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Air Quality, Heat and Noise

Air Compressors Buyers' Guide

These three factors will be integral to your choice of air compressor and largely determine what environments and uses a particular model is suitable for.

Air quality

Depending on the location of your compressor and its application, you may need to take measures to improve the quality of its air.

Condensation.
Air undergoes temperature changes while inside the compressor. As a result, the compressed air that emerges may contain moisture capable of damaging sensitive products and equipment in the vicinity. This is a problem in certain manufacturing environments if you employ compressed air to blow dust from delicate electronic components. The answer is to ensure the air compressor has a drier to eliminate any possibility of moisture.

Increase in temperature.
The air from your compressor is warmer than the air in your immediate vicinity and will therefore increase the ambient temperature. If you need to maintain a stable atmosphere, you may have to install an air cooling system.

Debris.
Dust and other small articles of debris may find their way into your air compressor and from there into the compressed air itself. If you fit the air compressor with a filter, you’ll avoid any problems that debris may cause.

Oil.
If you have a lubricated air compressor, some of the oil will inevitably find its way into the compressed air. This won’t affect the working of a compressor powered tool, for instance, but you cannot tolerate oil particles if you use your air compressor in the food or electronics industries. This is when an oil-free compressor is the logical choice.

Heat

Significant amounts of heat come from two sources: the air compressor’s motor and the process of pressurising the air. If you work outdoors, the heat may not be a problem. But in an enclosed space, you may have to offset any rise in temperature with fans or air coolers. If your air compressor is a permanent fixture, you might be able to keep it in a separate, well-ventilated room.

Noise

An air compressor is a loud piece of equipment and can register 100 decibels or more. A separate room for your air compressor can therefore reduce the impact of the machine’s noise. If this arrangement isn’t possible, there are quieter types of air compressor available. As a general rule, rotary screw air compressors are less noisy than reciprocating compressors.

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