Air Compressor – Everything You Need to Know|21 Unique Type
Whether you need an air compressor to use for personal, professional, industrial or commercial applications (off-site, factory, or shop), the same standards apply. You want a high-quality air compressor that performs, lasts and offers good value for the money.
It’s a good thing you found us.
Whisper Aire, offers a selection of the best air compressors on the market. What sets our products apart—in addition to their great performance,ease of use, and impressive longevity—is their amazingly quiet operation. Our air compressors are also designed to provide reliable service while eliminating the noise associated with traditional air compressors.
What is the Mechanism of an Air Compressor?
While various air compressors may achieve their goals in various ways, they always operate by drawing external air into a chamber and compressing it to raise the pressure of the confined air significantly.
By connecting the pressurized tool to the air compressor, compressed air is pushed into the gas tool, which helps to provide power in the compressor.
Essentially, it’s the same as turning on a garden hose and then using a finger to partly shut off one end of the hose.
The water pressure rises due to the force of the water that has been compressed inside the hose forcing its way through the limited hole.
Benefits of Using an Air Compressor
Air compressors are essential in every business. However, the reduction of the size makes them more versatile. Moreover, these are handy portable air tools.
Air compressors are superior to conventional tools and do not need large engines. Because they need a little oiling, a single-engine may power many tools, maximizing the potential of air pressure.
Types of Air Compressor
As we mentioned earlier, air compressors have so many different types and styles. Here, we’ll be talking about the most common types of air compressors.
#1 Pancake Compressors
Compressors for pancakes are usually tiny and light. An average tank holds between one and six gallons, with the compact size design making it as portable as possible.
Additionally, pancake air compressors are equipped with an oil-free pump. Simple maintenance is made possible as a result of this.
They’re excellent for minor and moderate repairs or tire pressure, but they’re not powerful enough to operate big air tools. However, if you need to pump air into a tire, they’re ideal.
- Allows holding more air for an extended period.
- Requires very little time to recover.
- An oil-free pump makes sure less maintenance.
- Good performance by regular services.
- Accessories kits are not included
#2 Hot Dog Compressors
Most enthusiasts utilize hot dog compressors because they can power tiny air tools like staplers and airbrushes, among other things. However, they’re a little bulkier and have a larger tank capacity as compared to pancake compressors.
In addition to being low-maintenance, hot dog compressors are also portable, so search for one that has a carrying handle or some other attachment to assist you in moving it about due to the extra weight.
Another point to mention is that hotdog compressors are notoriously unsteady while in operation. Consequently, you may wish to search for a machine that has rubber feet to avoid this problem.
A similarity exists between them and pancake types in that they’re usually noisier.
- A bit on the expensive side.
- Simple to operate and use
- A wide range of power choices is available
- Provides powerful performance due to the large tank
- Have difficulties while traveling to a distant location
#3 Twin-Stack Air Compressors
Featuring two air tanks piled on top of one another, twin-stack air compressors are as conventional as hot dog compressors. The compressors with a dual-tank design have a greater capacity, making them ideal for trim work.
Not only that, it can be used in even driving metal and staple weapons. Despite being portable, their weight may often surpass 70lbs, even though manufacturers frequently add attachments to simplify transfer.
Moreover, a twin stack air compressor has a 2 to 5-gallon tank capacity.
- Provide higher performance than pancake air compressors
- Greater air storage because of sturdy construction
- Despite the hefty design, they’re portable and lightweight
- Excellent for power tools like inflators and cutting tools
- Requires more space than other air compressors
#4 Portable Air Compressors
For customers who want an air compressor that is easy to carry more focus on portability, portable air compressors are the perfect choice for them. With that being said, this type of compressor became more popular among repairers, painters, and other professionals.
However, the easy transportation and carry handles are the features that attract more customers. Portable air compressors come in a wide range of varieties and styles.
- Can be moved from one place to another easily
- Compact design makes it less noisy
- Requires a less amount of energy to move it
- Can be utilized for diverse tasks
- Perfect for the tight budget consumer
- Limited amount of available air capacity.
#5 Truck Mounted Compressors
Another form of portable but powerful air compressor, as the truck itself a mobile vehicle. Basically, the compressor is mounted to the back of the truck.
This is one of the strongest air compressors you’ll find in the air compressor industry. And, due to its amazing build quality, the compressor can do any type of work.
However, despite its robust and sturdy design, you’ll be amazed by the portability of the compressor. But that’s not all it can perform admirably in even the most demanding industrial applications.
- Safe to use because of its design
- Has a large number of different motor combinations to choose from
- Maintenance is simpler with lower oil temperatures
- simple to install in a truck or repair vehicle
- Doesn’t include battery
#6 Oil-Free Air Compressors
Oil-free air compressors remove the requirement for in-line oil filtering, resulting in lower operating costs.
