If you’re planning on buying a new air compressor, there are many different things to think about, but one of the most important is which type of compressor to choose from. There are gas powered, electric, and oil free or oiled compressors. The key is to pick the one that will be affordable, powerful enough to provide maximum usage, and easy to use. Here’s a quick guide on the different types of air compressors.
Gas powered Compressors
Air compressors that are gas powered don’t have the same electrical hookup you’d find in an electric compressor. This means that you’ll need to refill the gas tank and use the compressor somewhere away from a site where people might inhale fumes. This means you’ll have great portability, but also won’t be able to plug the unit it if it runs out of power.
Gas powered compressors also lack the mechanism that shuts on or off automatically to power up and turn off the unit. Replacing this, gas powered compressors have pilot unloader valves, which will open and shut depending on how much pressure is contained in the tank. So they operate on a continuous basis, where they’re ideal for tasks that require a long-standing amount of pressure. They are frequently used in industrial and heavy duty applications such as construction jobs.
In addition to providing industrial power for food processing plants, chemical plants, metal factories, or plastic producers, gas compressors are also excellent ant lowering your energy costs. they have a higher efficiency at part load, generating at least 60-75% capacity. They have the ability to recover waste heat from lower-grade output, which comes from the engine cooling jacket. They can also use exhaust gases through the preheating boiler or space heating functions. This means that gas compressors can lower operating costs substantially. They also burn clean burning natural gas, which brings you into compliance with environmental goals and regulations.
Electric air compressors are lighter, more convenient, and less expensive than gas powered compressors. They are smaller and more portable, and they do have a number of different styles. These types of compressors have a built in start and stop switch that comes on automatically and shuts off when pressure in the tank gets to its upper limit. Additionally, the start stop switch will start up if the pressure goes too low.
Electric compressors also provide numerous benefits, including simplified operation, greater safety, conservation of resources, and no risk of exposure to gas. They produce excellent quality compressed air and don’t emit carbon. Since they achieve cooler running temperatures, they also make less noise and avoid special air-circulation problems. We have a list of the best quiet air compressors here if you are looking for a noise free air compressor. They are definitely the way to go if you want a smaller and cheaper compressor.
The main problem with compressors of the electric variety is that you can’t use them with extension cords. So if you can’t plug them in, they’re not of much use. They’re also less good at heavier duty work but are great for smaller arts and crafts style jobs. Electric compressors are best for the home unless you have an electrical system that won’t work with it.
Oil free VS Oiled
Oil free compressors are made for those who typically don’t know a lot about tools and machinery. And they will last longer than oiled models that aren’t taken care of properly. However, oiled versions of air compressors are typically a lot quieter and more reliable. They last longer than oil free versions. If you are planning to use higher grade pump oil, you’ll barely ever have to change the oil. While no compressor is 100% without the need for maintenance, you will have to drain water out of the tank of oil-based models. However, the best brands and models will be oil based, as they are sturdiest and last the longest.
Ultimately, in choosing a compressor, you’ll need to make sure the machine can do your job. Compressors that are too small will simply waste time and money. However if you get one that’s too big, you will waste resources. So be sure to buy a unit that has enough power, runs on power that you feel comfortable with, and is still light enough and portable enough to transport where you need to go.