Clean and Dry: Hand Dryers with HEPA Filters

In a time where businesses and consumers alike are thinking about safety and hygiene, it’s time we clear the air on HEPA filters. 

Hand dryers alone are hygienic, but adding a HEPA filter gives consumers an added level of confidence that a commercial facility has made the extra effort to ensure clean filtered air.  

What Are HEPA Filters?

HEPA stands for “high-efficiency particulate air.” In short, it helps clean the air that passes through it by trapping any particles that could be potentially dirty, harmful, or hazardous. 

It works like a net with tiny passageways that allow air to pass through while trapping the airborne particles. Through a three-step process of diffusion, interception, and impaction, it can almost completely clean the air that passes through it.

Europe and the United States have different standards when it comes to air filters. While Europe mandates 99.95% efficiency, the United States mandates 99.97% efficiency (as regulated by the United States Department of Energy). This means that filters should trap any particles that exceed 0.3 micrometers (μm). 

How Are HEPA Filters Used?

The origins of HEPA filters can be credited to the World War eras. Very early, crude versions were found as part of gas mask systems to prevent the poisoning of soldiers. They were later revised and improved upon for World War II and during the Manhattan Project in the development of atomic bombs. 

HEPA filters became much more sophisticated during the 1950s, and over time, they were developed into what we know them as today. There’s a wide variety of applications for HEPA filters. From computer hard drives to food and pharmaceutical production to HVAC systems to hospital and medical settings, HEPA filtration plays a vital role. Vacuum cleaners, car exhaust systems, airplanes, and face masks all use HEPA filtration.

HEPA filters can be successful in preventing many particles from passing through – and ultimately being breathed into our bodies. Some notable airborne particles that can be trapped include: dust, dirt, pet allergens, pollen, mold, bacteria – and some can even filter out viruses.

Even WebMD touts the benefits of HEPA filtration. But it’s sure to note that HEPA alone isn’t a solution for a clean environment. It’s important to keep surface areas disinfected and clean. Additionally, HEPA filtration and other air cleaning systems require regular maintenance for proper and safe functioning.

HEPA Filtration and COVID-19

HEPA filters are popular right now. Even GoodHousekeeping has talked about them. With so much emphasis on cleanliness – both in the home and in business – it makes sense that any measures we can take to be more hygienic, we should.

There has been much debate over whether air purifiers with HEPA filters can efficiently filter out viruses, including those that cause COVID-19. The New York Times notes that the virus that causes COVID-19 is approximately 125 nanometers in diameter – which is within the size that HEPA filtration systems meeting U.S. standards capture and filter out with efficiency (99.97% or greater). 

Since these findings have been gaining traction, many businesses, schools, and homeowners have updated their HVAC and air filtration systems to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 as well as other viruses and airborne illnesses. 

Many have shifted their attention to restrooms, hand dryers, and HEPA filters.

Why HEPA Filter Numbers Matter

There are a ton of HEPA filtration systems on the market. But that doesn’t mean that all HEPA filters are created equal. 

In the U.S., industrial equipment is regulated. Air filter systems must have a filtration capability of at least 99.97%. In a worst-case scenario, particles with a diameter specification of 0.3 microns or less may pass through. The higher the efficiency percentage of the air filter, the more particles can be filtered out, resulting in cleaner air. 

Excel Dryer’s XLERATOR® hand dryers with HEPA filters are proven to remove 99.999% of viruses and 99.97% of bacteria from the airstream. It is the only HEPA filtration system on the market today with a metal mesh, washable pre-filter for reliable service, and extended filter life.

In an attempt to improve the hygiene and cleanliness of restrooms, this hand dryer and filtration system simply make the most sense.  Regular maintenance, including changing the filter every 6-12 months, is recommended for best results.  

Download our HEPA Filter Spec Sheet Now

About XLERATOR Hand Dryers with HEPA Filters

Knowing the importance of restroom hygiene, Excel Dryer built its HEPA filtration system to complement their already efficient hand drying experience. An option for  XLERATOR, XLERATOReco, and ThinAir Hand Dryers, the HEPA filtration system can be purchased with new units.  Existing XLERATOR and XLERATOReco units can be retrofitted, or a subassembly replacement can be purchased for an upgrade with additional benefits including a new 7-year warranty.  ThinAir Hand Dryers cannot be retrofitted but a subassembly replacement is an option to add HEPA to an existing unit.    

Excel Dryer also offers a mobile XLERATOR Hand Hygiene Station that provides an efficient, hygienic, touchless solution to hand drying needs for medical workers, eldercare staff, and others on the front lines.

XLERATOR hand dryers and HEPA filters eliminate the multiple (and unnecessary) touchpoints involved with using paper towels. This includes handling during manufacturing, shipping, storage, restocking, and waste removal.

The touchless experience with the XLERATOR, paired with its HEPA filtration system, promotes a hygienic restroom experience. 

Explore Our HEPA Mobile Product Station


HEPA filtration systems are important. They help provide cleaner air and filter out unwanted air particles. Restrooms are one of the most important areas in commercial facilities where touchpoints should be minimized and-sensor activated hand washing and drying options can help keep a facility hygienic and clean. HEPA filtration can help. 

There has been much debate over the hygiene of hand dryers vs paper towels. Beyond the research and findings that there is no data to support one-hand drying method over the other, Excel Dryer’s HEPA filtration system boasts the ability to remove 99.999% of viruses and 99.7% of bacteria from the airstream. And it’s the only one with a washable pre-filter for reliable performance and extended filter life.