Moreover, it’s danger-free oil contamination at any point during the process. Unlike other conventional air compressors, an oil-free compressor doesn’t need lubricant for the compression chamber.
Instead of lubricant, the pump is protected by alternative materials such as water or a Teflon coating. Thus it ensures the system moves smoothly.
- Pump maintenance costs are reduced
- Has a lower price range
- A far more compact carbon footprint
- Fewer resources used in the form of energy
- Weighs less than a vehicle of the same capacity
- Oil-free air compressors heat up quickly
- Not so durable
#7 Industrial Air Compressor
Compressors used in the industry basically convert the power of diesel, gasoline, or electric motor to thermal energy. The main applications of these compressors are in spraying vegetables and blowing elevators, etc.
For an air compressor to function, air must be forced into a container and then pressurized. After that, the air is pushed through a hole in the tank, where pressure builds up. Like an open balloon, once the air is released, it’s utilized to generate electricity.
- Can be operated at higher pressure levels
- Runs heavy-duty tools like a hydraulic machine
- Provides better performance
- Requires a less maintenance
- Heavy in size
#8 Electric Air Compressor
One of the quietest compressors is the electric air compressor. The noise level of electric compressors is considerably lower than that of gas-powered air compressors; nevertheless, their power output is also lower.
Recently, electric air compressors gained popularity because they can provide horsepower, pounds per square inch (PSI), and cubic feet per minute (CFM) needed for DIY activities like attaching trim with a finishing machine.
Moreover, you can keep an air compressor running while it’s fully charged. However, this process implies that it has been serviced regularly, with periodic drainage to eliminate collected humidity from within the tank.
- Operates smoothly in access to electricity
- Can run for a long time without fuel
- Doesn’t leave a harmful odor
- Produces very little noise
- Without power has no effectiveness.
#9 Cordless Air Compressors
When it comes to moving an air compressor from one place to another compressor’s cord bothers the technicians sometimes. In that case, cordless air compressors are the right choice.
These machines are very flexible and may be utilized in various industries for a variety of tasks such as refilling gas cylinders, filling automobile tires, powering hydraulic equipment, removing debris, etc.
They function by providing power to a pump that pressures air. Afterward, the compressed air is collected and stored in a tank for later use.
- Has a very long-lasting design
- Flexible and easy to move
- Need no struggle to operate
- Doesn’t need huge space to store
- Suitable for small applications.
#10 Central Air Compressor
A central air compressor can be regarded as the “heart” of your whole air conditioning system. Your air conditioner would be unable to chill your house if this were not present in any case.
Consequently, your compressor circulates “refrigerant,” a specific fluid that absorbs heat from the air throughout the air conditioning system.
- A great deal for the money
- Doesn’t need lubricant to operate
- Required no special tools
- Compressed air to keep the room cool
- Low capacity of the compressor tank
#11 Single Stage Air Compressor
From the name of this title, it’s evident that Single Stage Air Compressor can compress air for one time. Piston Compressor is also another name of Single Stage Compressor.
Though it provides more consistent torque and greater mechanical balance,which helps reduce the size of the flywheel needed, the compressor’s design includes a lighter low-pressure cylinder and a more compact high-pressure cylinder.
Single-stage models are ideal for solo artisans or small groups of people constructing, sheathing, roofing, or performing trim work on a single structure.
- Better for individual use
- Has a flexible design
- Available in a wide range of horsepower
- Not suitable for larger projects.
#12 Mini Air Compressor
Someone who doesn’t do heavy-duty works yet needs an air compressor should seek Mini Air Compressor. With a medium-duty performance, this machine has a compact and portable design.
However, the device can’t run tools like hydraulic wrenches, sanders, and paint sprayers. For running those tools, you’ll need a considerably bigger air compressor.
One amazing factor of a mini air compressor is that it can operate without oil and make sure it needs less maintenance. Even while an oil-less small air compressor tends to wear out more quickly than an oil-lubricated one, this isn’t likely to be a problem with frequent home improvement usage.
- Need very little maintenance
- Outstanding cost-effectiveness
- Very strong despite its compact size.
- High-quality performance
- Can power multiple airbrushes
- Not for heavy-duty tasks.
#13 Two-Stage Air Compressor
Two-stage compressors consist of a series of cylinders, each of which has a different diameter from the others. By flowing via exchangers/heat converters, the air is kept cold throughout the compression phases.
In addition, when air is cooled, it reduces the amount of effort needed to compress it even more. In a two-stage compressor, the air is compressed and forced into another chamber, then squeezed again.
Generally speaking, these compressors are used in high-pressure activities or applications.
