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Air Compressor Operating Costs

Air Compressors Buyers' Guide

Air compressor users commonly refer to compressed air as the fourth utility. But surprisingly many of them fail to monitor the cost of compressed air with the same attention they pay to water, gas and electricity. This can prove to be an expensive mistake. According to the British Compressed Air Society (BCAS), over a ten year period the total costs of an air compressor break down as follows.

  • Maintenance and installation: 9%
  • Capital investment (the price of the air compressor): 18%
  • Energy (or running) cost: 73%

With electricity priced at around 10.5 pence a kWh and likely to rise, and with the high cost of petrol and diesel, the figure of 73% may well increase over the next few years. This is why it’s worth contacting BCAS for their energy consumption good practice guide. You might also want to check the UK government website for its Energy Technology List. This gives the details of the most energy efficient compressed air technologies.

Good dealers will advise you further about BCAS and the Energy Technology List. They’ll also recommend energy efficient models to suit your applications. Such air compressors may cost you more, but you’ll soon recover this initial investment through reduced electricity, petrol or diesel costs.

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