Air compressors have been around since more than a century and have numerous commercial applications. Right from pumping air into the tires and running HVAC systems to setting pneumatic drills in motion and pressurising the gas cylinders, compressed air has a myriad of uses across all types of industrial processes.
It is necessary to have a reliable, functional and powerful air compressor to get the job well done. Choosing the right compressor is a very crucial process since it has long term implications. One needs to understand that it is not only the initial outlay that matters but also the cost of operation throughout the life of the compressor.
So if you are planning to buy an air compressor and need some help with picking a good one, you are at the right place. Let’s see what the factors are that you need to take into perspective.
The operating pressure at which the air compressor performs depends on whether it is a single stage compressor or a double stage compressor. The maximum working pressure that you need also depends on the task for which it would be used.
If you are buying an air compressor for a hobby, the one with low to moderate operating pressure would usually suffice. However, if you need a compressor for commercial application, you should look at the commercial compressors with a high operating pressure.
Calculate the maximum CFM requirements for the tasks you need the air compressor for. Take into account the multiple tools that need to run simultaneously for a job to determine the requisite CFM and multiply it with 1.3 to create a buffer.
Make sure you do not consider the CFM requirements of all the tools you have, but only of those that would be used together at a time. Otherwise, you will get an exaggerated number, causing you to believe you need a large air compressor, which you clearly don’t.
Gasoline vs. Electric
There are plenty of choices available in both the ranges, and it depends on the task’s surroundings. Consider these examples. If you need to use the air compressor within the confines of your home or garage, electrically powered compressors are a way to go. Air compressors that run on gasoline produce carbon monoxide and pose a serious threat to life when used indoors.
Similarly, gasoline-powered commercial compressors are apt for new construction sites that are devoid of electricity. These air compressors are lighter than their electric counterparts, which facilitates easy hauling.
The size of the storage tank should be in line with the type of job for which the compressor will be used. If you expect your compressor to run for longer duration in one go, you will need to have a bigger tank. On the other hand, if the compressor is expected to provide an intense burst of power for a few minutes at a time and, a small tank should suffice. Two stage compressors are more efficient than the single stage ones. So, a two stage compressor with a smaller tank size performs much better in terms of storage and the amount of pressurisation.
Brand and Longevity
When you chose an air compressor brand, take a look at the company’s credentials. How long have they been in business? What is the degree of their expertise in air compressors? How robust are the distribution channel and the customer service system? In what country is the compressor produced? What kind of material went into its production of the compressor and how long lasting is it? Take into account the cost of spare parts and accessories associated with that particular brand.
These are the most basic yet important factors to consider before buying an air compressor. We suppose that this information would prove useful while you choose your pick.