  • Have a standard drying time that is less than, or equal to, 15 (+/- 0.5) seconds.
  • Have a maximum run-on time (i.e. elapsed time after removal of hands from the hand dryer sensor), of 2 seconds.
  • Have a maximum standby power consumption of 2W. This consumption shall exclude the consumption of a heat store function.

1.3.3    Information requirements

Suppliers shall report the following parameters for each model, which will be published on the ETL Product Search:

  • Noise emissions of the hand dryer reported in sound power, dB(A) measured at a distance of 1 metre.
  • Report if the Hand Dryer is sold with: 

          - No filter
          - A HEPA filter
          - Other filter technology

  • If the Hand dryer is equipped with a Bluetooth/light indicator providing information on maintenance or filter change requirements.
  • Drying mode i.e. ambient air or heated   

1.4    Measurement and Calculations

1.4.1    Measurement standards

The product’s standard drying time and electricity consumed per standard drying cycle shall be determined in accordance with the method and test conditions set out in:

  • ETL Method for Testing of Hand Dryers (Issue 2)[1].

Please note that under the testing method provided above, products equipped with an air heater shall have it switched on during testing.     Noise

The product’s noise emissions shall be determined in accordance with the method and test conditions set out in:

  • BS EN IEC 60704-1 Household and similar electrical appliances. Test code for the determination of airborne acoustical noise. Part 1. General requirements     Standby

The product’s standby power consumption shall be determined in accordance with the method and test conditions set out in:

  • BS EN 50564:2011 Electrical and electronic household and office equipment. Measurement of low power consumption (or equivalent)

1.4.2       Rounding

For the avoidance of doubt, test data should be presented to one decimal place. As an example, a product that uses 4.6kWh per 1,000 standard drying cycles would be deemed to be a fail. 

1.5    Verification for ETL Listing 

Any of the following testing routes may be used to demonstrate the conformity of products against the requirements: 

  • In-house testing – Self-certified
  • In-house testing – Self-tested and verified or cross-checked by an independent body
  • Witnessed testing
  • Independent testing 

Further information regarding the first three routes can be found in the ETL Testing Framework.

1.6    Conformity testing

Products listed on the ETL may be subject to the scheme’s conformity testing programme in order to ensure listed models continue to meet the ETL requirements. 

1.7           Review   

1.7.1       Indicative review date   

This specification is scheduled to be reviewed during the 2024/25 review cycle.  

1.7.2       Illustrative future direction of the requirements    

The next technical review will consider:  

  • Shortening the run-on time requirement to 1 second
  • Introducing a maximum noise limit
  • Reducing the maximum standby power consumption requirement
  • Shortening the drying time and energy consumption requirements