Product Review

XLerator--The Electric Hand Dryer Reinvented

January 1, 2002

Its new XLerator hand dryer gets hands dry in one-third the time, and uses about one-third the energy, of conventional dryers. We were skeptical at first, too. Read on.

When Denis and Nancy Gagnon bought Excel Dryer four years ago, they entered an industry that hadn’t seen significant innovation, aside from automatic sensor controls, in decades. Determined to create a better mousetrap, they commissioned some research and learned that wet hands have water in two forms: loose droplets and an adherent film. They realized that by blowing the droplets off with a high-velocity air stream, they could eliminate most of the water in just a few seconds. Providing this air at a higher temperature than that of standard dryers 135°F (57°C) results in quicker removal of the water film as well, so hands are dried in 12 to 15 seconds—about the same amount of time it takes to use a paper towel. The Gagnons’ claim, which we have verified, is that conventional dryers take 30 to 45 seconds.