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Read our buying advice for Air Compressors


From inside your AC to the gas station, air compressors are almost everywhere. You won't even know an air compressor is hidden away inside your electronics most of the time.

But that's just the beginning of your problems! From small desktop to airbrush, air compressors are available in several different types that you have to choose from to find the right fit. Next, these come in a variety of sizes.

Now picture this: you step inside the electronics market, all ready to make your first purchase. You look around at the plethora of options, and you realize there's no way I can find the right one for me.

So, you ask, how do I know which air compressor works best for my needs? Worry not! For that just what we're going to be talking about here. To help you find the perfect air compressor, we've made a little guide to understanding air compressors, their working, and uses. Ready to get these installed inside your house? Let's jump right in!

What Are Air Compressors?

In simple words, air compressors are mechanical devices made to increase pressure in a variation of either compressible fluids or gases.

These can be used anywhere for many different reasons. And for these various reasons, there are different types of compressors as well. Keep scrolling to learn about these!

What Are The Different Types Of Air Compressors?

Typically air compressors are categorized based on their functioning method. These are further discussed below; keep reading to find out!

  • Piston Compressors

Piston compressors or reciprocating compressors, like the name suggests, rely on either one or multiple pistons to compress gas within cylinders. This gas is then discharged with the use of a valve into high pressure-receiving tanks.

These pistons are typically used for either producing energy or natural gas transmission. On average, these pistons provide air from 90 to 110 psi range. Besides, you can get these to create in two types: oil-lubricated or oil-free.

  • Diaphragm Compressors

The second type, diaphragm compressors, is constructed with a motor-mounted concentric that oscillates a flexible disc. Said disc contracts and expanded the volume of the compression chamber alternatively.

Moreover, the drive inside the compressor is sealed from the process fluid, restricting contact between the lubricants and gas.

  • Helical Screw Compressors

Next comes the helical screw compressor, famous for its capacity to work on a 100% duty cycle. This makes helical screw compressors perfect for use in construction areas, road building, etc.

These compressors include meshed male and female rotors with the help they pull gas towards the drive end. This gas is then compressed as the rotors from a cell. The gas then travels the cell's length axially and discharges the compressed gas at the non-drive end.

Furthermore, these units are available in oil, water, or oil-free air. Due to the rotary screw fixed inside, these compressors create only a quiet vibration.

  • Sliding Vane Compressors

At number four, comes the sliding vane compressor. This one contains a series of vanes mounted in a rotor that sweeps alongside the inside of a cavity.

These vanes are made to rotate from the suction side, thus reducing the space they pass from. This means the gas is then compressed within this space. Next, these vanes glide on top of an oil film that creates a wall on the eccentric cavity.

While sliding vane compressors don't provide oil-free air, they can create a pulsation-free atmosphere. Much like the one we mentioned above, these are pretty quiet and can work at 100% duty cycles. Generally, these are used in most non-air applicants and industry work.

  • Scroll Compressors

On the flip side, scroll compressors use stationary and orbiting spirals to decrease space volume between them. Here the intake of gas occurs at the outer edge while discharge happens in the center.

In these compressors, contact between the scrolls is restricted, there is no need for lubrication, the gas is oil-free. However, the lack of oil in the heat of compression means its capacity is limited. For this reason, they are often used in low-end air compressors or air-conditioners.

  • Rotary Lobe Compressors

Better known as blowers, these compressors contain high-volume and low-pressure. These are either mechanical or electro-mechanical devices used to induce gas flow.

These are typically used for combustion air supplies on cooling and drying systems for pneumatic conveying, sewage aeration, filter flushing, gas boosting, and moving gas in petrochemical industries.

  • Centrifugal Compressors

These compressors use high-speed pump-like impellers that are used to cause an increase in pressure.

Moreover, when it comes to construction, these are pretty similar to centrifugal pumps. Meaning, they increase the gas's velocity by throwing it outward. This causes the gas to expand where it slows down, and pressure adds up.

Centrifugal compressors are typically used in high-volume applications like refrigeration units, processing plants, and so on.

  • Axial Compressors

Last but not least, axial compressors use jet engines to compress high volumes of air. These jet engines are fabricated with compressors that increase pressure by upping the gas's velocity. Like centrifugal, axial compressors also slow down the gas speed in fixed blades to increase the pressure.

What Are The Components Of Air Compressors

Now that you've understood the classifications let's talk about the functionality. The essential components of an air compressor are as follows:

  • Electric Motor
  • Pump
  • Receiver

This receiver can either be vertical or horizontal. Moreover, it can be done in different sizes and capacities. The basic working of these includes the electric motors powering the compressor pump. This then further causes the motor to drive a pulley, which transfers power from the engine to the pump. Lastly, the flywheel fan helps to cool down the compressor pump.

Why Should I Get An Air Compressor?

Now you might be wondering: I know what air compressors are but do I need these? If you're still stuck in the middle, unsure whether air compressors are worth it, allow us to change your mind!

  1. Consumer-grade air compressors are used for a variety of household tasks. These range from inflating tires and low-load air tools like brad guns.
  2. These are also used for inflating balloons, cleaning crevices and tight spaces, and painting with an airbrush.
  3. Moreover, compressed air is widely used in small business applications and large industrial setups. These are used as an energy source and for powering equipment and tools.
  4. These are also used in clinics to provide clean air to assist dental procedures and be used for sensitivity to oxygen toxicity.
  5. Furthermore, these are used to process and generate large amounts of specialized gases in the food and beverage industry.
  6. Lastly, these are used in the oil and gas industry to generate compressed gas for storage and transport.

Why Hire A Professional To Install Your Air Compressor?

Not only do you need to install an air compressor, but you need to ensure it's fitted properly as well. That'sThat's where professionals come into the picture.

More often than not, your air compressor gets damaged at the hands of an amateur. Without pinning down the system requirements, selecting proper equipment, and planning the layout design properly, your air compressor may not offer optimum performance or may get ruined.

By putting the installment in a professional's hands, you get all the accessories installed in just the right place. Plus, the perfect placement means your air compressor will work at maximum capacity. And who doesn't want that?

And What Are The Cost Estimates?

When it comes to air conditioner air compressors, these cost somewhere between $1,200 to $2,800. On the other hand, industrial air compressors at an average cost from $1,500 to $5,000. Those made for dentist range from $800 or as high as $2,200


All in all, finding the perfect air compressor is no easy task! But by the end of this article, you probably know more than you did before. So, what are you waiting for? It'sIt's time to pick the best air compressor today!

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