Everything That You Need to Know Before Purchasing an Gas Powered Air Compressor:
For a lot of businesses air power is essential, especially in environments where there is industrial manufacturing involved. The smartest choice for most people when looking for a source of air power is to utilize an gas powered air compressor. The beauty of these air compressors, is that they can be found it several different variations that can be used to aid any situation or process. The purpose of this article is to not only educate you in the multitude of options available on the market, but to also provide tips alongside various recommendations before you go out and buy an gas powered air compressor.
Which gas powered air compressor suits your needs light-duty or heavy-duty?
Gas powered air compressors fall into three main categories:
- Consumer grade: In the gas powered air compressor business these are recognised by various terms. Pancake, Hot-dog or single stage models. These are designed for smaller jobs and are best for home uses like blowing up tires, sporting goods or other inflatables. These best home use air compressors tend to have enough power to operate air tools that only need small loads like brad guns or staplers. They cannot handle anything that needs more power than these tools.
These small gas air compressors are favoured by people that have low use of these air compressors such as homeowners, hobbyists or carpenters or any other people that need machines that operate between 135 PSI and below 7 CFM. Portable air air compressors. These machines are normally portable air compressors meaning they can be carried around easily.
- Professional grade: These are small gas air compressors designed for air tools that need more power, especially when they are used on a more regular basis. These are excellent for smaller sized shops that specialize in things such as woodworking or contractors. There are various models on the market that will give you not only the ability to use air for longer more efficient time periods but also a machine that is very durable.
- Commercial or industrial grade: These machines have the ability to provide compressed air in a steady manny for a long period of time. It is for this reason that they are highly suited for commercial use where the use of more advanced technologies are required. The components within these gas air compressors are of very high-quality resulting in greater reliability and performance alongside the ability to use energy more efficiently.
Important Terms to be Familiar with before buying an gas powered air compressor:
Before deciding what type or model to go for when purchasing your gas powered air compressor it is important to know and understand the terms that you will regularly come across when making your decision as to which make and model to buy. Below is a list outlining terms that you should familiarize yourself with during this process:
- The PSIG or pounds per square inch gauge: This term refers to the air pressure and force delivered by a gas powered air compressor and how it is measured. This measurement is given in relation to the atmospheric pressure at seas level which is widely known as 14.7 PSI. The reason we measure at sea level is do that the atmospheric pressure of the earth itself can be disregarded.
- PSI or pounds per square inch: Above you learnt that we measure pressure in a term known as PSI. When referring to an gas powered air compressor PSI is the force and pressure of which air is delivered by the machine. It is important to note that an higher PSI measurement means there is a larger volume of air that can be compressed by an gas powered air compressor.
- ACFM or actual cubic feet per minute: This refers to the actual volume of air that is pumped out by gas air compressor.in one minute when running at optimum conditions.
- SCFM or standard cubic feet per minute: On occasion gas powered air compressors will be rated with SCFM rather than ACFM. This term refers to the maximum amount of air that can be pumped at sixty degrees fahrenheit. By providing SCFM values the representation of the ability of a machine is more accurate as air expands at different temperatures. Therefore varying temperatures will give different results.
- HP or Horsepower: This is the measurement of the power produced by the motor of the machine. The higher the horsepower of a motor within an gas powered air compressor the greater the ACFM and PSI.
- Intercooler: This is a part within the machine that aids cooling or the air between the different stages of air compression.
- Aftercooler: This part is used to exchange heat to cool air that is discharged for an ags powered air compressor. The condensation that occurs as a direct result of this process is normally removed with an moisture separator.
- Pneumatic tools: These are tools that require the assistance of a gas powered air compressor to operate.
Features of a gas powered air compressor:
When considering your options and trailing through gas powered air compressor reviews it is essential that you know all the features available in the various models out there and which ones are best suited to your needs. Each model comes with it’s own variations and in order to purchase a model that is the best fit for you it is essential that you are clear of what you are looking for.
