Choosing the proper air compressor for your project can be confusing; there is so much information to understand about compressed air fittings, cushion clamps, and compressed air distribution. Here is a quick and easy guide on how to properly choose an air compressor.
Step 1: Know the basic information
First of all, you must figure out what exactly you will be using the compressor for. Are you planning on using it for odd jobs around the house, such as inflating tires or powering a caulking gun? Or, are you going to use it to power heavy-duty machinery? Depending on your choice, you will need to consider the volume requirements of each project.
Step 2: Choose between piston or portable compressors
There are two different types of compressors. Piston compressors rely on a motor which builds up air pressure once it is depleted, and stores the air in compressed tanks. Portable compressors, on the other hand, do not have tanks and run continuously to deliver air.
Step 3: Look at the horsepower
The typical range of horsepower on an compressor is between 1.5 and 6.5 HP. There are compressors with more horsepower, but these are generally reserved for industrial uses.
Step 4: Check out the cubic feet per minute (CFM)
The CFM is the measure of volumetric flow; however, it changes based on the pounds per square inch (psi) of air produced. To keep it simple, the higher the number, the more powerful the machine will be. For example, the average amount is 50,000 British thermal units per hour per 100 cfm of compressor capacity.
Step 5: Consider portability
If you need the compressor to be lifted off the ground, or shifted around your work area, will you be able to move it? Will it be portable and convenient to use?
Step 6: Think about your power source
This detail is along the same lines as the portability factor. Will there be a reliable source of electricity wherever you put your compressor? A drive system with an electric motor will need to be located near a power outlet; otherwise, you will have to power it with a gasoline system.
Once you have gone through this checklist, you will be prepared to purchase the right compressor for the job. If you have any additional questions about air compressors, make sure to contact the professionals at Rapid Air Products today.