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Battery-powered Burnishers – a Breath of Fresh Air in More Ways Than One

Sept. 25, 2014

Battery-powered burnishers offer high performance results and versatility to customize cleaning. Recent advances have significantly enhanced the performance and productivity of battery-powered burnishers. Compared to propane-powered, battery-powered burnishers deliver high performance gloss results, are quieter, require minimal maintenance, and provide excellent health and safety benefits.


Today’s battery-powered burnishers offer longer run time, increased power and improved pad speed to provide a beautiful high-gloss finish comparable to propane-powered burnishers. They also are quieter, require minimal maintenance, and provide excellent health and safety benefits compared to propane-powered burnishers.

Health Benefits

Propane-powered burnishers create indoor air quality problems due to propane fume emissions, limiting when they should be used. These burnishers are loud (ranging as high as 89 dBA), and typically feature poor dust containment.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), short-term exposures (as short as a few hours) to particles can aggravate lung disease, cause asthma attacks and acute bronchitis, and may also increase susceptibility to respiratory infections. In people with heart disease, short-term exposures have been linked to heart attacks and arrhythmias.

Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning caused by excessive exhaust emissions is also a frequently reported incident associated with propane-powered floor care machines.

Because carbon monoxide can build to dangerous levels, propane-powered burnishers can raise safety concerns in some facilities, including small enclosed areas with low ceilings and poor air circulation. Unlike propane-powered burnishers, battery-powered burnishers have no emissions, so there are no worries about CO poisoning.

High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters on advanced battery-powered burnishers provide 99.97 percent filtration at 0.3 microns to further enhance safety for employees, visitors and guests. This excellent dust control eliminates the need for follow-up dust mopping to remove dust on floors.

To minimize occupational noise-induced hearing loss, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends that all worker exposures to noise should be controlled below a level equivalent to 85 dBA for eight hours. Propane-powered floor burnishers have noise levels ranging as high as 89 dBA. Ultra quiet 63-65 dBA battery-powered burnishers maintain safe sound levels for operators and can be used anytime without affecting patients, students, staff or guests.

Safety Advantages

Overfilled propane cylinders can result in fires, and building service contractors (BSCs) are increasingly required to store their propane cylinders off-site, and transport and install the cylinders each time they burnish. This increases time spent handling and transporting propane cylinders – and the risk of potential accidents.

The need to transport, store and handle propane cylinders – plus provide appropriate training for employees assigned to handle these tasks – can significantly increase the cost of using propane-powered burnishers.

Less Maintenance

Maintenance and operating costs for propane-powered burnishers often are much higher than battery-powered burnishers, and the cost of propane continues to rise, continually adding to operating expenses. Battery-powered burnishers require less ongoing maintenance compared to propane-powered burnishers that require periodic maintenance and emissions checks to ensure they fall within OSHA guidelines for hazardous gases.

In addition to being expensive and time consuming, the need for ongoing maintenance restricts when propane-powered burnishers are available for use, limiting productivity and flexibility. Contrast that with low maintenance battery burnishers that offer excellent performance, yet are safe and easy to maintain.

Excellent Performance

Propane-powered burnishers generally are large and heavy, making them difficult or impossible for some staff members to handle. This limits which staff members can use them compared to battery-powered burnishers. Battery-powered burnishers are self-propelled and easier to move and maneuver, so any staff member can use them, enabling greater staffing flexibility.

If you haven’t used a battery-powered burnisher recently, it’s time to consider this option. Powerful, 36-volt battery-powered systems ensure long run time for improved productivity and great results that are comparable to propane-powered burnishers. Now you can achieve great performance without the noise, dangerous fumes and maintenance issues.

For more information on Tennant’s battery burnishers or other game-changing

technologies, visit www.tennantco.com or see them first-hand at

2014 ISSA, Booth # 1855.

Author Bio

Chris Wetmore
Director Strategic Markets - Healthcare and BSC
Tennant Company


As director of strategic markets for Tennant Company in Minneapolis,  Chris Wetmore oversees a team of strategic account leaders who provide cleaning solutions specifically to the Healthcare and BSC markets. With more than 20 years of experience, he has become a valued resource and subject matter expert for BSC's and Healthcare facilities looking for solutions to their industrial or commercial cleaning problems.  

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