- Belt drive of direct drive? Most gas powered air compressors with a rotary screw tend to have motors that are powered by either a belt drive or a direct drive. A model that possess a direct drive will feature a motor that is directly connected to the compressors crankshaft. These types of machines work well at lower temperatures and provide a lot of efficiency where energy is concerned but also produce a lot of noise and pose difficulties with regards to maintenance. They are also a lot more costly to purchase.
Machines with belt drives consist of a belt that is connected to the pump of a gas powered air compressor with the use of pulleys. These enable greater flexibility when air flow and pressure need to be adjusted. Compressors that consist of belts also come with a much lower price tag with lower maintenance costs, and easier installation. If however, you are planning on using these machines in conditions that are harsh with more severe temperatures these are not the models for you.
Auto start and stop, continuous speed or dual control?
These are the features that need to be considered when judging the control of compressed air production. A model that run on auto start and stop comes with a pressure switch which allows the machine to gauge when air is needed. The compressor will automatically turn on when there is a need for air and switch off when the tank is full. A continuous speed model will constantly assess the need for air and adjust the flow of air as required. There are also gas powered air compressors available on the market that contain both these features, giving you the option to run the machine on the mode you require at any given point in time.
Cast iron components:
Most air compressors come fitted with cylinders. There are also models available currently that come with other cast iron components such as crankcase, flywheels, crankshafts and valve seats. These are all made of cast iron and enable the unit to be more durable.
- Vertical or horizontal tanks? One of the most important features on a gas powered air compressor, especially if it is a small air compressor is its’ portability. Vertical tanks means there is less space taken up allowing for a more portable air compressor.
- ASME parts: If you are buy the machine in the United States it is important to ensure that all the components within the machine meet strict guidelines that are laid out by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. There will be similar guidelines and rules for every country. It is imperative that these are researched before purchasing a model to ensure that these guidelines are adhered to for optimum safety.
- Low oil protection: This is a feature that is widely seen in models across the market. Often we can overlook the levels of oil in our machine and forget to replenish oil when it is low. Most gas powered air compressors now come with the ability to shut down automatically when a situation like this occurs. This means that there is no downtime and there is also no need to have your machine repaired from the damage that may be caused by running at low oil levels, which can be very expensive.
- Ball-valve tank drain: This drain allows for easy and safe removal of any built up moisture within a machine easily and efficiently. A ball-valve tank drain allows you to get rid of any moisture by simply turning it a quarter in the direction required.
Deciding which model is best for you:
Before attempting to buy a gas powered air compressor, there are multiple questions that need to be answered as per your requirements. Now that you are familiar with the terms, as well as the features available in models within the market you should start looking at which ones are best for you.
Where will your air compressor be used?
The first thing that is essential to consider is the way and area in which your air compressor will be used. This will help you determine if you need a portable air compressor. Portability is essential if you are buying a small air compressor.if you are looking for the best home air compressor or for use in an shop it would be best if you consider models that have wheels. This however, may mean lower power than the more stationary units. The size of the hose also needs to be considered if the air you are using needs to reach longer distances.
Is the electricity supply used dependable?
In many cases there is not a good electricity supply. This is the main reason that gas powered air compressors are so popular. Often people attempt to hook up their electric powered air compressor to a generator which is not a very favourable situation. This is because a generation can suffer a lot of fluctuations in the power delivered to it which in turn can cause a lot of damage to your air compressor. This can not only be dangerous but costly as most manufacturers deem a warranty void when this happens. Use of excessively long extension cables is also not a good idea because they can affect efficiency of my machine by providing less power than it needs. Each model will come with a list of specification for powering your machine it is important to read these before purchasing a machine, to ensure that these are suitable to your requirements.
What tools will you be powering with your air compressor?
Every tool that is used with an air compressor comes with a CFM rating. Not all compressor will be able to cater to tools with higher CFM ratings. Before buying your unit it is very important that you know that your air compressor can safely power all the tools you need. Start of by listing the tools you need to be powered by the air compressor and their CFM values and cross checking it with that of the models that you are considering.
Buying an air compressor is an investment, whether you are using it for your home, workshop or on a larger scale industrial sized plant. It is essential that you real all the air compressor reviews available for every model you are considering and that you ensure that the model fits all your specifications, in order to make your investment worthwhile.