- Excellent performance under pressure
- Less operating cost
- Reliable than a single-stage compressor
- Suitable for longer operations
- Durability with a cooling system
- Bit expensive
#14 Quiet Air Compressors
In the noisy world, the discovery of quiet air compressors has been a revolution for manufacturers. That’s why investing in a quiet air compressor can be a smarter decision in so many cases.
That’s why the decibel level, PSI count, and tank capacity are all factors to consider when selecting a quiet compressor.
- Reduction of noise increases productivity
- Regular servicing provides reliable performance
- Doesn’t produce contaminated air
- Keeps the environment clean
- Reduces the risk of machine damage
- Requires regular maintenance and oil change
- Costly because of the complex design
#15 Centrifugal Air Compressor
The incoming air is slowed and cooled by centrifugal air compressors via a diffuser to generate potential energy. Multi-phase compression allows the compressors to generate significant amounts of power while being compact.
The higher horsepower of this compressor makes them ideal for more demanding building sites like petrochemical facilities and steel mills.
- Smaller size, fewer area, reduced capital expenses
- No risk if the discharge is closed when beginning
- Managing huge volumes
- Workable mid to low head
- Work with medium-low viscous fluids
- Requires extra priming
#16 Reciprocating Air Compressor
One of the most well-known types of compressors is the reciprocating compressor in the category of positive displacement compressors.
When compressing air or gas, a reciprocating compressor uses a piston or plunger to accomplish the task.
As a result of the piston’s forward and backward motion, it compresses the gas or air being compressed. As a result, it’s sometimes referred to as a piston compressor.
When a gas or air compressor operates, the gas or air is drawn into a chamber where a reciprocating piston compresses it. This piston operates by displacing the volume of the working fluid.
- Have no problems related to cavitation
- Performs better in a high-pressure situations
- Cheaper than other compressors
- Requires almost no maintenance
- Needs large space for installation
#17 Rotary Screw Compressors
Rotary screw compressors, which have an internal cooling system and need little maintenance, are a popular displacement compressor. They are usually big industrial equipment that can operate with or without oil.
Two opposing internal rotors produce energy in rotary screw air compressors. The trapped air creates pressure inside the housing.
- Lightweight due to the volumetric efficiency
- Machine’s components are nicely balanced
- Low initial spending of funds
- Lubrication procedure is easy and simple
- Manage a huge volume of fluid with ease
- No compression ratio variation.
Air Compressor Buying Guide
When shopping for compressors, consider the following critical factors:
Pressure & Volume
It’s always best to select a model that exceeds your immediate needs. This ensures you of adequate performance to meet your current as well as future requirements. You’ll also eliminate wear and tear on the motor and maximize operating efficiency.
Additionally, there are many additional variables to consider when selecting the appropriate kinds of air compressors, apart from the power-generating mechanisms and energy output levels mentioned above.
If you have a lengthy building project, buying the most energy-efficient air compressor may save you money. Here are a few energy-efficient air compressors.
Consider Oil-Free Compressor
Using oil-powered air compressors in clean manufacturing may cause issues. That’s why oil-free compressors are the sole choice for clean industrial facilities.
While oil is still required to lubricate the machine, oil-free compressors use a separate sealing system to prevent oil from entering the actual compressor. Oil-free compressors provide cleaner air and need less frequent maintenance.
Air Compressors Powered by Natural gas
On occasion, an industrial compressor may power tools and equipment. Natural gas replaces diesel or electricity. Even at partial loads, natural gas air compressors typically outperform choices.
They can also recover more heat than electric compressors. If you want to save money and energy, a natural gas unit may be preferable.
Determine Portability Limits
A portable air compressor is ideal for moving between locations. Small, lightweight devices may nevertheless provide energy. Portable compressors, while not as powerful as bigger ones, are suitable for smaller jobs. Some units may even be used to power an airbrush painter or a tire inflator!
Compressor Care Tips
Ensure years of reliable service
Protect your investment by taking proper care of your air compressor. Below are some maintenance and operational tips for getting the longest and most productive use out of your equipment.
Knowledge breeds efficiency
At Whisper Aire, we believe an informed customer is a happy customer. We’re committed to keeping you up to date on the latest industry advancements and developments. Check back often for new articles and press releases.
Industry tips and tidbits
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What does CFM stand for?
CFM is an acronym for Cubic Feet per Minute. This term refers to the amount of air that can be generated by an air compressor.
What size air compressor will I need?
This will be based on the CFM (cubic feet per minute) requirements of the tools you’ll be running with your compressor. Larger equipment, such as sprayers and grinders, will require more air than smaller ones, like staple and nail guns. Check the tool itself or the manual to find out its CFM and PSI rating.
If you’ll only be powering one tool with the air compressor, check the CFM/PSI requirement for the largest one and use that as your benchmark. If you’ll be using multiple tools at the same time, add them all up and then make sure you purchase an air compressor that produces a higher level of CFM.
What does PSI stand for?
PSI is an acronym for Pounds per Square Inch. In most cases, this figure describes the amount of pressure that can be generated by an air compressor’s pump, but it can also be used to measure the tank’s pressure. In the United States, a majority of commercial air compressors are rated at 175PSI or 125 PSI. Depending on how you’ll be using your compressor, special pressure requirements (more or less) may apply.
Is it possible to increase the compressor’s CFM by upgrading to a larger tank?
No. The volume of air that can be emitted from the pump of a compressor will not change along with an increase in tank size. In fact, moving to a larger tank will just increase its capacity, placing a greater demand on the pump to fill it. If you don’t have a strong enough pump to meet the volume of air your task requires, it will be impossible to fill up the tank.
What is motor horsepower, and is it important in choosing an air compressor?
An air compressor’s motor horsepower directly correlates with the CFM produced by the unit. As a general rule, you can expect 3.5CFM per horsepower, so consider how much CFM your application requires when choosing an air compressor. Make sure you determine the running horsepower as opposed to the peak horsepower. Keep in mind that horsepower alone will not ensure good performance; the quality of the pump is also essential.
How do I know what voltage I need?
If you’ll be using your air compressor at home, your voltage is probably around 115 Volts AC (VAC). Industrial environments, such as manufacturing plants and commercial facilities, usually have voltages ranging from 208VAC all the way up to 575VAC. If you’re unsure, you can check the circuit breaker panel (if you’re qualified to do so) or enlist the help of an electrician.
What size tank do I need?
The larger your tank, the more air it will hold. Although a larger tank will run your equipment for longer periods of time, it also requires more time to fill up once it’s depleted. However, the added advantage is that the compressor pump will not turn on as frequently thus extending the life expectancy of the compressor. Additionally, it is very important to match your air tools requirements with the compressor specifications when determining the appropriate compressor and air tank.
What’s the difference between “oil-lubricated” and “oil-less” compressors?
Oil-lubricated compressors are “bathed” in oil to reduce the wear and tear caused by the constant pumping of internal pistons. As a result, the pump resists overheating, runs longer, and performs better. However, these compressors require maintenance i.e you must check the oil level on a regular basis to ensure that the proper amount is delivered to the compressor piston. Otherwise, the motor will overheat, become damaged and cease to work. It also very important to use the correct oil i.e synthetic , non-petroleum oils. Mineral or petroleum based oils will corrode the “REED” valve of the compressor which is responsible for sucking in the ambient (air we breathe) air into the compressor to be “compressed”. This will result in costly repair.
With an oil-less compressor, there is NO maintenance required. These compressor motors are permanently sealed and lubricated. In essence they “self-lubricate”.
How can I determine whether I have a single-phase or three-phase power source?
If there are dual legs or capacitators connecting to the magnetic starter of your air compressor, you most likely have a single-phase power source. If you see three legs and there is not an attached capacitator, that indicates a three-phase power source. If you’re unsure or are unfamiliar with electrical components, contact a professional electrician for help.
How can I tell if my power source is 50 hertz (HZ) or 60HZ?
If you will be using your air compressor in the U.S., the power source is likely 60HZ. Most international countries use 50HZ
What is a “Duty Cycle?
Duty Cycle is defined as the running time vs. the resting time of the compressor motor (pump). i.e. a 50% duty cycle (which is ideal) is when the motor (pump) “runs” and rests equal amount of the total time the compressor is turned on. Air is drawn from the air tank when the motor is “at rest”. Therefore, it is extremely important to match your air tools requirements with the compressor specifications when selecting a compressor. This will avoid overworking the compressor which will cause overheating problems and lead to compressor failure.
Is An Air Compressor a Power Gobbler?
Air compressors indeed use a significant amount of energy. Although they don’t use as much energy as electric tools, the additional cost to the initial investment in the compressor and tools may accumulate over time and become very substantial.
However, even if this is true, as a homeowner who uses a compressor in their garage, you’re unlikely to see significant increases in energy costs.
How Long Is It Safe To Leave Air in an Air compressor?
Well, you can leave air overnight in the compressor cause the tank is intended to retain the air, so you won’t have any problems with the system being overworked or stressed.
However, if you don’t use the tank for a while, you may notice that water accumulates more than if you bled it often
How Long Should an Air Compressor be Expected to Operate?
An air compressor should have a lifespan of between 10 and 15 years. However, if you invest in a high-quality machine that is seldom used and is kept in good condition, you may receive more value for your money.
Hopefully, till now, you’re clear about so many different types and styles of air compressors. Here, we tried to talk about types of air compressors, including their mechanism, advantages, and disadvantages.
Among these different compressors, you’ll get the right one according to your preferences.
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